The West Virginia University Division of Theatre and Dance will present Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 20-23, at the Metropolitan Theatre in downtown Morgantown.

“The Crucible” is part of WVU’s Diversity Week 2011: Peace, Love & Understanding, sponsored by the President’s Office for Social Justice.

Written in 1953, this American classic drama is set within the witch trials of 17th century Salem, Mass., and reflects the anti-communist paranoia inspired by Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s “witch-hunts” of the early 1950s in this country.

The play illustrates Miller’s ideas of the tragedy of a common man—where the individual must reconcile his actions with the world at large.

“The Crucible” won the Antoinette Perry Award (The Tony) for Best Play in 1953.

When a group of young Puritan girls are caught dancing in the forest and attempting to raise dead spirits with the help of a slave from Barbados, the cry of “witch” is heard throughout Salem.

To save themselves, the girls accuse other women, whom they have supposedly seen “trafficking with the devil,” as being witches.

Selfishness leads to rumors, which beget incriminations within the coastal town and village. Neighbor turns upon neighbor in an effort to save property, position and lives.

A rigid theocratic society forces one man to face his own sins. John Proctor has been unfaithful to his wife with their servant girl. Will he have the courage to face his past and the power of the court?

Master of Fine Arts performance students Greg Holt, Audrey Ahern and Todd Berkich, respectively portray John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor and Deputy Governor Danforth in this production of “The Crucible.” And their performances are the thesis roles for these third-year graduate students.

Other WVU students in the cast include: Benjamin Roberts as Rev. Parris; Taylor Horst as Betty Parris; Dominique Brown as Tituba; Margo Matty as Abigail Williams; Jenna Dorece as Susanna Wilcott; Kayla Sleigh as Mrs. Ann Putnam; Nick Hanni as Thomas Putnam; Hannah Giddings as Mercy Lewis; Kayla Hudgins as Mary Warren; C.J. Bonde as Rebecca Nurse; Austin Barnett as Giles Corley; Ben Koontz as Rev. John Hale; Josh Leeper as Francis Nurse; Will Stout as Ezekiel Cheever; Justin Griffiths as Marshal Herrick; Joshua Smith as Judge Hathorne; Megan Schreiber as Sarah Good/Ruth Putnam; and Evan Ellis as Hopkins.

Theatre professor Robert Klingelhoefer is the scenic designer, assisted by Nick Sines; costume designer is Alex Vazquez; lighting designer is Claire Phelps; and technical director is Ben Lauer. The associate production manager is Logan Garrett and stage manager is Kelsey Korona. Cameron Williams is master carpenter, production electrician is Dan Gutierrez and props master is Jane Ryan.

Directed by theater professor Lee Blair, “The Crucible” opens at the Metropolitan Theatre, 369 High Street, in downtown Morgantown, Thursday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m. and continues Oct. 21-22 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a matinee performance on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available at , the CAC or Mountainlair Box Offices, or by calling 304-293-SHOW.

For more information on this production of “The Crucible,” go to


CONTACT: Prof. Lee Blair, College of Creative Arts

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