National Players To Put On Show At Central Methodist

Performing ‘The Crucible’ April 16

April 5, 2019

By MAGGIE GEBHARDT / mgebhardt@centralmethodist.edu

The CrucibleCentral Methodist University will soon welcome back to campus the National Players of the Olney Theatre Center in Olney, Maryland.

Established in 1949, the National Players is America’s longest-running touring theatre company. The talented group will perform The Crucible by Arthur Miller at CMU’s Little Theatre on Tuesday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. The performance, which is sponsored by CMU’s Cultural Affairs Committee, is free and open to everyone.

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.

The Crucible is directed by Jason King Jones, Olney Theatre Center’s senior associate artistic director and artistic director of National Players.

Previous directing credits for National Players include: Othello, Hamlet, A Tale of Two Cities, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Of Mice and Men, Romeo and Juliet, Animal Farm, A Comedy of Errors, The Tempest and The Odyssey (which he also adapted).

In addition to productions at Olney Theatre Center, he has directed at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Boston University, InCite Arts Festival, Kennedy Center/ACTF, Shakespeare Center Los Angeles, NJ REP, Public Theatre of Kentucky.

“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,” Jones said. “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.”