AUDITIONS for THE CRUCIBLE by Arthur Miller are
Monday, August 29th and Wed. Aug. 31st 3:45-6:00 pm
Thursday, September 1st (callbacks)
Auditions will be held in the Studio Theatre
Come to the Audition Information Meeting Thursday August 25 at lunch in the Studio Theatre!
REHEARSALS will be after school Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays starting September 7th.
PERFORMANCES are November 3,4,5,9 (matinee), 10, 11, 12, 2016
Please prepare: 1 minute dramatic monologue (classical or contemporary). You may perform two monologues if you wish. You do not need to be memorized (but it helps!). Cold readings are not acceptable.
Please read The Crucible in preparation for this audition. The play is realistic but requires size and ability to deal with heightened language. Play text is available online here:
You may audition with a selection from the play. You will be stopped if your audition exceeds three minutes.
CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS (in order of appearance)
REVEREND SAMUEL PARRIS – Minister of Salem’s church, disliked by many residents because of his power-hungry, greedy, and domineering personality. He is more concerned about his reputation than the well-being of his sick daughter Betty. He is also more concerned about his missing niece, Abigail Williams, and the money taken by her, than for the lives of the girls’ victims. He is paranoid of being thrown out of Salem for having a witch as a daughter.
BETTY PARRIS – Reverend Parris’s ten-year-old daughter. Betty falls into a strange stupor after Parris catches her and the girls dancing in the forest with Tituba.
TITUBA – Reverend Parris’s 40-year-old slave from Barbados. Tituba agrees to perform voodoo at Abigail’s request and tries to raise the spirits of Ann Putnam’s dead children at her request. In the first scene she is turned in as a witch by Abigail and under duress accuses four other Salem women. By the end she is troubled to mentally instability haunted by hallucinations and hysteria.
ABIGAIL WILLIAMS -Reverend Parris’s 17-year-old niece and the antagonist. Abigail was once the servant for the Proctor household, but Elizabeth Proctor fired her after discovering that Abigail had an affair with her husband, John. Smart, wily, a good liar, and vindictive when crossed, she uses her charismatic influence over the girls to gain power to supplant Elizabeth so she and John can marry. She flees Salem with Mercy Lewis during the trials.
SUSANNA WALCOTT – Susanna is a nervous and hasty girl, younger than Abigail. She works for Dr. Griggs. She participates in the ritual in the woods with Tituba.
ANN PUTNAM – Thomas Putnam’s wife, has given birth to eight children, but only Ruth Putnam survived. The other seven died before they were a day old, and Ann is convinced that they were murdered by supernatural means. Thomas Putnam – A wealthy, influential citizen of Salem, Putnam holds a grudge against Francis Nurse for preventing Putnam’s brother-in-law from being elected to the office of minister. He uses the witch trials to increase his own wealth by accusing people of witchcraft and then buying up their land.
MERCY LEWIS – Servant to the Putnams, Mercy is “a fat, sly, merciless girl of eighteen.” She proves to be Abigail’s closest friend, sticking by her through the end and fleeing Salem with Abigail during the trials.
MARY WARREN – A timid 17-year-old servant in the Proctor household and a member of Abigail’s group of girls. Easily influenced by those around her, she tries unsuccessfully to expose the hoax, but is thwarted by Abigail and the other girls. In order to save herself from their accusations of witchcraft, Mary ultimately recants her confession and turns on John Proctor.
JOHN PROCTOR – A local farmer, mid 30’s, who lives just outside town and the protagonist; Elizabeth Proctor’s husband. A stern, harsh-tongued man, John hates hypocrisy. His hidden sin—his affair with Abigail Williams—proves his downfall. When the hysteria begins, he hesitates to expose Abigail as a fraud because he worries that his secret will be revealed and his good name ruined.
REBECCA NURSE – Francis Nurse’s wife. Rebecca is a wise, sensible, and upright woman, pillar of the community, held in highest regard by most of the Salem community. Jealous of Nurse’s many children, the Putnam’s accuse her of witchcraft and, not only does she refuse to confess, but also she voices her opposition to the idea of witchcraft and falls victim to the hysteria.
