The Crucible was adapted for the big screen in 1996.

Players club tweaks lineup, adds classic drama

First production of the season will be The Crucible

White Rock Players Club is trading Misery for The Crucible.

In Facebook postings Tuesday, the club’s artistic director Ryan Mooney confirmed rights issues have prevented the club from presenting Simon Moore’s adaptation of Misery, the Stephen King bestseller, as its first show of this season.

Instead, the first show (Oct. 6-26) will be Arthur Miller’s classic drama The Crucible, a dramatization of the Salem witch trials of 1692 and 1693 in an early American colony, the Province of Massachusetts Bay.

The real-life case, in which innocent citizens were tried and executed for witchcraft on the basis of false testimony and flawed ‘if you’re not with us you’re against us’ logic is now celebrated as an object lesson in the dangers of mass hysteria and religious extremism.

“I’m really looking forward to directing this,” Mooney wrote on Facebook. “I’ve got a unique spin on the play that I think will make it intriguing and powerful theatre.”

Auditions for The Crucible will be held at the Coast Capital Playhouse, 1532 Johnston Rd. on June 22 (1-5 p.m.) and June 10 (7-10 p.m.) – and would-be actors for the non-union community theatre show should note there are better odds than usual of landing a role.

“This is a big cast and we are encouraging people of all races and ages to audition,” the audition notice states.

The play, which has been adapted for the screen twice (once by Miller himself in 1996, with Winona Ryder and Daniel Day-Lewis, for which he earned an Academy Award nomination) joins a cinema-oriented season of plays for the club at the Coast Capital Playhouse.

Even the new Christmas pantomime (Nov. 29-Dec. 28), Rumpelstiltskin, by Dave Baron promises a distinctly movie-related twist.

For the first show of the new year, the club will present its first non-panto musical in many seasons, the Stephen Sondheim classic A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (Feb. 12 – March 1), still fondly remembered for the 1965 film adaptation with Zero Mostel and Jack Gilford. Ron Hutchinson’s wry comedy Moonlight and Magnolias (April 2-19) will take audiences back to the late 1930s with a “fly-on-the-wall” re-imagining of the making of Gone With The Wind.

The season will wrap up June 4 – 21 with Neil Simon’s popular perennial Barefoot In The Park, the comic misadventures of a newlywed couple in New York, filmed in 1967 with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford.

For more information on auditions, or on season tickets, call 604-536-7535 or visit www.whiterockplayers.ca or facebook.com/whiterockplayers

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