Arthur Miller's The Crucible

at the Vancouver Playhouse

A Play for the Unpopular Minorities

by Ed Farolan

Artistic Director Susan Cox, also director of this play, says that the play reflects a "climate where people tend to assign blame, invent enemies, and create scapegoats to explain away their fears. It is easy and easier still to avoid problems or unpopuar minorities than to accept responsibility and seek solutions".

The play is symbolic of racism and discrimination not only in Canada but in other parts of the world.  Perhaps this is human nature.  We can't help but discriminate not onl;y racially but also socially.

Miller's moral and political convictions are reflected in Cox's direction:  religious and political hypocrisy, social injustice and man's cruelty to man.  Miller depicts in his play that the Western style of justice is a farce.  He wrote this play at a time when Senator McArthy was blacklisting writers as communists engaging in anti-American activities.

Miller's cynicism of the justice system comes through when Reverend Parris is depicted as the materialistic and hypocrital Pastor who is there to serve himself and his interests rather than the Almighty.

Director Cox's insight into Miller's play is exacting and faithful to the playwright's convictions.  The only negative thing I found about this play is that it was a bit too long.  It could have been trimmed to a maximum running time of two hours.