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In collaboration with the PlayMakers Repertory Company’s production of The Crucible

OCTOBER 22, 2016

Artcruciblehur Miller’s 1953 play on the Salem witch trials, The Crucible, was written as an allegory of McCarthyism and the anti-Communist hysteria in the U.S. in the 1950s. Yet, more than sixty years later, this landmark work about social scapegoating remains provocative and timely. Professors Randall Styers and William Sturkey will provide historical context for both witch hunting in the early modern era, as well as Communist “witch hunting” in the U.S. in the 1950’s. These two contextual lectures will provide an excellent foundation for our presentation from director Desdemona Chiang and dramaturg Mark Perry who will discuss the ways the creative choices they made for the PlayMakers Repertory Company’s current production of The Crucible reinvigorate the play with a fresh look and renewed relevance in today’s world.

Update 9/28:

We’re pleased to announce that Vivienne Benesch, the Producing Artistic Director for PlayMakers will be joining the panel discussion to address theater as a metaphor for talking about the here and now.


Witch Hunting and Trials in the Early Modern Era

Randall Styers, Associate Professor and Chair of Religious Studies

How to Spot a Communist: The Meaning and Legacy of McCarthyism

William Sturkey, Assistant Professor of History

Fear Stokes Dangerous Fires: The Creative Process Behind Producing The Crucible

Desdemona Chiang, Director of PlayMakers’ production of The Crucible and Mark Perry, Lecturer in Dramatic Art and Dramaturg for The Crucible

Contemporary Relevance of Witch Hunts and The Crucible

A panel discussion with our speakers and Vivienne Benesch, Producing Artistic Director for PlayMakers 

Time & Cost

11:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, October 22, 2016. The tuition is $125 ($110 by Sept. 1). Tuition for teachers is $62.50 ($55 by Sept. 1). Teachers can also receive a $75 stipend after attending (click here for more information) and 10 contact hours for 1 unit of renewal credit. The optional lunch is $15.00.

For tickets to The Crucible, call the PlayMakers Box Office at 919-962-7529 or visit:

A limited number of tickets is available for the October 22 opening night performance.

For information about lodging click here.

Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.

For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

Register for this seminar.