Monday, November 02, 2009

SMU students to stage ‘The Crucible’ Nov. 12-15

WINONA, Minn. — The historical events surrounding the infamous witchcraft trials of Salem, Mass., will be portrayed in the Saint Mary’s University Department of Theatre and Dance production of “The Crucible.”

This intense play, written by Arthur Miller in 1953, includes a large, energetic cast under the direction of Larry Gorrell, former SMU dean of the School of the Arts. Show times are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 12-14, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, in Page Theatre, located in the Performance Center.

One of the greatest plays of the 20th century, “The Crucible” revolves around Reverend Samuel Paris and members of his household involved in allegedly practicing witchcraft during an era when individuals were tortured and put to death for mere insinuations of such involvement. This two-act drama explores how Americans respond to non-traditional and unconventional behavior and how it is so easy to turn our backs on those who differ from us. Also evident in this extraordinary work — still relevant for today — is Miller’s perspective on the way the elders, religious leaders and lawmakers handle the gripping situation.

Authentic period costumes are designed by guest artist Jason Lee Resler, who has designed costumes for the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Lanesboro’s Commonweal Theatre, and the University of Minnesota Centennial Showboat.

The 21-member cast includes five students from Rose Bruford College, located outside of London. These students — American Theatre majors — are studying abroad at Saint Mary’s in 2009-10.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and are available at the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at