Afflicted: Daughters of Salem
The Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park
By Laurie Brooks
Directed by Angela Cotto
The Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park The one culture clash that permeating history is that of the young exploring their world in ways their elders disapprove of. In colonial North America, religious zealots settled to pursue God in ways their homeland did not approve. But their children didn’t always recognize those fine points, and they paid a price. Tonight, we follow a group of young women into the scary dark woods of Massachusetts when the local natives still had a fair shot at driving away the Europeans. Slave girl Tituba (Jett) reeks of the exotic: she’s black, she has an accent and she tells tales of spirts in the night that go back to her African ancestors. The puritan girls see it as harmless entertainment, their parents see it as devil worship. And in this remote colony, there are no neutral parties to mediate. When little Betty (Michelle Machado) finagles into the group, she’s not accepted, and she causes a split between the other girls.
If you’ know “The Crucible” you know the town took all this devil worship seriously, and in real life two dozen died at the hands of their pious townmates and laid the foundation for separation of church and state. And to this day, the church still fights to BE the state. It’s a minimal show with maximal impact, the action is all set in the dark words around a small yet persistent fire. As the glance and flow to the chants of a distant language, they fail to see how their youthful experiments clash with their parent’s world.