Scenic Designer: Alex Casillas
Comments by the Designer
It would be impossible to sum up The Crucible in one pitiful sentence. In its commentary on the American way, it 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 eerie way 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 ruined 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 Marion 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