Faith in 3D returns to live theatre with classic drama.
A cast of Wilshire actors ranging in age from 11 to 83 will present this year’s Faith in 3D production, a staged reading of scenes from Arthur Miller’s classic drama The Crucible, on Friday, March 24, and Saturday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Community Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
Wilshire member Nancy Poynter, who taught drama and led productions at Lake Highlands High School from 1980 to 2000, is the show’s director.
The Crucible debuted on Broadway in 1953 and won that year’s Tony Award for Best Play. The work is a dramatized and partially fictionalized account of the 17th-century Salem witch trials that occurred in the rigidly theocratic Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Miller wrote the play as an allegory to the anti-communist “witch hunts” propagated by U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Nancy Poynter says, “Miller wrote the play with the 1950s House Un-American Activities Committee in mind, but like good literature, it has taken on a new application in modern times. I see it as an exploration of lying.”
The word “crucible,” which doesn’t appear in the play, is defined as “a severe test” or “a place or situation in which concentrated forces interact.”
In the introduction to a published edition of the play, scholar Christopher Bigley writes, “Miller is concerned with the breaking of the social contract that binds a community together, as love and mutual respect bind individuals together… The Crucible reminds us how fragile is our grasp on those shared values that are the foundation of any society.”
Along with many Faith in 3D regulars, the cast includes seven first-time participants. Lynette DeBose and Bob Coleman are reprising roles they played in college and high school, respectively.
This is not the first Arthur Miller play for Faith in 3D, which began in 2015 with a staging of Miller’s All My Sons. Other past shows — some with religious themes but all relevant to contemporary society — include adaptations of Amadeus, Inherit the Wind, Working and Pompeii, a vaudeville-style musical about climate change.
This year’s show marks a return to live theatre for Faith in 3D. In 2021 and 2022, Poynter and company adapted to COVID-19 concerns with video productions of Anthony Clarvoe’s plague-themed The Living (produced entirely over Zoom) and Carol Hall’s musical, To Whom It May Concern.
The “3D” stands for drama, dessert and dialogue, and after the show attendees will enjoy a tasty treat from the Wilshire kitchen and a discussion of the play’s themes moderated by Mark Wingfield. Mark is a journalist and Wilshire member who explores truth-telling and lying in his newest book, Honestly: Telling the Truth about the Bible and Ourselves.
Childcare for infants through sixth graders will be offered for Faith in 3D on Friday night, March 24, if there is sufficient demand. Reserve childcare by Tuesday, March 21, at wilshirebc.org/registration.
Rev. Parris — Brad Russell
Betty Parris — Eve Vachon
Tituba — Lynette DeBose
Abigail Williams — Katherine Pottkotter
Susanna Walcott — Kathryn Woodbury
Ann Putnam — Paula Woodbury
Thomas Putnam — Kevin Cabaniss
Mercy Lewis — Miriam McClung
Mary Warren — Cate Tabor
John Proctor — Andy Brookshire
Rebecca Nurse — Mary Kay Jackman
Giles Corey — George Gagliardi
Rev. John Hale — James Michael Sobolik-Williams
Elizabeth Proctor — Meredith Vachon
Ezekiel Cheever — Kevin Cabaniss
Deputy Gov. Danforth — Bob Coleman
Judge Hathorne — Pat Spikes
Narrator — Monica Mullins