Click on the links below for material documenting a Brechtian production of The Crucible by Arthur Miller, staged in October 2017 at the University of York by student actors. You may wish to start with the ‘act-by-act guide’ as an orientation before engaging with other aspects of the production.
Act-by-Act Guide: a series of visual guides through the acts with extensive annotations and explanations of the approaches taken to stage the play in a Brechtian theatre
Clips: a selection of filmed clips of key sequences
Why The Crucible?: how the production sought to address some very nagging problems concerning the play
Reading Miller against the Grain: how the production reinterpreted the material
The Role of the Fabel: an act-by-act account of the interpretive strategies employed
Dialectics and Contradictions: a discussion of some of the central contradictions in the play and how the production dealt with them
Criticising Patriarchy: a consideration of how historicization can work critically in performance
Rejecting Miller’s Stage Directions: Miller loads his text with directions that prove unhelpful for Brechtian theatre; here is how the production proposed a different approach
Managing Multiple Figures on Stage: how does a Brechtian production that extols clarity and precision try to preserve these qualities when there are so many people on stage?
Comedy, Historicisation and the Critical Attitude: how and why the production developed comic moments in a play that is often noted for its seriousness
A (somewhat) Shouty Production?: reconciling emotional performances with Brecht’s wariness regarding too close a relationship between stage and auditorium
Speaking in British English and casting Tituba: a discussion of two pragmatic production decisions
Costume Design: how and why the cast were dressed as they were
Set Design: a commentary on the scenic ideas of the production
Sound Design: a commentary on the production’s soundtrack