BY ARTHUR MILLER
CAST (in order of appearance)
|Reverend Parris |Fred Stewart | |Betty Parris |Janet Alexander | |Tituba |Jacqueline Andre | |Abigail Williams |Madeleine Sherwood | |Susanna Walcott |Barbara Stanton | |Mrs. Ann Putnam |Jane Hoffman | |Thomas Putnam |Raymond Bramley | |Mercy Lewis |Dorothy Joliffe | |Mary Warren |Jennie Egan | |John Proctor |Arthur Kennedy | |Rebecca Nurse |Jean Adair | |Giles Corey |Joseph Sweeney | |Reverend John Hale |E.G. Marshall | |Elizabeth Proctor |Beatrice Straight | |Francis Nurse |Graham Velsey | |Ezekiel Cheever |Don McHenry | |Marshal Herrick |George Mitchell | |Judge Hathorne |Philip Coolidge | |Deputy Governor Danforth |Walter Hampden | |Sarah Good |Adele Fortin | |Hopkins |Donald Marye |
A small upper bedroom in the home of Reverend Samuel Parris, Salem, Massachusetts, in the spring of the year 1692.
There is a narrow window at the left. Through its leaded panes the morning sunlight streams. A candle still burns near the bed, which is at the right. A chest, a chair, and a small table are the other furnishings. At the back a door opens on the landing of the stairway to the ground floor. The room gives op an air of clean spareness. The roof rafters are exposed, and the wood colors are raw and unmellowed.
As the curtain rises, Reverend Parris is discovered kneeling beside the bed, evidently in prayer. His daughter, Betty Parris, aged ten, is lying on the bed, inert.
At the time of these events Parris was in his middle forties. In history he cut a villainous path, and there is very little good to be said for him. He believed he was being persecuted wherever he went, despite his best efforts to win people and God to his side. In meeting, he felt insulted if someone rose to shut the door without first asking his permission. He was a widower with no interest in children, or talent with them. He regarded them as young adults, and until this strange crisis he, like the rest of Salem, never conceived that the children were anything but thankful for being permitted to walk straight, eyes slightly lowered, arms at the sides, and mouths shut until bidden to speak. His house stood in the “town”—but we today would hardly call it a village. The meeting house was nearby, and from this...