Custom Made Theatre to Close Season with THE CRUCIBLE, 5/20-6/22

Custom Made Theatre to Close Season with THE CRUCIBLE, 5/20-6/22

Custom Made Theatre caps its 15th season with Arthur Miller's The Crucible, directed by Stuart Bousel. The Crucible is arguably The Great American Play, a classic story of individuals confronting the corruption within their society and standing up for their convictions under even the direst of circumstances. Custom Made has assembled a cast of 17 to portray the frightening times of 17th Century Salem, Massachusetts. The Crucible plays May 20-June 22 at the Gough Street Playhouse, 1620 Gough Street in San Francisco

An infamous allegory for the McCarthy witch-hunts of the 1960?s, the action remains in 17th century Salem and concerns the persecution and state-sponsored murder of twenty outsiders by their friends and neighbors for alleged affiliations with the supernatural world.

Ultimately, The Crucible is a study of how power is wielded - and opposed - in any community. This endurable show contains some of the most gripping scenes in modern theater and remains wildly popular wherever and whenever it is produced.

Custom Made is thrilled to bring back director Stuart Bousel, whose previous engagements, M. Butterly and The Merchant of Venice, have been audience and critical favorites. His production of Prelude to a Kiss has been nominated for "Best Overall Production" by the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle.

Arthur Miller (1915-2005) is probably the best known playwright of the 20th century. His plays include All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953) and A View from the Bridge (one-act, 1955; revised two-act, 1956), After the Fall (1964), as well as the film The Misfits (1961).

Miller was often in the public eye, particularly during the late 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s, a period during which he testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee, received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and was married to Marilyn Monroe.

In 1952, director Elia Kazan appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Unwilling to risk his promising career in Hollywood for the Communist cause that he had come to despise, Kazan named eight members of the Group Theatre, including Clifford Odets, Paula Strasberg, Lillian Hellman, J. Edward Bromberg, and John Garfield, who in recent years had been fellow members of the Communist Party.

After speaking with Kazan about his testimony Miller traveled to Salem, Massachusetts to research the witch trials of 1692. The Crucible, in which Miller likened the situation with the House Un-American Activities Committee to the witch hunt in Salem in 1692, opened at the Beck Theatre on Broadway on January 22, 1953. Though widely considered only somewhat successful at the time of its initial release, today The Crucible is Miller's most frequently produced work throughout the world and was adapted into an opera by Robert Ward, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1962.

Miller and Kazan were close friends throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, but after Kazan's testimony to the HUAC, the pair's friendship ended, and they did not speak to each other for the next ten years. The HUAC took an interest in Miller himself not long after The Crucible opened, denying him a passport to attend the play's London opening in 1954. Ironically, Miller's works were banned in the Soviet Union in 1969 after he campaigned for the freedom of dissident writers. Source: Wikipedia.

Learn more & buy tickets at (415) 798-CMTC, http://www.custommade.org

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