“Crucible” Museum explores play, Puritans, persecution

This year’s annual museum project for Ms. Anna Griffin’s 11th grade AP students was focused around the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller. This play is set in Puritan times during the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts, so each project is based around this topic, or topics related to the social commentary that is an important part of the play.

There were 10 groups of four or five people mixed up from all of Ms. Griffin’s classes. The group project topics included: the Red Scare/ McCarthyism, Arthur Miller, Puritanism in America, the Salem Witch Trials, history of the 20th century theatre, review of The Crucible play vs movie, other “witch hunts” and discrimination in history, mob mentality and hysteria, ethics and values from then to now, and the acting-out of one act of the play.

In each individual group, each person had a significant job. These jobs are: group leader, executive writer, head researcher, exhibit designer, and tour guide. These are the primary jobs, but all groups have said that each person put it just as much effort and help as their other group members in the end no matter which job they assigned themselves.

The grade’s leader, Meriwether Marchetti, organized and designed the layout and order of the whole museum. She also organized a map of the order with the names of the “exhibits” along with survey at the end for the students or teachers who came to see this museum to rate the exhibits. Marchetti said, “It has been stressful planning the museum, but I feel very accomplished and it came together very well in the end.”

Each exhibit presented their projects to all English classes that came through, all students and teachers that visited, and anyone else who walked in.

Ms. Griffin, primarily, and a few other teachers helping went around individually to really understand and to grade the projects.

This year’s exhibit went very smoothly and well. Ms. Griffin said she was very pleased with how much hard work and creativity this year’s juniors incorporated in the museum. Other teachers and students also seemed to really enjoy the exhibits, especially all the foods the groups brought such as guacamole, bread, Swedish Fish, chess squares, popcorn, cookies, etc.

The students who created these projects enjoyed the whole experience in the end, even though it was a lot of work in a short amount of time. Junior Nora Beth Hetzel said, “I learned a lot about what influenced Arthur Miller to write The Crucible, which was really interesting to me.”