The Crucible - November 11 - November 19, 2022

Saratoga High School

  End Notes  


Notes from the Director...



The Crucible is a partly fictionalized tale of the Salem witch trials of the late 1600s. Many people have asked me why I would choose this play. This is usually followed by something to the effect of, “Does this play even matter today?” The short answer to this question is YES! 


The play was written in the 1950s by Arthur Miller in reaction to the Senate hearings, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy, where the government questioned and persecuted many Americans accused of practicing Communism and even being Communist Spies in America. These proceedings were dubbed McCarthyism. Even Mr. Miller himself was eventually questioned and held in contempt of Congress for not giving names of others who he may have seen at “Communist meetings”. The story you are about to see somewhat mirrors that, but in the context of 1692 Massachussets Bay and the pre-United States Puritan Governement.


While this play may not hold the same type of weight that it did during the 1950s, I feel that the themes in this play are of huge importance in our society today. Themes are recurring ideas or messages that the play alludes to so as to almost teach a lesson with the story. The two themes in this play that I locked onto are that of fear vs common sense and the mob mentality vs thinking for yourself. These two thematic ideas play together for a very serious and tragic story. 


Fear vs common sense is a thematic idea that we face daily. Fear of the unknown is still incredibly prevalent in our society, but when we use our common sense, the fear usually melts away. Fear binds us so tightly and causes us to follow the Mob Mentality or whomever has the loudest voice. It takes great courage to rise against the fear, and your common sense generally helps. 


Mob mentality vs thinking for yourself is a constant issue for our students and our society today. In this era of “What is the true news?” we tend to live in our comfortable echo chamber, which can act as our own Mob mentality. The easy choice is to follow what the popular trends are or to believe only what we have ever been told. The brave search themselves for who they truly are and dig deeper into what they actually believe and what the truth actually is. This story shows what can happen when people don’t stop to think for themselves.


If you have read this far, I hope you understand that there are multiple forces at play in my choosing this play. My seniors are passionately driven by social justice and I wanted to choose a play that would honor what they believe and the bravery they have shown.


I think Mr. Miller would be proud of the work all these students have put into this production. I am proud of their questions, their diligence and their commitment to this difficult subject matter and material. These students truly are amazing. Thank you for being here and we are excited to share this story with you.


-Ben Brotzman

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