52 in 52 Week 10: The Crucible by Arthur Miller

The Crucible (L.A. Theatre Works Audio…
This was I-N-T-E-N-S-E! I loved this play, and this L.A. Theatre Works rendition is excellent. I did not know that this was written by Arthur Miller in 1953 in response to the "witch hunt" of McCarthyism. 

Senator Joseph McCarthy led a crusade against communism in American in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Anyone involved with communism or left-wing activities was suspected. Many people were "blacklisted" and lost their jobs. In 1956, Miller was subpoenaed by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He refused to give the names of communist writers that he knew. We can see this in Giles Corey and John Proctor in this play. 

The Crucible is based on the tragic events surrounding the Salem Witch Trials. Many of the characters were actual historical figures (Parris, Proctor, Sarah Good, Mary Warren, and Tituba).

The main symbol is the crucible (a container used for melting that can withstand very high temperatures).  Danforth says in the play that the court is a "hot fire" that "melts down all concealment." But there is a deeper meaning to the play in this regard, and it reminds me of this verses:

"The refining pot is for silver 
and the furnace for gold,
But the LORD tests hearts"
Proverbs 17:3

"“But He knows the way I take; 
When He has tried me, 
I shall come forth as gold." 
(Job 23:10, NASB95) 

This is a brilliant play, I highly recommend it. There is good and evil in it, and it might be disturbing, but it is worth the read. 

I you cannot find this edition at your local library (or digital library), you can buy is HERE: http://www.latw.org/audio/index.html

Here is the cast:

Irene Aranga as Mercy Lewis
Rene Auberjonois as Deputy Governor Danforth
Ed Begley Jr. as Thomas Putnam
Georgia Brown as Rebecca Nurse
Jack Coleman as Marshal Herrick
Bud Cort as Ezekiel Cheever
Richard Dreyfuss as Reverend John Hale
Judyann Elder as Tituba
Hector Elizondo as Giles Corey
Fionnula Flanagan as Reverend John Hale
Ann Hearne as Susanna Walcott
Carol Kane as Mary Warren
Stacy Keach as John Proctor
Anna Sophie Loewenberg as Betty Parris
Marian Mercer as Mrs. Ann Putnam
Franklyn Seales as Judge Hathorne
Madolyn Smith as Abigail Williams
Joe Spano as Francis Nurse
Michael York as Reverend Parris

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