A modern-day message

    The cast of “The Crucible” rehearses a scene for the upcoming Riverland presentation.

The cast of “The Crucible” rehearses a scene for the upcoming Riverland presentation.

Sometimes, classics reverberate throughout the ages and feel just as fresh as they did when they were created.

That’s the case with many of renowned playwright Arthur Miller’s productions, but it was “The Crucible” that stuck out to Riverland Community College Director Lindsey Duoos Williams.

“When I read through this play, I asked myself, ‘Is this something that still resonates today?’” Williams said. “Frighteningly enough, yes it absolutely does.”

Riverland will put on Miller’s classic drama Feb. 25-28 and March 1. Winner of the 1953 Tony Award for Best Play, “The Crucible” is a classic of the American stage.

An exciting drama about the Puritan purge of witchcraft in old Salem, the play was Miller’s response to the McCarthy “witch hunts” of suspected communists in the 1950s, of which Miller himself was a target.

“It had this real relevance in the 1950s,” Williams said.

Robert Stangler playing Reverend Samuel Parris and Lindsey McAlister, playing Abigail Williams, rehearse. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Robert Stangler playing Reverend Samuel Parris and Lindsey McAlister, playing Abigail Williams, rehearse. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

It’s that relevance that Williams thought was appropriate to showcase once again. “The Crucible” holds many themes, but it’s famous for illustrating the perils of so-called “group think” and the way society allows itself to be ruled through fear. Williams and cast see the way people can easily jump to conclusions on the Internet based on the way information is presented. As for fear?

“That’s something I think we’ve all seen, particularly in our news media today, is how fear is being used,” she said.

Though the play will still be set in 1692, the cast will find ways to show the audience just how relevant “The Crucible” can be to modern times, according to Williams.

“While the story and the characters will stay rooted in the historical time period, there are other ways we can tell the story to the audience throughout the play,” she said.

Tickets are $13 and are available for purchase online at www.riverland.edu/tickets, or in person and by phone. To purchase tickets or to receive more information, call the Riverland Theatre Box Office at (507) 433-0595, email boxoffice@riverland.edu, or visit the web site and download the brochure at www.riverland.edu/theatre.

“It’s heavy drama, but it’s such good drama,” Williams said. “This is a really exciting play, you’re hooked until the end.”

The Crucible”

When: 7:30 p.m., Feb. 25, 26, 27, 28 and March 1

Where: Frank W. Bridges Theatre

Ticket information: $13. Go to www.riverland.edu/tickets, stop by the box office, open 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday and one hour before the performances or by calling 507-433-0595.

Cast

Betty Parris                             Kylie Larson

Reverend Samuel Parris          Robert Stangler

Tituba                                      Karina Hernandez

Abigail Williams                     Lindsey McAlister

Susanna Wallcott                    Emily McAlister

Mrs. Ann Putnam                    Amoe Sato

Thomas Putnam                      Zack Huggan

Mercy Lewis                           Jodie Bratager

Mary Warren                           Ellie Dyke

John Proctor                           Vic Wylde

Rebecca Nurse                        Krista Johnson

Giles Corey                             Ben Deines

Reverend John Hale                Jake Berndt

Elizabeth Proctor                    Claire Olson

(Feb. 25, 26, 27 and 28 performances)

Bry Thorson

(March 1)

Francis Nurse                          Randy Forster

Ezekiel Cheever                      Jacob Mueller

John Willard                            Tyler Holz

Judge Hathorne                       Jonathan Stowell

Deputy-Governor Danforth    James Zschunke

Sarah Good                             Alexa Ferguson

Hopkins                                   Danny Ziebell

Ruth Putnam                           Sarah Collett

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