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The Crucible
The Crucible

KNOXVILLE — The School of Music at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, presents the UT Opera Theatre and UT Symphony Orchestra in Robert Ward’s “The Crucible.”

The Pulitzer Prize-winning opera based on the play by Arthur Miller is a dramatization of the Salem witchcraft trials that took place in the Province of Massachusetts Bay during 1692 and 1693.

Directed by Carroll Freeman and conducted by Kevin Class, with the libretto by Bernard Stambler, “The Crucible” will be performed three times: 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13; 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14; and 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, at the Bijou Theatre, 803 S. Gay Street.

Miller wrote the play as a response to McCarthyism, when the U.S. government blacklisted accused communists. Miller himself was to be questioned by the House of Representatives’ Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956 and convicted of “contempt of Congress” for failing to identify others present at meetings he had attended. Several parallels exist between the House Un-American Activities Committee’s rooting out of suspected communists during this time and the 17th-century witch-hunt portrayed in the play.

“Frankly, such extremism is even apparent now in our own current society…from both sides,” said Freeman. “What better time to become reacquainted with this tragic story!

“But the reason I’m doing this opera now has nothing to do with politics. It’s because I could get my hands on a good set at a price that I could afford for an opera that utilizes a lot of singers.”

Ward’s opera has 21 singing roles, many of which are double-cast to provide singing opportunities for as many students as possible.

For more information about “The Crucible,” visit

Prices for general admission are $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens 60+, and $5 for students, plus applicable fees. (This production includes adult topics and is not recommended for children under the age of 13.) Tickets can be purchased at Tickets Unlimited outlets online by calling (865) 656-4444, (865) 684-1200.

Sponsored by WUTK 90.3 FM, WUOT 91.9 FM and the UT Cultural Affairs Board. For more information call (865) 974-8935.

C O N T A C T :

Donna Hundley (865-974-8935,

Kristi Hintz (865-974-3993,