A new take on ‘The Crucible’ at Salem Theatre Company

A Tom Jefferies painting , on exhibit in Marblehead.
A Tom Jefferies painting , on exhibit in Marblehead.

PAST AND PRESENT: Salem Theatre Company kicks off its season with Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” a play about the witchcraft trials in old Salem, through Oct. 19.

Director John Fogle, who also staged the theater’s productions of the play in 2003 and 2007, said it “brings the compelling writing of Mr. Miller and Salem’s very own dark history together in one place.”

“While ‘The Crucible’ depicts events in this very community over 300 years ago, what speaks to me now is its indictment of extreme theocracy — a force that runs rampant in our world today,” said Fogle, artistic director of the theater company. “The play charts a course from the unthinkable to the inevitable with chilling clarity and power. It moves with the force of a tsunami.”


The play’s 20-member ensemble is led by Dave Rich, Linda Goetz, and Julia Short as John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor, and Abigail Williams, respectively.

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“Our patrons will also enjoy a reimagined use of our space for ‘The Crucible,’ with the action set within a forest of birch trees,” Fogle said. “In fact, the forest, where the Puritans believed the devil lurked, will become a virtual character in our production. It will bring a totally new look to the Salem Theatre Company theater.”

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 5 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $25, $20 for senior citizens, $10 for students.

Call 866-811-4111 or visit

EXISTENTIAL TIME TRAVEL: “Kafka in Tel Aviv,” a new play by an assistant professor at Salem State University, runs Thursday through Oct. 20 at the college’s Callan Studio Theatre.


The play was written by Peter Sampieri, with original puppet design by professor Jane Hillier-Walkowiak.

Through a bizarre series of events, Franz Kafka’s papers end up in the hands of a Tel Aviv woman who won’t let anyone in to see them.

Meanwhile, Israel and Germany are locked in a political battle over which country owns the priceless lost works. The story leaps back and forth in time from Kafka’s Prague to contemporary Tel Aviv, building to the final question: Who owns a work of art — the creator or the viewer?

Featured actors are James Wechsler and Taylor Botticielli.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sunday.


Tickets are $15; $10 for students and senior citizens. Call 978-542-6365 or visit

AUTHOR’S CORNER: Photographer Dorothy Monnelly speaks about her recent book, “For My Daughters,” at the Ipswich Public Library 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The poetry that inspired the book was written largely between 1920 and 1945 by the photographer’s mother, also named Dorothy. Monnelly’s corresponding images span 17 years of her long career in large-format black-and-white photography. They lead readers from the lava fields of Hawaii and the kelp-strewn coast of California to Acadia, Maine, and from the great deserts and landscapes of the country’s national parks to Monnelly’s home, the salt marsh of Ipswich.

IN LOCAL GALLERIES: A month-long exhibit of paintings by Tom Jefferies of Swampscott opens with a reception from noon to 2 p.m. today at The Stetson Art Gallery in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead. Jefferies was born in Bath, England, in 1973 into a family of artists. He studied design and business in the United Kingdom before moving to Boston in 2000, where he worked in the publishing industry for more than 10 years. He now paints fulltime. . . . The Cape Ann Artisans annual fall studio tour is Saturday through Monday. The self-guided tour along the coastline of Gloucester and Rockport is an opportunity to meet 26 professional artists and see their work in the setting in which it was created. The work includes pottery, painting, sculpture, photography, mosaics, jewelry, hand-made glass beads, weaving, and block printing. Several of the artists demonstrate their working process during the tour. Brochures with route maps are available at the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, the Rockport Information Booth on Route 127, and at the studios, which are marked with a magenta banner.

Items can be sent to wdkilleen@