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.
Amara Berry ’12 truly embodies what it means to think boldly, mindfully and creatively. In October 2017, she was invited to give a Tedx Talk in Providence, Rhode Island, where she spoke on the legacy of her grandparents, how their work inspired her and the incredible work she is doing with our youth through The Sparkle Program.
We are pleased and excited to announce the appointment of Jennifer Liu as Webb’s Director of Parent Relations and Special Events effective November 1. In this position, Liu will oversee our parent relations program, which serves more than 750 current parents worldwide and an active volunteer network through our Affiliates parent organization.
An opportunity to pick the brain of award-winning author John Scalzi '87, is not one you want to miss. Discussing topics ranging from what exactly defines a burrito to what projects he currently has in production, there's never a dull moment with Scalzi.
For Webb sports fans who can’t attend a game, or if you’d like to follow along with the live stats and scores from our athletic contests, most of our home games will be covered live with video and play-by-play at The NFHS Network.
To learn more about working in independent schools and meet with school representatives about open positions, please join Webb and 30 other participants on Saturday, February 23 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City.