On March 7, the Grand Theatre’s production of “The Crucible” will feature a free lecture which will discuss the context in which the story of the play was written.
Catch more Student News Updates at radio.slcc.edu
According to Kandace Steadman, community outreach coordinator for the Grand, the theatre produces a play every year coupled with a guest scholar who lectures about the play. Richard Scott, executive director of the Grand Theatre and Cultural Programming, created the concept of inviting a scholar to give the historical context of a theatrical production. According to Scott, the idea of this pairing comes from a belief that history and the arts inform and discuss the human condition.
“I was drawn to the play at this time because of the shrillness of our social discourse, which is quite a bit what ‘The Crucible’ is about,” Scott said.
The story of “The Crucible” first made its debut as a play in 1953. Since its first performance, critics have called attention to the plot’s focus on a family that falls victim to its society’s depravity of justice. Critics claim the corrupted justice system during the Salem witch trials was an allusion to the injustice that was playing out in Congress in the 1950s. In 1950s American society, McCarthyism was running rampant throughout America. Instead of Congress trying American citizens for participating in witchcraft, however, it was trying them for participating in un-American activities.
This year, Scott invited David Oshinsky, a distinguished professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. Oshinsky is a McCarthy scholar and was awarded the 1984 D. B. Hardeman Best Book on the United States Congress Prize for his book, “A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy.”
Scott believes the importance of “The Crucible” lies in the idea that society is imperfect.
“You need to try to control the mess, but if you take the mess out, you get something else,” Scott said. “We don’t need to be so convinced that our way is the best way, even though we can still believe that, but we also need to recognize that accommodations can be made.”
The theatrical production of “The Crucible” will run at The Grand Theatre from March 8 to 24, 2012. Ticket prices are between $10 and $24, but students can get one ticket for free. The Grand Theatre is located at South City Campus. For more information, call 801-957-3322 or visit slcc.edu and click on the Grand Theatre link near the bottom of the page.