CAMARILLO SKYWAY PLAYHOUSE
ANNOUNCES AUDITIONS FOR
By Arthur Miller
Directed by Brian Robert Harris
Produced by Laura Comstock and Todd Tickner
Using the historical and controversial subject of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials, “The Crucible” presents an allegory of events from the McCarthy Hearings of the 1950’s. Reason and fact become clouded by irrational fears and the desire to place blame for society’s problems on others, especially women. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Drama from 1953, it is still a show with timely themes. Death threats, alcoholism, a woman’s place in society, truth vs. lies, adultery, rich vs. poor, those in power and those not, faith in God… all leading to an ending like no other. It is still considered to be one of the most powerful and important works in American drama.
AUDITION INFO: Auditions will take place at Camarillo Skyway Playhouse February 10th and 11th at 7 PM-10 PM, with callbacks on February 13th at 7 PM-10 PM. All ethnicities encouraged to audition. Please bring a headshot/resume along with any potential conflicts. Auditions and callbacks will consist of readings from the script; sides will be made available on our website. This is a NON-UNION, NON-PAYING production. Performances are April 5th – May 5th, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 2 PM with a possible Thursday performance added. No appointment required – open auditions. Any questions can be sent to the director, Brian Robert Harris, at email@example.com.
ALL ROLES OPEN
- JOHN PROCTOR – a skeptic, 35-40. A hardhanded, masculine, unexpectedly brainy farmer who has no patience for superstitious notions, which makes him a dangerous man in superstitious times. Believes in God – but it is his God, not yours, no matter what resemblance the two may bear. Despises the powerful and (mostly) stands for the weak. Though he is the protagonist of our story, he is by no means perfect. His faults and flaws and grievous errors are a deep shame to him, and drive him to desperate measures to purify himself in the face of his society and his God.
- ELIZABETH PROCTOR – a believer, 35-40. A patient woman whose patience has met its end and then been revived. We meet her just after the revival. Loves her husband John with the kind of love that has been tested by fire, the kind that can only be when you know a man for all he is, the good and the bad, and you choose him anyway. That said, there have been trespasses, and she has not forgiven him yet. A decent, God-fearing woman, but she can sometimes have a cold demeanor, and given what she’s been through, she can hardly be blamed. Her faith is steel.
- ABIGAIL WILLIAMS – a liar, to play 17. A bright, desperate girl who has been badly mistreated by Proctor and is seeking a remedy. That quest will have thunderous and bloody consequences for her, for him, and for history. Abigail is frequently played as a villain. We are not interested in a villainous Abigail. We are interested in an antagonistic Abigail, and a determined one, and a precocious, dangerous one. But not a villainous one. She must be thought of as a young woman with extraordinary charismatic powers who does not necessarily realize the gravity of her choices until she’s already committed to them.
- REVEREND SAMUEL PARRIS – a politician, 45-55. A weak, terrified preacher who has taken a job that’s had three predecessors in six years, and which he is not temperamentally suited for. Anxious, vain, argumentative. Concerned for his reputation above all things. It is difficult to blame him. His reputation is his currency and only form of survival. Pity and empathy are luxuries he does not believe he can afford. He is bright enough to see that his humanity is being compromised in this struggle. He is not, however, strong enough to do the right thing.
- REVEREND JOHN HALE – an exorcist, 35-45. An eager, courageous warrior in the battle against the Devil. Believes wholeheartedly in the spirit war, but maintains enough general skepticism to avoid losing his head. Sort of a demonology nerd. Knows everything about the Devil and his signs, has seen and caught witches all up and down the coast of New England. Possesses all of the pity and empathy that Parris does not, and is quietly concerned about the viability of this witch hunt from early on.
- GILES COREY – A hero, 70-80. Tough and stubborn to a decided fault, his farm neighbors Proctor’s, and they are frequently to be found either arguing or in unbreakable alliance. He possesses a wry sense of humor and a withering skepticism of most authority. Giles is the most contentious (and litigious) man in Salem, and has made a lot of enemies as a result. An old-timer, he is tremendously vulnerable to superstition, a trait that causes the tragedy in Salem to land directly at his front door, and to his credit, he spends the entire play trying to redeem his horrible mistake.
- THOMAS PUTNAM – A thief, 45-55. The wealthiest, most powerful man in Salem, he owns an immense amount of land, much of which was not his to begin with. He has a habit of acquiring other people’s property through legal but unethical means. Allied with Parris, whom he installed as reverend. Has faced an unreasonable amount of tragedy in his life. His response to grief has been to acquire more wealth. His daughter is among the witches’ alleged victims. Believes the Devil is loose in Salem … but also profits from the sale of the accused’s land, which must not be overlooked.
- ANN PUTNAM – A mother, 40-50. She has been driven to the ragged edge of sanity from having lost seven children in infancy, and now her sole living child has fallen ill. Like many women who have survived such a harsh ordeal, she wants answers (to the point of risking her soul and reputation by dabbling in witchcraft herself to get them), and she believes she has found them in the accusations circling Salem. She is, like so many in this place and time, desperate. She is also angry, bitter, and suspicious, and she instinctively makes her husband Thomas’s enemies her own.
