Muse Project stages “Crucible”

On Saturday, Nov. 4 and Sunday, Nov. 5, The St. Olaf Muse Project performed its fall show, a production of Arthur Miller’s classic play, “The Crucible.” The company performed their show in Tomson 280 lecture hall.

The St. Olaf Muse Project is one of three student theater organizations on campus. The group specializes in feminist theater and gendered performance, often playing with the implications of casting women in traditionally male roles.

“The Crucible” marked a change for the org’s policy. In the past, casts for Muse Project shows were limited to only actors who identified as female ever since its first show, Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” However, this semester the group began allowing people of all genders to be part of the show as well.

This semester also saw the Muse Project venture into much more contemporary material for its productions. Though “The Crucible” was written 54 years ago, it strikes as relatively modern in contrast with last year’s performances of Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata” and Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” It also stands out from these previous shows by being the first dramatic play by an org that had until now leaned heavily towards comedy.

Though in its own time, the play was written as a commentary on McCarthyism and the politicized witch hunt of the HUAC hearings during the Red Scare, the production’s co-directors – Noah Letscher ’20 and Emily Schrader ’20 – hoped to use the show to explore the gender norms of plays written in the 50s Broadway era.

The Muse Project has yet to announce its spring production but if it keeps to its traditions of the past couple years, it is likely to be a play by William Shakespeare.