The Crucible

Speculative Set and Costume Design

The Crucible reflects upon the 1692 Salem Witch Trails and explores the themes of mass hysteria, fear and religious belief. Arthur Miller wrote the play to reflect upon the then modern times of the 1950s McCarthy Witch Trails, suggesting that the themes are repeated throughout history and are just as important today. It was my first instinct to bring the play into a more recent period of the 1990s were there was a significant rise in religious belief.

 
 

The hanging tree represents the forest which Salem is surrounded by; it was believed to be the devils land. The stones which are bound at the ‘roots’ of the tree represents the 10 commandments, as each commandment is broken, stones crumble through the cracks in the rope. The scale and suspension of the tree express the weight of fear and hysteria constantly pressing down upon the village. The textured design of the cyclorama illustrates ‘The Salem Witch Trials’ being a scar in history. Due to the curved surface of the cyclorama, the shadows of the tree are distorted throughout the play, giving an eerie and powerful atmosphere.

All costumes are uniformed representing the character’s strict and solemn lifestyle, along with informing the audience of their role within this world. The characters in the play strongly believe in witch craft, to make the audience understand this belief, physical representations of witchcraft will intermittently appear throughout the production.

Nottingham Playhouse Prize 2018

 
 

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