Auditions for ACT’s upcoming production of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” will begin at 7 p.m. Monday & Tuesday December 9 and 10, in the ACT Rehearsal Hall. Auditions will consist of readings from the script, perusal copies of which are available at the ACT office. Performances of “The Crucible” will be 7:30 p.m. February 13, 14 and 15, plus a matinee at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, February 16, on the Benzel Stage of the Historic Mishler Theatre, supported, in part, by a grant from the Wolf-Kuhn Foundation.
Michael Manfred is directing “The Crucible,” having previously directed “Murder on the Nile” for ACT a few years back. He also has appeared in a number of our shows, from his debut as the sadistic dentist in “Little Shop of Horrors” in 2007 to his award-winning portrayal of The Clown in ACT’s competition entry “Elephant’s Graveyard” last April.
Set in 1692, “The Crucible” takes place during the time of the Salem, MA, witch trials, after a minister discovers his daughter dancing with her friends in the woods. When she faints and falls into a coma, rumors of witchcraft flourish, fueled by the minister’s niece who is later revealed to be having an affair with a married farmer. Accusations of contact with the devil are hurled at many of Salem’s citizens, some wrongly executed. Although Miller based his play on true historical incidents he actually wrote the play in 1953 as an allegory on McCarthyism, and it remains a powerful sermon on the peril of mass hysteria and public manipulation as much today as when first staged.
“The Crucible” has a large cast with many smaller roles that provide an excellent opportunity for actors with little experience to work onstage. All roles are available, regardless of previous experience or prior participation with ACT.
Note: Although approximate ages are given for every role, please do not let your age determine whether or not you would like to audition. Many of the roles are written one way, but can be performed in many ways.
Betty Parris (female 9-11) Daughter of Samuel Parris, afflicted by witchcraft, one scene. Becomes possessed.
Rev. Samuel Parris (30-40) Reverend of Salem, a devout man, newcomer to town, three scenes. Major role.
Tituba (any age) Woman of color, non-Caucasian, slave in the Parris household, originally from Barbados, two scenes.
Abigail Williams (16-20) Parris’s niece, major player in witch trials, crafty, scheming, in love with Proctor, strikingly beautiful, three scenes. Becomes possessed. Major role.
Susanna Walcott (16-20) Abigail’s friend and fellow accuser of witches, two scenes. Becomes possessed.
Ann Putnam (40-50) Woman in town, has an afflicted daughter, superstitious, hard-headed, one scene.
Thomas Putnam (45-55) Ann’s Husband, put-upon, well-to-do landowner, one scene.
Mercy Lewis (16-20) Abigail’s friend and fellow accuser of witches, sly and merciless, knows more than she lets on, shifty, thick build, two scenes. Becomes possessed.
Mary Warren (16-20) Proctor’s servant, oscillates between shyness and self-importance, but easily manipulated, three scenes. Major role.
John Proctor (25-45) Male lead, farmer and father, a deeply principled man, constantly fighting his own nature, haunted by past sins, five scenes. Major role.
Rebecca Nurse- (65 and up) Upright woman of town, cool-headed, not given to flights of fancy, respected, voice of reason, two scenes.
Giles Corey (70 and up) Man of principles, but sometimes too proud for his own good, not afraid to stand up for what he believes in, three scenes.
Rev. John Hale (20-35) Man of God, eager to help those afflicted by witches, learned, concerned for all involved, too ready to believe in witchcraft, four scenes. Major role.
Elizabeth Proctor (older than Abigail, 25-40) Female lead. Proctor’s wife, Godly woman, haunted by her husband’s sins, plain-looking, but not unattractive, tons of subtext in every line, three scenes. Major role.
Francis Nurse (65 and up) Rebecca’s husband, uneducated but not unintelligent, speaks before he thinks, two scenes.
Ezekiel Cheever (adult of any age) Functionary of the court, does not question his orders, three scenes.
John Willard (adult of any age) Functionary of the court, drunkard, does not think deeply about anything, three scenes.
Judge Hathorne (45-65) Runs the court, self-righteous, interested only in his view of the matter, two scenes.
Deputy-Governor Danforth (45-65) Involved with court, expects respect, serious about keeping order in his province, two scenes.
Sarah Good (60 and up) Homeless woman who is jailed for witchcraft, by the time we see her, she is crazy, one scene.
Martha Corey (60 and up) Giles’s wife, on trial for witchcraft, never on-stage, one scene.
ACT also is always in need of new volunteers to work backstage on production crews. Feel free to sign up during the auditions, or for more information, call the ACT Administrative Office at (814) 943-4357.