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For theatre lovers it’s great to see a show that gets you into the holiday spirit--one that makes you want to decorate your house, bake some goodies, put on some tunes, and pull out your favorite witch’s hat. Yes, Halloween is happening, and lucky for the folks in Butler Township, Pennsylvania, National Players are presenting The Crucible tonight at Butler County Community College’s Succop Theater. There’s still time to get your tickets and find your favorite Halloween costume because, yes, the folks at Butler County Community College (BC3) are hosting a Halloween costume contest; a $50 restaurant gift card awaits the winner. You can read more about the contest here --> Witch costume to wear? Halloween night contest set before “The Crucible” at BC3

I’m not sure a Halloween costume contest was what Arthur Miller had in mind when he sat down to write The Crucible, but it strikes me that if the folks at BC3 pitched a contest to “Dress up as your favorite Communist” that idea would have fallen flat.

Regardless, Arthur Miller channelled the terror of a nation in The Crucible. But the terror wasn’t the witches of Salem. It was the potential enemy living next door, hiding in plain sight, corrupting children’s minds through deviant entertainment, infiltrating the government. In 17th-century Salem, as in 21th-century America the fear was palpable, and it drove rational people to irrationally destroy each others lives. Fear has a way of making people do stuff like that.

So, witches costumes aside, The Crucible reminds us how ugly we can be to one another.

For seventy years Olney Theatre Center’s National Players touring company has been travelling across the US, performing for communities like Butler Township.

Learn more about National Players here

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