Lady Justice should be blind, but sometimes society’s hysteria skews her vision. Such was the case during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692-93 which take centerstage in Invictus Theatre Company’s revival of The Crucible.
“While written as a response to Senator McCarthy’s persecution of suspected communists in 1950s America, The Crucible has parallels to today’s modern political climate, says the play’s director Charles Askenaizer. “The need for critical thinking in response to rhetoric communicated through public oratory, media (mass or social), or one-to-one conversations; remains essential. We hope our production of this play will spark vigorous discussions of this challenge.”
Jeff Award-winner Mark Pracht portrays John Proctor, a 15th century farmer accused of witchcraft by his jilted lover in the Arthur Miller classic. Devon Carson and Michaela Voit play Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams, respectively.
The cast also includes James Turano, Joseph Beal, Charlie Diaz, Frank Nall, Lea Grace Biwer, Laura Coleman, Ellie Duffey, LaTorious Givens, Barbara Roeder Harris, Orion Silvertree, Erin Stewart, Freya Trefonides, and LaTorious Givens as the Barbados-born slave Tituba, who was coerced into confessing she trafficked with the devil.
The Crucible performs through June 11 at the Reginald Vaughn Theater. For tickets, visit InvictusTheatreco.com. A 1996 film adaptation starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, and NIU alum Joan Allen can be seen via Apple TV, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Vudu, Redbox, DIRECTV, AMC on Demand.
On May 22, The Trial of Socrates takes place at Chicago’s Harris Theater. Award-winning TV personality Andrea Darlas hosts the live event which re-creates ancient Greece’s most famous court case: The People vs. Socrates.
Motion picture actor (The Shape of Water, The Breakfast Club) and Second City alum John Kapelos will step into the sandals of the famed philosopher who was accused of impiety to the gods and corruption of the youth in 399 BC.
Today’s judges presiding over the ancient trial are Hon. Joy V. Cunningham of the Illinois Supreme Court, Hon. Jorge Alonso of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and Hon. Anna Demacopoulos and Hon. Anthony C. Kyriakopoulos of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
The prosecution team includes attorneys Patrick Collins (King & Spalding), Tinos Diamantatos (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP) and Julie Porter (Salvatore Prescott Porter & Porter, PLLC). Attorneys defending Socrates are Robert A. Clifford (Clifford Law Offices), Dan K. Webb (Winston & Strawn) and Sarah King (Clifford Law Offices).
To learn more, visit NationalHellenicMuseum.org/trial.
Since this posting, an audience of 500 found Socrates “not guilty” during the National Hellenic Museum’s mock trial. Congratulations to the defense team led by Robert A. Clifford and Sarah King of Clifford Law Offices and Dan K. Webb of Winston & Strawn.