In conjunction with the Farm Theater’s College Collaboration Project, DramaCentre will present the world premiere of Kimberly Belflower’s John Proctor is the Villain, a play “written with an eye to the #MeToo movement,” explains Director Jennifer Goff, assistant professor of dramatic arts. “It sets out to engage in conversations around how we, as a society, react to the uncomfortable and difficult stories within our communities, how we treat survivors and how we protect perpetrators.”
The production will take the Weisiger Theatre stage in Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts, Nov. 7-10.
In 1953, Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible debuted in response to a misguided hunt for communist sympathizers in the United States by Senator Joe McCarthy. In this play, John Proctor, an upstanding husband and father, has an affair with a young woman, who eventually leads a vengeful plot to have Proctor executed.
Although painted as a heroic martyr in the play, a modern evaluation of the situation presented in The Crucible casts skepticism on the true character of John Proctor.
“It is increasingly difficult to overlook the facts of the situation,” says Goff, “that a newly-orphaned, 16-year-old girl who worked in the Proctor’s home had a brief sexual relationship with her employer—a man several decades her senior—and that she emerged from that affair confused and traumatized and even more alone than she had felt before.”
As society finally begins to challenge “the way things have always been,” Belflower’s play asks the audience to reconsider the heroic nature of a man who has taken advantage of a young woman.
Understanding how to think about and discuss instances of questionable sexual acts is a divisive topic, and this play is an opportunity to get an unfiltered look into every angle; an opportunity only available through a medium such as a play.
“This is a brand new play written by a young female playwright specifically with the intention of relating to a college cast and audience,” says Goff. “The characters feel like people we know, which asks us to empathize in a more concrete way with the stories of these living people right in front of us than we might usually with those abstract names in the news.”
The Farm Theater College Collaboration Project, based out of New York City, works with select schools to create culturally relevant plays based on conversations playwrights have with current students. This production is the third to be produced as a part of Centre’s partnership with the theater.
Working collaboratively with student actors, Belflower has been writing and revising the script of John Proctor is the Villain over the course of many months, and she will continue to revise for two future productions at Rollins College and Furman University this spring.
by Ben Bennett ’20
November 6, 2018
IF YOU GO
John Proctor is The Villain
presented by DramaCentre as part of the Farm Theater College Collaboration Project
November 7-10, nightly performances at 8 p.m.
Weisiger Theatre, Centre College Norton Center for the Arts
Convocation with free admission to Centre College students, faculty and staff
General admission tickets may be purchased at the Norton Center box office for $10; $5 for seniors and non-Centre students
*Immediately following Wednesday and Thursday’s performances there will be an audience talk-back with the playwright, with the Artistic Director of The Farm Theater, Padraic Lillis, and with members of Centre’s Title IX team.
Harry Assadourian (transfer student from England)
Brooke Bagley ’21
Grant Beauman ’22
Sullivan Blackburn ’20
Carolyn Carter ’21
Ben Collado ’21
Paige Glasser ’22
Sophie Grindon ’22
Hannah Johnson ’20
Tommy McFarland ’19
Katherine Moeykens ’19
Hemangi Patel ’22
Diana Smith ’20
Rachel Woellner ’20
Production & Design
Dylan Buford ’22
Lane Cannon ’22
Cameron Coy ’21
Jillian Crotts ’20
Jessa DeLuca ’19
Jeffrey Duncan ’22
Micah Gray ’22
Jenna Gripshover ’22
Yani He ’21
Lucrezia Manoussakis (transfer student from Italy)
Jack Marks ’21
Elise Mead ’22
Abi Montgomery ’22
Olivia Russel ’20
Alex Spragens ’20
Allison Wheeler ’21
Olivia Wilkinson ’21
Chao Zhao ’19