Title

The Crucible

Creator

Hayley Ryan

Playwright

Arthur Miller

Production Team

Director: Doug Scholz-Carlson Scenic Design: R. Eric Stone Costume Design: Hayley Ryan Lighting Design: Jess Fialko Sound Design: Jacob Sikorski Stage Manager: Katy McGlaughlin

Theatre

E.C. Mabie Theatre

Date

Fall 2017

Comments by the Designer

Written during the 1950s and through the lens of McCarthyism, The Crucible is a play about the Salem witch trials, which took place in 1692. It is a play that examines the falseness, the deceptions, and the ignorance that surrounded the Salem witch trials. Since the play was written during a time in which unsubstantiated claims were at a height, it is clear that the play was created as an allegory. When reading the play in a modern context, it is startling to realize how our modern society is also reflected in 1692 Massachusetts. For my costume design, I chose to forgo the historical silhouettes in favor of modern silhouettes in order to show the allegory in the play. For the women, I drew inspiration from Mennonite and Amish communities. The long sleeve and skirt hem lengths with the high necklines suggest a more conservative and restrictive society. The only character that breaks this convention is Abigail, who has short sleeves and a lower neckline, as she is the freest spirit. In contrast to the women’s conservative silhouette, I designed the men with a modern suit silhouette. The suits are intended to show a power structure with men at the top and women at the bottom.

Two costume details that I chose to incorporate from the late 1600s were the color palette and fabric choices. For the women, I found inspiration in period paintings that showed women and men in warm earthy tones such as yellow, pink, and orange. During my research I found that the color blue was associated with servitude and thus I designed Tituba in a blue dress. All of these dyes in the 17th century would have been obtained from natural sources, thus I wanted the colors to look as though they could have been hand dyed. Secondly, I chose to use natural fabrics such as raw silk, cotton, and linen, to mimic the texture and the availability of the natural fabrics used in the 17th century.

Overall, I designed The Crucible with modern silhouettes to strengthen the allegory of the play while also maintaining period details such as color and fabric choices.

Student Type

MFA

Rights

Copyright 2017 Hayley Ryan

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