'The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller draws a savage parallel between the Salem witch-hunt of 1692, and the McCarthyism that gripped America in the 1950s.
But the issues the controversial play raises are still relevant today and one of the reasons why it is being performed by Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts' students.
Teacher and director Rosie Goderie said The Crucible prompts people to reexamine issues of perspective and encourages inclusiveness and courage.
"Sadly, at times it seems we are living in a world of fear. Fear of being wrong, of being outcast. This manifests in the play through the accusations and hysteria of conformity as a social force," Miss Goderie said.
"It is a controversial play because of the way Miller challenged the US government with his writing at a time when nonconforming artists were literally being put on trial.
"It prompts the question of how do we teach our children and students to cultivate an independence of mind and to remain critical and sane in the face of an ever-escalating surge of hysteria and misdirection in the modern sense."
Collaborating with the students in a creative environment where they all felt safe and valued to contribute ideas and support one another, has been crucial for Miss Goderie.
"This has been a vital part of the process for me as a director but also as an educator," she said.
This has been appreciated by student actor Mia Frew.
"As it is my last production, I’ve really enjoyed getting involved with making the sets and working as a whole ensemble to make it our own show, and creating a family within the cast," Mia said.
Fellow actor Mathew Varga said the message behind The Crucible was an immortal one.
"Down to its roots, it’s about empathy and understanding of each other. About opening dialogue between people instead of forming mobs fuelled with fear and anger," he said.
Skyla Yorke added despite its dark traits, WHSPA's interpretation of 'The Crucible' was a really captivating and intriguing story with a valid message for today's audience.
"The Crucible is a somber, serious play that will leave you with goosebumps if it doesn't shake your wits together," she said.
The Crucible will run Thursday through to Saturday from March 7 to 16.
Tickets cost $22 for adults and $18 for students. More details and book online here.