VIDEO: Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz Plays Rev. Parris in 1992 Harvard Production of THE CRUCIBLE

By: Feb. 26, 2016
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Whether you're a lawyer, a politician or even a Hollywood star, acting classes can be a great way to learn how to present yourself and communicate effectively.

The United States has already had one Hollywood star, Ronald Reagan, serving eight years as president and while none of the current crop of presidential hopefuls have SAG-AFTRA or Equity cards, at least one of them has a bit of stage acting experience.

The Boston Globe has posted footage of Texas Senator Ted Cruz in a 1992 Harvard Law School Drama Society production of Arthur Miller's THE CRUCIBLE, the classic 1953 drama set during the Salem witch hunt that parallels that dark side of America's colonial history with the then-current issue of McCarthyism, a period where Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy led a government fight to rid the entertainment industry of suspected communists. McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Committee hearings, and the blacklisting that resulted from them, are looked on today as a metaphorical witch hunt.

In the Harvard production, the 22-year-old first year student Cruz played the McCarthy stand-in, the self-serving, slave-owning Reverend Samuel Parris.

"It's a tremendous play," Cruz is quoted as saying in a 2013 Boston Globe article. "And it is obviously a lesson against jumping to conclusions and being unfairly and harshly judgmental of others. That is a lesson I wish a lot more in Washington would take heed of."

Cruz admits to having celebrated opening night a bit too enthusiastically, spending the cast party imbibing so much Everclear, a powerful grain alcohol, that the seriously hungover actor had to be coaxed by his cast-mates into going onstage for the second performance.

Another video, not available at this time, shows Cruz at that performance sitting on a bench onstage, his head buried in his hands for nearly five minutes straight. After meekly delivering a line, he walked off stage in the middle of the scene, forcing cast members to improvise around his departure. He never returned.

"I was not feeling well, which was unfortunate," Cruz said. "The young are not renowned for their wisdom. And that's certainly not a principle from which I was exempt."

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