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The Crucible


Helen Pickett’s choreography unleashes the emotional force of Miller’s masterpiece, vividly accompanied by a live orchestra performing Peter Salem’s haunting score.

The village of Salem stands on the brink.  

A teenage girl imagines her future. A marriage is tested. Church bells ring, uniting the community in prayer. These are good people; this could be anywhere. They fear the shadows in the forest, but the real monsters are much closer to home. 

Last performed: The Crucible was last performed in spring 2023 on a USA tour. For current productions, visit our What’s On page.

Scottish Ballet premiere: August 2019 (World Premiere)

Based on the play by Arthur Miller
Choreography: Helen Pickett
Music: Peter Salem
Artistic Collaborator: James Bonas
Set & Costume Design: Emma Kingsbury
Set & Lighting Design: David Finn
Associate Lighting Design: Scott Bolman 


casts a powerful spell…this Crucible belongs in the international repertoire’

Financial Times 


‘fierce and stark, with storytelling as taut as a stretched bowspring 

The Independent


captures the claustrophobia and darkness of a community lost inside itself’

The Scotsman


Act 1


On the verge of womanhood, a girl imagines her future. 

The Proctors’ house 

The girl, Abigail, works for the family of Elizabeth and John Proctor and becomes entangled in a dangerous relationship. 

Meeting House 

The community of Salem join together in a service of devotion and fellowship, led by Reverend Samuel Parris. 

Shadow Play 

Abigail and her friends, including Parris’ daughter, Betty, play at the edge of the village. 


The girls follow Tituba, Parris’ slave, into the forest. Abigail seeks a way to curse Elizabeth Proctor. As they dance, out of control, the girls are discovered by Reverend Parris. Betty collapses and is carried by her father to the Meeting House. 

Meeting House 

The community rallies. Reverend Hale, an expert in witchcraft, is summoned. In the process of trying to save Betty, a powerful force is unleashed in Salem as the girls begin to accuse people within the community of witchcraft. 

Act 2

Meeting House — Witch trial 

Events have progressed; as the community fragments, increasing numbers fall under suspicion. The Deputy Governor of Massachusetts, Danforth, leads the hearings. 

The Proctors’ House 

Abigail persuades the Proctors’ new servant, Mary, to store a poppet, a small doll made to look like Abigail herself, in the Proctors’ home. Unbeknownst to Mary, the poppet, stuck with a pin, serves as evidence of witchcraft. The authorities arrive with a search warrant, discover the poppet and accuse Elizabeth. Sure of her innocence, Elizabeth gives herself up for arrest so she may speak her truth in court. 

Meeting House — Court 

Given a choice between a confession or the noose, the prisoners holdfast to their truth. For Elizabeth and John Proctor, their private shame of John’s affair is made public and Abigail is exposed. However, in denying her husband’s affair, Elizabeth, unwittingly, condemns herself. 

Outskirts of the Village 

Unable to bear her humiliation, Abigail flees Salem. 


As the day of reckoning dawns for the citizens of Salem, John Proctor faces a terrible choice, should he save his life or his name.