New play presents story behind Salem Witch Trials

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Sticks and stones can break your bones, and sometimes haunt you in your sleep.

‘’For about a week I was actually having dreams about organizing sticks and it wasn’t necessarily into this form,” says David Blake, technical director.

But Blake’s function as scenic designer of Afflicted: Daughters of Salem is to help portray puritan New England in the 17th century, and make it spooky.

‘’Danger was always in my mind when I was designing this piece,” says Blake.

It took five people and 80 hours to sort through and build a stick set that centers on the Salem Witch Trials. It’s a double-raked platform structure that creates a bit of chaos.

‘’I wanted them to look like teeth that this whole world might just consume these girls whole,” Blake says.

Half truths and innuendos made up the real life Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s, which resulted in the deaths of 20 people and two dogs.

‘’It’s an origins story,” says Sarah Rugo, Metro Theater Company Production Manager. ‘’So I’ve been calling it the prequel to Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible.”

Metro Theater Company and the Missouri History Museum are presenting the look at the original mean girls of Salem.

‘’There’s definitely a lot of peer pressure involved in this story,” says Rugo. ‘’I think the root of a lot of it is the fact that these girls were rather oppressed due to the way the society worked and the puritan beliefs and practices.”

As for who was or wasn’t practicing witchcraft? That’s for the audience to decide and you get that chance at the end of this play.

This is a good reason to stick around until the finish.

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