GILES COREY – An elderly but feisty farmer in Salem, famous for his tendency to file lawsuits and friend of John Proctor. After Giles’s wife, Martha, is accused of witchcraft, and he is held in contempt of court and pressed to death with large stones. In spite of this torture, he refuses to plea (allowing his children to retain ownership of their property) and he refuses to accuse anyone else.
REVEREND JOHN HALE – A young minister, nearing forty, reputed to be an expert on witchcraft, committed Christian and hater of witchcraft, called in to Salem to examine Parris’s daughter. His critical mind and intelligence save him from falling into blind fervor. His arrival sets the hysteria in motion, although he later regrets his actions and attempts to save the lives of those accused, even begging some—like John Proctor—to lie and confess in order to live.
ELIZABETH PROCTOR – John Proctor’s wife. Elizabeth fired Abigail when she discovered that her husband was having an affair with Abigail. Elizabeth is supremely virtuous, but often cold, especially to John whom she can’t forgive.
FRANCIS NURSE – A wealthy, influential man in Salem. Nurse is well respected by most people in Salem, but is an enemy of Thomas Putnam and his wife.
EZEKIEL CHEEVER – An astute but morally weak man from Salem who acts as the witch trials’ court clerk. This upright friend to most residents of Salem quickly turns on former friends and those accused of witchcraft handling their arrests.
JUDGE HATHORNE – A judge who presides, along with Danforth, over the witch trials. 60’s, cold, ignorant and antagonistic, he denies any possible explanation other than witchcraft. Considered the “hanging judge” of the era.
JUDGE DANFORTH – Deputy Governor of Massachusetts and presiding judge at the witch trials. 60’s, honest, scrupulous and the ultimate authority, at least in his own mind, Danforth is convinced that he is doing right in rooting out witchcraft.
MARTHA COREY – Giles Corey’s third wife. Martha’s tendency to hide the books she reads lead to her arrest and conviction for witchcraft. Only her voice is heard from offstage as she testifies before the court.
GEORGE HERRICK- The marshal of Salem responsible for bringing defendants before the court. Sympathetic, he comes to disbelieve the witchcraft allegations and refuses to make further arrests. He was then charged himself, arrested and hanged.
SARAH GOOD – one of the first to be accused of witchcraft, she is poor and often rejected from society. Pregnant at her trial, she gives birth in jail but the babies dies. The ordeal has affected her to the point of mental instability. She appears only briefly in the last scene.
HOPKINS – Salem’s jailer, appears briefly in the last scene but does not speak.
ENSEMBLE – Men and Women
POSSIBLE AUDITION MONOLOGUES: Some possible audition monologues from The Crucible are below. There are many more to be crafted from the play! Don’t forget, you are NOT limited to the following, but you may use them.
MARY WARREN – I never knew it before. I never knew anything before. When she come into the court I say to myself, I must not accuse this woman, for she sleeps in ditches, and so very old and poor. But then- then she sit there, denying and denying, and I feel a misty coldness climbin’ up my back, and the skin on my skull begin to creep, and I feel a clamp around my neck and I cannot breathe air; and then (entranced) I hear a voice, a screamin’ voice, and it were my voice- and all at once I remembered everything she done to me! (Like one awakened to a marvelous secret insight) So many times, Mr. Proctor, she come to this very door, beggin’ bread and a cup of cider-and mark this: whenever I turned her away empty, she mumbled. But what does she mumble? You must remember, Goody Proctor. Last month-a Monday, I think–she walked away, and I thought my guts would burst for two days after. Do you remember it? And so I told that to Judge Hathorne, and he asks her so. “Sarah Good,” says he, “what curse do you mumble that this girl must fall sick after turning you away?” And then she replies (mimicking an old crone) “Why, your excellence, no curse at all. I only say my commandments; I hope I may say my commandments,” says she! Then Judge Hathorne say, “Recite for us your commandments!” (Leaning avidly toward them) And of all the ten she could not say a single one. She never knew no commandments, and they had her in a flat lie!
