Sara Bozich contributor Hope Frick gets a preview of ‘The Crucible’ at Ephrata Performing Arts Center.
The theater is gearing up for a production of The Crucible, a classic play that Edward Fernandez, EPAC’s Artistic Director, feels will resonate with modern audiences despite the Puritanistic “origins” of the piece.
The Crucible at Ephrata Performing Arts Center
“A lot of themes and events explored in The Crucible are frighteningly relevant to our times,” says Fernandez. “We’re retelling it in a broader context, and I think it will really resonate with what’s going on in our country and headlines today.”
The show is a dramatized account of the Salem witch trials that took place in 1692-1693. It was written by Arthur Miller in 1953 as an allegory for McCarthyism. The Crucible explores ethical themes like goodness, morality, hysteria, reputation, and judgment.
To keep things abstract, EPAC’s production takes place in an unspecified time period. Costumes and sets are a stylized hybrid of classic and modern, with “Greco-Roman” set architecture strongly depicting balances of wealth and power. The setting uses a “thrust” stage, allowing audiences to nearly become a part of the story. Productions of The Crucible traditionally use an “in-the-round” setting.
And while it features a facelift of sorts, EPAC’s Crucible follows and uses the dialogue originally written by Miller.
“It will of course still be The Crucible, but we wanted to make it a more universal setting so audiences don’t just settle into the thought of ‘oh well, those were just the times!’ and leave the story at that,” says Fernandez. “We want audiences to be intellectually distant from the original telling of the story and form their own opinions.”
“It’s not too off the wall. It’s The Crucible and we are doing The Crucible, just in our own way.”
The Crucible runs for eight performances from June 16-25 at Ephrata Performing Arts Center.
Grab tickets here.
For updated health and safety protocols, check out EPAC’s website.
What else to do in Ephrata
Fun tip: Plan some time for a pizza and drinks at St. Boniface Brewing Co. or a beer at Pour Man’s Brewing before or after the show. Both are “must visits” for beer lovers in Lancaster County. Or, pad in a little more time and visit Funck’s in Leola for lunch or dinner on their beautiful patio. Their beer list is great, too!