- MARY WARREN – a witness, to play 17. A shy, modest, and retiring introvert, servant to the Proctors. Abigail’s opposite in nearly every respect. A participant in the inciting incident that began this maelstrom of fear, she knows the truth at the heart of Abigail’s great lie, and is dangerous to Abigail’s plans for that reason. She has kind instincts, but her fear prevents her from being as decent as she might like to be. In the end, Abigail’s machinations break her spirit, too. Essentially a gentle spirit bound up in catastrophic events, unable to escape the pull of fate.
- DEPUTY GOVERNOR THOMAS DANFORTH – a judge, 50-60. Authoritative, unyielding. A powerful man who is used to being treated that way. He is not entirely made of stone. He has empathy, especially for the alleged victims. But mostly, he is a disciplined and practical person who is seeking what is functionally a political victory through these trials, and he is determined to get it. Oversees the witch trial, and is a genuine believer in the accusations. Sadly, when it is made clear to him that a horrible mistake may have been made, his instinct is to cover it up, not to bring it to light.
- TITUBA – A slave, 20-60, Native American or African-American. Subservient, homesick, nurturing. Tituba has been, up until now, a nearly perfect servant. Like any person in her position, she’s had little choice in the matter. But she does have her own mind, and in her mind she is free, and she terribly misses her home of Barbados, and terribly resents being stolen from that place. She teaches the witch criers traditional Barbados folk magic, and in so doing inadvertently starts the witch hunt. Whether she does so out of resentment, homesickness, or love is an important and tragic question.
- REBECCA NURSE – a saint, 70-80. Revered up and down the small world of Puritan New England for her fundamental, true Christian decency, Rebecca is one of those rare icons who lives up to the hype. Midwife and mother to all, she is genuinely loving and kind and patient, an important counterpoint to the hypocrisy, greed, and false religion driving the witch hunt. She is also not buying this witch garbage for a second. To her credit, she sees through it and calls it out immediately. That honesty dooms her – but she faces it like a Christian martyr.
- FRANCIS NURSE – a husband, 70-80. Cut much from the same cloth as Proctor. A stoic, hardhanded man. Unlike Proctor, he has a streak of deep kindness and a profound Christian faith, in every respect a match for his wife Rebecca. When she is taken into custody, he partners with Proctor and Corey to obtain her release.
- MERCY LEWIS – a sycophant, to play 17. A sly, cruel, walking misnomer, Mercy has little to give anyone. She is Abigail’s best soldier in the witch hunt lie, and plays her role with tremendous drama. Takes some pleasure, perhaps, in the attention that it gets her, and the power that results, but she is mostly doing it for her best friend Abigail, whom she worships.
- JUDGE HATHORNE – a shadow, 40-60. An esteemed and respected jurist in his own right, his presence is largely overshadowed by that of the charismatic and naturally authoritative Deputy Governor Danforth, a circumstance he spends a lot of time trying to remedy. He is not quite as clever as Danforth and certainly not as respected. What he lacks in presence, however, he makes up in passion. Judge Hathorne is a true believer, and continues to advocate for the witch criers even when it is clear that they’ve lied.
- BETTY PARRIS – a child, to play 10-12. Betty is possibly the most innocent of the witch criers. Reverend Parris’s daughter. She falls terribly ill at the beginning of the play, and the illness seems to be genuine. She begins witch crying in a feverish state once she comes out of her illness, and is later probably easily manipulated by her cousin Abigail. Requires a child actor of unusual skill and lack of inhibition.
- EZEKIEL CHEEVER – a tailor, 30-50. A meek and affable working man who morphs before our eyes into a pompous bureaucrat, this role is quite often overlooked, which is unfortunate, because he stands in for the average man of Salem. At first a decent, well-meaning fellow who is drafted into service as an official of the court, that position curdles his nature and he becomes one of the stiffest and least moveable proponents of the witch criers’ story.
- MARSHAL HERRICK – a cop, 25-70. Another ordinary citizen pressed into service, Herrick takes no joy in arresting the alleged witches and may even be unsure of their guilt – but he is determined to do his civic duty. This role may be combined with Hopkins, below.
- SUSANNA WALCOTT – a wallflower, to play 17. We do not know much about Susanna, but like the other witch criers, she obtains a great deal of power and influence. It stands to reason that this would be an attractive fate for someone who previously felt she was nobody.
- SARAH GOOD – a beggar, 30-60. A poor, desperate, drunken woman seen by the town as a burden. An easy target to be identified as a witch. She has only one scene, with Tituba in the town jail at the end, where she drunkenly begs Tituba to fly her to Barbados and away from her wretched fate. A brief but powerful role.
- HOPKINS – a jailer, 25-60. Drunken and miserable, hates his job, takes pity on the prisoners. May be combined with Marshal Herrick, above.
Presented with special permission from Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York