ELIZABETH PROCTOR – Spoke or silent, a promise is surely made. And she may dote on it now—I am sure she does—and thinks to kill me, then to take my place. It is her dearest hope, John, I know it. There be a thousand names, why does she call mine? There be a certain danger in calling such a name—I am no Goody Good that sleeps in ditches, nor Osburn drunk and half-witted. She’s dare not call out such a farmer’s wife but there be monstrous profit in it. She thinks to take my place, John. John, have you ever shown her somewhat of contempt? She cannot pass you in the church but you will blush…and I think she sees another meaning in that blush. I think you be somewhat ashamed, for I am there, and she so close. Go and tell her she’s a whore. Whatever promise she may sense break it John!! Break it!!!!!
ELIZABETH PROCTOR: She frightened all my strength away. She is no mouse no more. I forbid her go, and she raises up her chin like the daughter of a prince, and says to me “I must go to Salem, Goody Proctor, I am the official of the court!” Ay, it is a proper court they have now. They’ve sent four judges out of Boston, she says, weighty magistrates of the General court, and at the head sits the Deputy Governor of the Province. I wish to God she were mad. There be fourteen people in jaild now, she says. And they’ll be tried, and the court have power to hang them too, she says. The deputy governor promise’s hangin if they’ll not confess, John. The towns gone wild, I think—Mary Warren speak of Abigail as though she were a saint, to hear her. She brings the other girls into the court, and where she walks the crowd will part like the sea for Israel. And folks are brought before them and if Abigail scream and howl and fall to the floor, the person’s clapped in the jail for bewitchin her!!
ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: Now look you. All of you. We danced, And Tituba conjured Ruth Putman’s dead sisters. And that is all.. And mark this—let either of you breathe a word , or the edge of a word about the other things, and I will come on you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you. And you know I can do it, I saw Indians smash my dear parents heads on the pillow next to mine, and I have see some reddish work done at night, and I can make you wish you had never see the sun go down!!! Now you….Betty, sit up and stop this!!!
ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: I cannot bear lewd looks no more, John. My spirit’s changed entirely. I ought to be given Godly looks when I suffer for them as I do. Look at my leg. I’m holes all over from their damned needles and pins. The jab your wife gave me’s not healed yet, y’know. And George Jacobs comes again and again and raps me with his stick – the same spot every night all this week. Looks at the lump I have. Oh John, the world’s so full of hypocrites! They pray in jail, I’m told they pray in jail! And torture me in my bed while sacred words are coming from their mouths! It will need God Himself to cleanse this town properly. If I live, if I am not murdered, I will surely cry out others until the last hypocrite is dead! But John, you taught me goodness, therefore you are good. It were a fire you walked me through and all my ignorance was burned away. It were a fire, John, we lay in fire. And from that night no woman called me wicked any more but I knew my answer.
ABIGAIL WILLIAMS – But John, you taught me goodness, therefore you are good. It were a fire you walked me through, and all my ignorance was burned away. It were a fire, John, we lay in fire. And from that night no woman dare call me wicked any more but I knew my answer. I used to weep for my sins when the wind lifted up my skirts; and blushed for shame because some old Rebecca called me loose. And then you burned my ignorance away. As bare as some December tree I saw them all—walking like saints to church, running to feed the sick, and hypocrites in their hearts! And God gave me strength to call them liars, and God made men to listen to me, and by God I will scrub the world clean for the love of God. Oh John, I will make you such a wife when the world is white again! You will be amazed to see me every day, a light of heaven in your house, a…..Why are you cold?!
REBECCA NURSE: Pray, calm yourselves. I have eleven children, and I am twenty-six times a grandma, and I have seen them all through their silly seasons, and when it come on them they will run the Devil bowlegged keeping up with their mischief. I think she’ll wake when she tires of it. A child’s spirit is like a child, you can never catch it by running after it; you must stand still, and for love it will soon itself come back. Mr. Parris, I hope you are not decided to go in search of loose spirits. I’ve heard promise of that outside.
