ACT ONE ( An Overture ) :
Open with a small bedroom in the home of Reverend Samuel Parris, in Salem, Massachusettts, in the spring of the year 1692
Reverend Parris already knelling beside his daughter’s bed for a whole night. Betty Parrish (age 10) lying on the bed, does not wake-up since the ‘incident’. Reverend Parris already called for the doctor to check-on her, but can’t find the source of strange illness happens to that child. Desperate and frighten by ‘another-cause’, Reverend Parris called for the help of Reverend Hale – who known had knowledge and ability to understand ‘strange condition’ ‘cause by uncommon source.
While waiting for his arrival, Reverend Parris asking his niece, Abigail Williams (age 17) – a beautiful young girl, orphan, and live by the mercy of his uncle, about the ‘incident’ that ‘cause Betty’s condition. Appearently, he discover his daughter, along with his black slave : Tituba, and Abigail with several girls, had dancing in the forest, doing something suspicious, like somekind ritual, praying, dancing with naked body. Betty collapsed and unconsious from then until now. But Abigail yet so determine that his uncle misconception all the act. They just dancing, like a somekind of sport, but never doing anything wrong (except again dancing and going inside the forbidden forrest). There’s no praying or even a naked person. She convince that Reverend Parris sees ‘nothing’ unusual.
After that, come Thomas Putnam and Ann Putnam, a wealthy family, used his money to build a higher position in Salem’s community. They came to announce that their daughter Ruth, also having a strange condition. Ann Putnam really believe it’s a work of evil, specially when she already give birth seven babies, and they all die, only Ruth who survive, and now she’s having sleep with eyes open, something walking around without knowing everything or everyone else. The Putnam’s pushed Reverend Parris to gather the people and give some explanations about the situation.
While the three adult leaving the bedroom, to pray with the villager, leave Betty with Abigail and Mercy Lewis (age 18) – Putnam’s servant. Abigail rush into Betty’s bed and trying to called and waking-up the girl. Betty suddenly opens her eyes, trying to scream and ‘talking nonsense’ about meeting her mother (her mother already past-away), she seems frightener with the ‘incident’ inside the forrest. Appearently, those girls really having ritual, dancing naked and drink blood, all because Abigail trying to makes ‘spells and curse’ Goody Elizabeth Proctor. Came along Mary Warren (age 17) – a naive, lonely girl, who also in the forrest, trying to blend and accepted by the girls. Now she so afraid with all the devil’s isue surrounding the village.
Through very short episode of histeria, Betty begin unconsious again, while John Proctor came to the room. He is a very attractive man, husband of Elizabeth Proctor. John Proctor work as a farmer, but had strange position in the society. He can be a fraud, never afraid to show what’s in his mind, never care so much with others. After Mercy and Mary leaving, there’s only Abigail and John Proctor in Parrish upper room. Abigail opened-up her-self on John Proctor. She determine that John should respons to her love and affection, and leave his wife for Abigail (now it’s more clear why Abigail, a very clever and persistent girl, can pursue all the girls to do ‘crazy-things’ like putts curse on Elizabeth Proctor)
While those two argue, Betty suddenly wake-up again and screaming, just as soon the ‘prayer and singing’ on psalm starting by his father and villager, downstairs. Everyone rush back in that room. Also enter Rebecca Nurse (age 72), an elderly who known in her good belief in God’s. She examine Betty’s condition for a while, and suggest that this girl leave for a while in peace, so she will back on her normal condition ( I think Rebecca sense that this girl only pretend or just scare, there’s nothing to do with Devil’s works ). Also enter Giles Corey (age 83) – an elderly who still had strong physick and married a younger wife. In this small room, there’s two main opponent, Rebecca Nurse and John Proctor does not believe the witchcraft issue, or even the Devil’s works like inside human’s body. And The Putnam strongly belief the opposite, pushed Reverend Parris who really desperate and feeling guilty of his sin, makes him believe there’s something else happens in Salem. If witchcraft is the simple explanation, he will accepted.
Then enter Reverend Hale – the man that believe can ‘exorcist’ the Devil among human. John Proctor leave immediately, since he didn’t believe such things others than stupid susperstition. Rebecca Nurse also leave after that, ‘cause she cannot bear the ritual that not pray fo the God’s help. As soon the two people left the room, Reverend Hale start the ceremony, to exile the Demon that possesed Betty’s. By questioning Abigail that already scare with the situation, she finally mention Tituba – Parrish’s servant, a black woman from Barbados, that she’s the one who makes those girls do the conjure (a ritual calling up the dead’s soul). In that small room, all the wrong accusation makes by almost everyone else, named every one they didn’t like as the representative of the Demons. So all the witches must be hunt and punished, after their name mention by the victim and poor soul : Tituba, Abigail and Betty.
Then the curtain falls ...
Hale : Open yourself, Tituba – open yourself and let God’s holy light shine on you.Tituba : Oh, bless the Lord.Hale : when the Devil comes to you does he ever come – with another person? She stares up into his face. Perhaps another person in the village? Someone you know?Hale : Tituba. You must have no fear to tell us who they are, do you understand? We will protect you. The Devil can never overcome a minister. You know that, do you not?Tituba : Aye, sir, oh, I do.Hale : You have confessed your self to witchcraft, and that speaks a wish to come to Heaven’s side. And we will bless you, Tituba.
Books “THE CRUCIBLE”
( A PLAY IN FOUR ACTS )
Copyright Arthur Miller, 1952, 1953, 1954
Copyright renewed Arthur Miller, 1980, 1981, 1982
Introduction copyright © Christopher Bigsby, 1995
Published in Penguin Books 1995
Cover illustration by Jake Rajs/Photonica.