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National Players bring The Crucible to The Smith’s ArtSmart Educational Theatre series May 6

National Players, America’s longest-running touring theatre company, performs The Crucible by Arthur Miller at the Smith Opera House on Monday, May 6 at 10 a.m. and again at 7 p.m.

The performances are part of The Smith’s ArtSmart Educational Theatre series. The public is invited to attend both shows, but the morning performance is geared toward school groups.

This show is part of the Smith Center for the Arts’ ArtSmart Educational Theatre series, with generous sponsorship by Lyons National Bank and The Delavan Foundation.

In Arthur Miller’s classic, no one is safe as a reign of terror rips through 1692 Salem. Led by Abigail Williams, a group of girls who claim to have seen the Devil hurl out charges of witchcraft, sending those who won’t confess to the noose. When the accusing finger points to his wife, John Proctor is forced to confront his past and determine his future.

Miller’s searing drama, inspired by the McCarthy era, comes to vivid new life in the National Players’ bare-knuckle staging. A piercing look at what can happen when truth is bent to political convenience, The Crucible is a powerful story for our time.

“The Crucible has never been more relevant. Yes, Arthur Miller wrote it 65 years ago about a series of events that occurred in the 17th Century, but the play’s themes resonate with deafening clarity in America’s present moment,” says Crucible director Jason King Jones.

“Miller wrote The Crucible as a metaphor for the McCarthy hearings and the intense fear they created: fear that enemies were lurking in plain sight, fear that America’s identity as a nation was threatened from within, fear that the innocent were getting sucked into the vortex of McCarthy’s witch hunt. I believe we are in the midst of a gigantic cultural reckoning, one as yet unresolved. Americans across the political system have felt disempowered by events of the past few years, and that sense of disempowerment has led to a host of movements. In my observation these movements are all pieces of a greater reckoning that will continue to radically transform the landscape of American society.”

National Players, the professional touring program of Olney Theatre Center in Olney, Md., is an entirely self-contained and self-sustaining tour, meaning that the ensemble members who act in the plays also serve as the tour’s stagehands, electricians, truck drivers, wardrobe crew, stage managers and much more.

General admission tickets for The Crucible are $6.50 and can be purchased at the Smith Box Office or website. They will also be available at the door 30 minutes before the show. School groups that wish to attend should contact the Box Office to register at 315-781-5483 or boxoffice@thesmith.org.

The Smith Center for the Arts, stewards of the historic Smith Opera House, provides diverse arts and educational enrichment opportunities year-round for Finger Lakes residents and visitors. The Smith Opera House is at 82 Seneca St. in Geneva, NY. Box Office hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. For more information, call 315-781-5483 during box office hours or visit www.thesmith.org.