SARASOTA - It's a play and book many of us know and fear. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible debuts at Asolo Rep Friday, and cast and crew say it's bound to have you on the edge of your seat.

"A thrilling tragedy is what I call it," Director Michael Donald Edwards said. He's also the producing artistic director for Asolo Rep. 

The play is set in Salem during the Salem witch trials, telling the personal story of John Proctor, played by Coburn Goss.

"It’s a role I’ve wanted to play for a very long time, so it's kind of a dream come true,” Goss said. 

He says for John Proctor, integrity means everything.

"And what he’s going through is an immense crisis of self because he’s been unfaithful to his wife," Goss said. "So the journey he takes is, how does he forgive himself?”

Edwards says though its set in the 1600’s, Asolo Rep technology makes the show feel fresh and contemporary, helping Laura Rook take on the role of Elizabeth Proctor. 

"She's a contemporary woman in a lot of ways," Rook said. "She’s a mother and a wife, you know, just kinda reading the play over and over again and trying to figure out how I can relate to her."

Rook says a challenge with this play is being set in such a dark world.

“Trying not to get caught up in her darkness and the darkness of the play, and trying to let that go day after day and night after night,” Rook said. 

Behind the darkness, Edwards says the audience will feel a connection to issues we care about today.

“Religion and the state can be used to demonize and control people, but what we really get from this play is, when we return to the basic idea of charity, we will overcome that,” Edwards said. 

 

The Crucible debuts Friday, Jan. 11, and runs thru March 28. For tickets, click here