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Templeton High School Drama presents ‘The Crucible’ in 2019 

Halloween sets the stage for a story of witches and witchcraft

–Templeton High School Drama presents The Crucible, a powerful play that pulls together two of the darkest periods of American history: the Salem witchcraft trials in the 1690s and the McCarthy-era anti-Communist fervor of the 1950s. Both periods were notable for mass hysteria resulting in the destruction of lives and reputations.

Directed by Templeton theatre arts director Catherine Kingsbury, the play will be performed at the Templeton Performing Arts Center over two successive weekends: Thursdays through Saturdays, Nov. 7-9 and Nov. 14-16. Thursday and Friday evening performances begin at 7 p.m., with Saturday matinees at 4 p.m. Tickets are available at Adult tickets for The Crucible are $12 and student/senior tickets are $10 (all students and seniors 55+).

Halloween doesn’t end on October 31 at the TPAC this fall. Arthur Miller’s classic tale of mass hysteria stemming from petty grievances and false accusations takes place in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. Miller, however, was actually drawing a parallel between that dark period in American history and another dark period, the so-called Communist “witch hunts” of the 1950s, when the play was written, and its message continues to resonate today. Themes of betrayal and revenge, love and redemption, and the devastatingly destructive power of fear and perverted justice are evoked in this powerful and deeply moving drama.

Templeton theatre arts instructor Catherine Kingsbury directs this gripping tale about a group of young girls in Puritan Salem who, to save themselves from accusations of witchcraft, begin accusing others of the crime. (Eventually, 19 people, mostly women, were hanged as a result of these unfounded accusations.) The characters and much of the dialogue in the play are taken from historical records; although Miller has given them fictionalized intentions for their actions.

The Templeton High School Theatre Program fosters skills and knowledge of theatre arts and nurtures personal growth and creativity in students through educational theatre. The program also entertains and educates its audiences with a wide variety of plays and performances from many eras and genres. THS Drama actively promotes community involvement in theatre arts as a life-long endeavor.

Kingsbury’s philosophy as a theatre teacher and director stems from being a high school educator first. It’s important to her that the students learn skills and information that will help them at the next level of their education or career training—whatever that may be. If they want to pursue a career in theatre, then they will be well prepared. If they want to pursue a career in anything else, they will also be prepared with good communication skills and work ethics, especially working in a team environment.

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About the author: News Staff

The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at