The Good John Proctor Play Review

In the Arthur Miller play, The Crucible, the protagonist, John Proctor, is the epitome of a flawed hero. Though he eventually does the right thing, it takes him a while to get there.

The Good John Proctor, by Talene Monahon, is a new play that asks questions about the Salem Witch Trials and how the female characters are portrayed. Though Proctor is neither heard nor seen, his presence is felt.

Monahon’s narrative follows four young ladies who may or may not have been maligned by history and Miller’s retelling. The story is told from the perspective of our protagonists: Mary Warren (Brittany K. Allen), Betty Parris (Sharlene Cruz), Mercy Lewis (Tavi Gevinson), and Abigail Williams (Susannah Perkins).

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Though the early scenes feel a little disjointed and separate from the facts/myths of the Salem Witch Trials, the tale comes together in a way that is revealing and unexpected. In giving voices to these girls, the playwright is talking about the stereotyping and limiting characterizations that we have come to expect.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

The Good John Proctor is playing at the Connelly Theater in New York City until April 1st. Check the website for tickets and showtimes.


Throwback Thursday- 1990’s Daniel Day Lewis- The Crucible (1996) And The Last Of The Mohicans (1992)

Daniel Day Lewis is one of the best actors of his generation. A versatile, powerful actor, he disappears into his roles, making the audience forget that what they are seeing is fiction. But isn’t that the mark of any good actor?

Two of his best performances were in the 1990’s: The Crucible (1996) and The Last Of The Mohicans (1992).

Based on the classic Broadway play by Arthur Miller, The Crucible, based in Salem, Massachusetts, set during the infamous Salem Witch trials. John Proctor (Daniel Day Lewis) has foolishly had an affair with Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder), the teenaged niece of a local clergyman. When accusations of witchcraft begin to overtake the town and his wife Elizabeth (Joan Allen) is accused of witchcraft, John must face his neighbors and be able to look in the mirror at the same time.

This movie is extremely powerful.  While it was based on the hunt by the American government for communists in the early 1950’s, it holds up as the fight between just going along with the crowd or standing up for what you believe in.

Four years earlier, Daniel Day Lewis was the lead character in The Last Of The Mohicans, based on the book of the same name by James Fenimore Cooper. Hawkeye or Nathaniel Poe (Daniel Day Lewis) is a frontiersman in upstate New York during the French and Indian War. A romance is initiated with a British colonel’s daughter, but a war on both sides of the border brewing, Nathaniel must decide what is the best course of action for his life.

This movie is not as good as The Crucible, but it is a window into the world of rural pre-revolutionary era America that no longer exists.

I recommend both.

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