Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is a classic of the modern American theater, and like all classics, it becomes particularly relevant during certain moments in history. These days, the phrase “witch hunt” gets bandied about with some regularity, and brings up a dark moment in America’s past. The Salem Witch Trials of 1692, and Miller’s play, which is based on these events, have become a short-hand for a certain kind of mass hysteria born of fear. A fear that allows blind faith, money and power to ruinously override goodwill, common sense and decency. It is also a play about truth; who is allowed to declare it, and who is assumed to have it. More importantly, to my mind, it illuminates biases about those we assume to be truthful, and those we assume are incapable of telling the truth.
Most of us have read The Crucible at one point in our lives, and it has become part of our cultural vocabulary. The details get blurry, but a few key points remain: women get put to death for things they may or may not have done, John Proctor is a flawed but ultimately good man, Abigail Williams is a vengeful harlot, adolescent girls are prone to hysteria. At the start of the rehearsal process, before we read through it, I had the actors write down all of the things they remembered about the characters. Most of the comments adhered to the cultural mythology about the play. Yet as we began to explore the work and ran a fine-tooth comb through every line, action and date, we discovered that our assumptions often didn’t hold up to textual analysis. The actions of the characters on the page were often at odds with the stage directions. As we moved through the rehearsal process, we held fast to the dialogue, assumed nothing and questioned everything. The result is a modern day, modern dress Crucible. A Crucible that, like all classics, illuminates our current preoccupations. A Crucible that resonates with this moment in time.
Eshaana Sheth ’10 describes her short film, "The Butter Knife" as "a snapshot of modern, intercultural dating." It has won Best Romantic Comedy at the Los Angeles Film Awards and Top Shorts online film festival so far.
The president of the University of California, Janet Napolitano, announced today her intention to work towards guaranteed admission for all qualified state community college students to the UC system. This announcement follows Governor Jerry Brown and the state Legislature withholding $50 million in state funding this year--until among other things--the UC system admits one transfer for every two freshman systemwide at each of its undergrad campuses. Read more in the LATimes.
Alumni, family and friends are invited to join Head of Schools Taylor Stockdale and special guests for three events this April in New York City (April 11), Philadelphia (April 12) and London, England (April 14).
Once again, Webb athletes had a strong showing across the board during the 2018 winter season. Led by WSC soccer, which finished the season League Champions and with a deep run into CIF, both VWS and WSC athletics posted very positive results. VWS Water Polo also finished its league play in second place.
“It is always great each season to not only see our athletes and teams be successful on the field of play, but to see them learn and grow as individuals and part of a community,” said Director of Athletics Steve Wishek.