The Crucible

  • Date: May 17, 2024 - May 19, 2024
  • Time: 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM
  • Location: The Old Red Church, Standish

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Opera in the Pines presents the Maine premiere of Robert Ward’s The Crucible in an immersive theater experience that summons the audience as the jury of the infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692. When the women of Salem are accused of witchcraft, we witness the betrayal of an entire community; the ruthlessness of the prosecutors, the eagerness of neighbor to testify against neighbor, and the destructive power of socially sanctioned violence. This haunting reminder of witch hunts throughout history, that still exist in the present day, forces us to confront the fundamentals of human nature and question the systems by which power is sustained, challenged and lost.

The Crucible was commissioned in 1961 by the New York City Opera. With a libretto by Bernard Stambler, the opera is based directly on the Arthur Miller play and famously inspired by the McCarthyism of the 1950s. Miller implied that the Red Scare once again sacrificed innocent people to public hysteria. When he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1956, Miller refused to supply names of people he met years before at an alleged communist writers’ meeting. Ward’s operatic version went on to win the Pulitzer Prize and a New York Music Critics Circle Citation.

In this new adaptation where the roles of the classic play are reimagined, we will feature a cast entirely of Maine singers with professional ballet dancer, Grace Koury, of Portland Ballet. We are proud to include the professional debut of rising soprano and Standish native, Mia Love, in the role of Abigail Williams, and welcome back Abi Levis, a South Portland native, in the role of Elizabeth Proctor. Abi Levis has been recognized as one of the most exciting and versatile performers of her generation, performing with LA Opera, Utah Opera, Dallas Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and Deutsche Oper Berlin, among others.

Pre-Show: We are excited to offer a pre-show series for this production! Hosted in The Old Red Church prior to the performance, these exclusive gatherings will provide the unique opportunity to learn more about the historical context of the opera, or an inside look into adapting a classic for the modern audience. Arrive early for the opportunity to enhance your experience and mingle with your fellow Mainers! Please note this is an additional ticketed event.

  • Friday & Sunday: Emerson “Tad” Baker, Professor of History at Salem State University and author of A Storm of Witchcraft. Tad is well known in academic circles for his extensive work on witchcraft in Colonial America. He will discuss the past and present Maine connection to the Salem Witch Trials.

  • Saturday: Sable Strout, Artistic Director of Opera in the Pines and Production Director of The Crucible. Sable will discuss the process of adapting traditional operas for new spaces and audiences, what to anticipate during The Crucible, and the kind of work you can expect from Opera in the Pines in the future.

The performance will be 80 minutes, performed without intermission, and sung in English with English supertitles.

To learn more about our production and our cast, visit and follow us @operainthepines. Founded by three Maine-raised artists, Opera in the Pines is an alternative opera company committed to reinventing the opera experience. We strive to provide other Maine based artists with the opportunity to showcase their talents, utilize unconventional spaces, and create intimate performance experiences for both seasoned opera lovers and new audiences alike.


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The Old Red Church

55 Oak Hill Road
Standish  ME  04084 


Opera in the Pines

Lauren Yokabaskas