REV. JOHN HALE – Proctor, I cannot think God be provoked so grandly by such a petty cause. The jails are packed, our greatest judges sit in Salem now—-and hangin’s promised. Man, we must look to cause proportionate . Were there murder done perhaps, and never brought to light? Abomination? Some secret blasphemy that stinks to heaven? Think on cause, man, and let you help me to discover it. For there’s your way, believe it, there is your only way, when such confusion strikes upon the world. Let you counsel among yourselves; think on your village and what may have drawn from heaven such thundering wrath upon you all. I shall pray to God open up our eyes.
JUDGE DANFORTH – Mister Hale, believe me; for a man of such terrible learning you are most bewildered—I hope you will forgive me. I have been thirty-two year at the bar, sire, and I should be confounded were I called upon to defend these people. Let you consider, now, and I bid you all do likewise:– in an ordinary crime, how does one defend these people? Let you consider, now— and I bid you all do likewise — -in an ordinary crime, how does one defend the accused? One calls up witnesses to prove his innocence. But witchcraft is ipso facto, on its face and by its nature, an invisible crime. Therefore, we must rely upon her victims—–and they do testify, the children certainly do testify. As for the witches, none will deny that we are most eager for their confessions. Therefore, what is left for a lawyer to bring out? I think I have made my point. Have I not?
REV. SAMUEL PARIS – I cannot blink what I saw, Abigail, for my enemies will not blink it. I saw a dress lying in the grass and I thought I saw someone naked running through the trees. I saw it! Now tell me true, Abigail. Now my ministry’s at stake; my ministry and perhaps your cousin’s life….Whatever abomination you have done, give me all of it now, for I dare not be taken unaware when I go before them down there. Abigail, I have fought here three long years to bend these stiff-necked people to me, and now, just now when there must be some good respect for me in the parish, you compromise my very character. I have given you a home, child, I have put clothes upon your back—now give me upright answer:— your name in the town—–it is entirely white, is it not? Abigail, is there any other cause than you have told me, for Goody Proctor discharging you? It has troubled me that you are now seven months out of their house, and in all this time no other family has ever called for your service.
JOHN PROCTOR: Spare me! You forget nothing and forgive nothing. Learn charity, woman. I have gone tiptoe in this house all seven month since she is gone, I have not moved from there to there without seeking to please you, and still a ……an everlasting funeral marches round your heart. I cannot speak but I am doubted every moment judged for lies as though I come into a court when I come into this house!!! No More!!! I should have roared you down when first you told me your suspicion. But I wilted and like a Christian, I confessed. Some dream I had must have mistaken you for God that day, but your’re not, You’re not. Let you remember it. Let you look sometimes for the goodness in me, and judge me not.
JOHN PROCTOR – In what time and place? In the proper place, where my beasts are bedded. Eight months now, sir, it is eight months. She used to serve me in my house, sir. A man may think God sleeps, but God sees everything. I know it now. I beg you, sir, I beg you—see her what she is. My wife, my dear good wife took this girl soon after, sir, and put her out on the high road. And being what she is, a lump of vanity, sir (he starts to weep) Excellency, forgive me, forgive me. She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave! And well she might! For I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat! But it is a whore’s vengeance, and you must see it; I set myself entirely in your hands, I know you must see it now. My wife is innocent, except she know a harlot when she see one!!!
GILES COREY That bloody mongrel Wallcott charge her. Y’see , he buy a pig of my wife four or five year ago, and the pig died soon after. So he come dancing in for his money back. So my Martha she says to him “Walcott, if you havn’t the wit to feed a pig properly, you’ll not live to own many,” she says. Now he goes to court and claims that from that day to this he cannot keep a pig alive for more than four weeks because my Martha bewitch them with her looks!!
EZEKIEL CHEEVER The girl, the Williams girl, Abigail Williams, sir. She sat to dinner in Reverend Parris’ house tonight, and without word nor warnin, she falls to the floor. Like a struck beast, he says, and screamed a scream that a bull would week to hear. And he goes to save her, and stuck two inches into her flesh of her belly he draws a needle out. And demandin of her how she come to be so stabbed, she……testify it were your wife’s familiar spirit pushed it in. Tis hard proof!! I find here a poppet Goody Proctor keeps. I have found it, sir. And in the belly of the poppet a needle stuck. I tell you true, Proctor, I never warranted to see such proof of Hell.