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To Burn a Witch

To Burn a Witch
Your Price: $14.95 CDN
Author: James L. Bray
Publisher: Dramatic Publishing
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 19
Pub. Date: 1963
ISBN-10: 0871294192
ISBN-13: 9780871294197

About the Play:

To Burn a Witch is a one-act drama by James L. Bray. Awaiting execution for an accusation of witchcraft, Ruth and Mary must choose between salvation in the next life or survival here and now. To Burn a Witch portrays a scene that might have occurred during the Salem Witch trials of 1683. Especially recommended for school and contest use.

To Burn a Witch follows the questioning of two girls accused of witchcraft as they try to save themselves and each other. Two girls wait in the bare cell room for the questioning to resume. Accused of witchcraft, they are terrified. The Salem community in which they live burns to death those convicted of being "Brides of Satan." Mary refuses to lie – even to save herself – but Ruth, desperately frightened, "confesses." The questioners then turn to Mary, but she cannot bring herself to swear to this lie. Since the two girls have always been so close, the questioners are dissatisfied with the conflicting stories. To save herself, Ruth feigns a seizure in which she deeply implicates her friend Mary. Only one hope remains for Mary now, and in a scene of dramatic power she makes her final choice.

To Burn a Witch is an ideal choice for high school drama contests and one-act festivals.

Cast: 4 female

What people say:

"The play was wonderful. Very appropriate for high school and middle school students. Provides educational information about a time period in our history." — T. Bailen, School District of Washburn

"Powerful Drama!! If you are looking for a piece to showcase your strong girls this is it." — Sally Hoffsommer, Baldwin High School

"To Burn a Witch provides a perfect way for a cast of four girls to concentrate on developing their acting skills." — Ruby Grove, Fisher School

"I love performing this show after the English 11 classes have read The Crucible. It creates really interesting discussions. Should you tell a lie to save your life? How can a loving God allow this to happen? Do "witch hunts" still occur? It would also be a great show to take to a competition." — Jessica Kropp, Mena High School Theatre Dept.

About the Playwright:

James Lee Bray (1927-2003) was an American writer, actor, and producer of stage and TV, and a Professor of Education for some 33 years at Salem College, Winston-Salem, NC. He is known for To Burn a Witch, a 20-minute-long play that follows two women who have been accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials.