In its commentary on the American way, The Crucible analyzes our hypocrisy, intolerance, jealousy and indescribable capacity for smallness of character. However, at its core, The Crucible is a play that uses history to warn us of our inevitable future. Thus, I found it fitting to view it in a way that emphasizes the eeriness in which so little has changed.
There were two drafts of The Crucible before I arrived at the final version. One was set in the ghost town of Salem a millennium from now surrounded by the dust and sand that would so characterize the final draft. The second draft was set in a room fashioned to look one-part Puritan courthouse and one-part ominous wooden hell mouth. The best parts of these two drafts were then combined and re-worked into the final version: the inside of a Puritan building reduced to dust by the passage of time, leaving nothing but a sagging, toothy wooden spine.
The Crucible taught me to lean as heavily as I liked into the themes of the play and to dare to freshen up an American classic for a new, younger audience. It was also informative in that we were tasked to design for a theater in California: The PCPA Marian Theater. This meant we had to have a sharper visualization of the space, double checking our math and geometry in a way we take for granted when the theater is next door.
Copyright 2015 Alex Casillas