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Imagine you are directing a production of "The Crucible" - Describe how you would stage these scenes and how you would build up tension and emotion in your audience.

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Introduction

Hamish Livingstone In "The Crucible" there are many highly dramatic scenes where Miller creates a great deal of tension and emotion in the audience. Imagine you are directing a production of "The Crucible". Describe how you would stage these scenes and how you would build up tension and emotion in your audience. "The Crucible", by Arthur Miller, was written in America in the 1950s. It depicts an eye-opening analogy between the Salem witch-hunt in 1692 and the McCarthy communist trials in 1950s America. In fact, Miller used some of the exact recorded speech from the McCarthy trials in the script of "The Crucible". While watching "The Crucible" the audience should remember that the people of Salem were devotedly puritan, and so anything that contradicted the commandments, or any part of the Bible would be heavily frowned upon. And so, within the context of the play, could be turned in to signs of witchcraft by people manipulating the truth. At the end of Act III Elizabeth denies that Proctor has had an affair after Proctor has admitted to it. If she tells the truth it would have cast strong doubts across Abigail's accusations. ...read more.

Middle

During this I would make Proctor place his head in his hands, and the girls passing very discreet smirks between one another. When Hale says "[pointing at Abigail] This girl has always struck me false. She has-" and Abigail cuts him off. Here we again see how Abigail uses her position of power in the court. She suddenly cuts in about the "yellow bird" saying "You will not! Begone! Begone, I say!" this suddenly draws attention away from the people who are doubting her. The audience now sees not only how ruthless Abigail is, but that she is also very resourceful in a tight situation. I think the audience will see what Abigail is doing, so to enforce it I think she should almost lunge forward to a more prominent position in the courtroom. As soon as Abigail sees the yellow bird all the doubt is suddenly shifted from her to Mary. To emphasise this, when Abigail says, "Envy is a deadly sin Mary" I would have Danforth, Hawthorn, and Parris draw back from Mary, while Mary herself cringes in terror. This line also shows how vain and self-satisfied Abigail is. Here the fact that Abigail uses her beauty and vanity in an effort to make her lie more convincing should have alerted Danforth to her lies, or at least given them some clue to it. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Mary finally breaks saying, "Don't touch me-don't touch me" there should be a complete silence on stage and Proctor should whisper his line, "Mary!". TI think this will be very dramatic as it is such a sudden change from the mayhem before, so will shock the audience. I think the audience will realise quite quickly what is about to happen so there should be only a short pause before Mary's line "You're the Devil's man!". I think throughout this section there should be a physical representation of how Mary is going back to Abigail. So I think, if Mary is standing centre stage, the girls stage left, and Proctor stage right, as Proctor steps towards Mary saying "Mary, how-?" she should be backing away from Proctor towards Abigail. This should portray how Mary is leaving her alliance with Proctor. By this point the audience should have already assumed that Mary is returning to Abigail. I think Proctor should continue walking towards Mary, appealing to Hale, while Mary, backing away, directs her wild accusations at Danforth and Hawthorn, while occasionally gesturing to Proctor, perhaps showing that there is still some conflict within her. Mary's line "My name" is significant as the word "name" holds a lot of meaning throughout the play. ...read more.

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