In 1999 they were piloting the lesson plan for The Crucible at Lorain Central Catholic H.S. and Residency Supervisor Daniel Hahn thought it was missing something, that the students were failing to emotionally connect with the kind of humiliation and shame engendered in the scene where Elizabeth Proctor is forcibly taken from her home in chains.
It's not an exercise we take lightly. The Crucible is a troubling piece of work, it's not merely about the fear of witches or dark forces, or Theocracy or Communism. It's about totalitarianism in all its forms, the loss of the basic freedoms upon which this country was founded. The devastation of relationships, reputation, simple human dignity.
Yesterday we performed the exercise with our actor-teachers, who are now completing their rehearsal process and will begin teaching in schools on Monday. Some were surprised by their reaction to it, which ranged from giddiness and embarrassment to outright boredom and irritation. That's okay. It's not supposed to be fun.
How can you restore a reputation? What labels can never be erased? What is your definition of justice? What do you think?
|Salem Witch Trials Memorial|
Who originally came up with the idea is a little cloudy. However, it was Jeff who originally facilitated the "Chains" exercise. I stand mute before history.
UPDATE: 9/1/2019: The "Chains" exercise has been eliminated from the lesson plan.