A Tony Award-winning play that has been revived on Broadway twice in the past decade is coming to Thomasville, presented by a brand-new theatre company. Phoenix Theatre will present Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” as its inaugural production on the weekends of July 26 and August 2 at the Storefront Theatre at 117 S. Broad St. in Thomasville.
“The Crucible” first won acclaim in 1953, when it won Tony Awards for Best New Play and Best Lead Actress. Since then, revivals of the play were nominated multiple times, including Best Revival of a Play, and Best Leading Actor/Actress nominees for Laura Linney and Liam Neeson.
The story is set in 1692, amidst the hysteria and tragedy of the Salem witch trials. However, director Erin Grubbs sees the message of the play as a timeless one.
“Miller wrote the play in the early 1950s. He admittedly was addressing the McCarthy era, America’s modern witch hunt in which members of the entertainment community were targeted and even brought to trial and prosecuted for being suspected communist party sympathizers,” Grubbs said.
When asked why he chose “The Crucible” for Phoenix Theatre’s first production, Grubbs, 30, said that the seed of it goes way back.
“The play was required reading in high school, and its impact struck deep,” he said. “The character of Abigail was just so evil yet deceptively led so many unsuspecting people in a tragic direction through ignorance, fear, and hysteria. ‘The Crucible’ is often called a historical drama, but I see it more as a political one, with real cautions for today’s world.”
The founders of Phoenix Theatre may be familiar faces to Thomasville and Tallahassee audiences. Hananel Jackson, 30, grew up on Thomasville stages, having performed with multiple area theatre groups, including TOSAC, Theatre Tallahassee, Brookwood School, Theatre A La Carte, Quincy Music Theatre and Valdosta State Theatre Department. Jackson also plays a role in “The Crucible.” Grubbs, Phoenix Theatre co-founder and director of the current production, The Crucible, is a graduate of Florida State University School of Theatre and has also appeared on local stages in Tallahassee, Thomasville, and Quincy. Grubbs has toured professionally with Children’s Stage Adventures of Sullivan, N.H. and taught acting classes in various places throughout the U.S.
Other cast members of “The Crucible” may be familiar faces to area theatregoers. They include Caleb Goodman, Peyton Hodges, Emmy Tancsics, Carol Kelly, Donna Mavity, Maggie Flowers, Bill Bass, Alex Bass, David Kennedy, Joseph Edwards, Raven Edwards, Chae’lla Coles, Alyssa Serine, Autumn Clarke, Tiffany Evitts, Brianna Beach and Marshall Singletary.
Opening night for the play is Friday, July 26 with shows also on Saturday and Sunday. “The Crucible” continues the following weekend, August 2-4. Fridays and Saturdays are at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. The Storefront Theatre is located at 117 S. Broad St. in Thomasville. Performances are Tickets are $12 and may be bought in advance at www.yourphoenixtheatre.com or at the door.
July 26-28, Aug 2-4
Phoenix Theatre presents
117 S. Broad St.
Reserve and buy online at www.yourphoenixtheatre.com