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Cougars & Mustangs 

Ah, what a day and age to be alive. In one state, legislation is being passed that would encourage the public shaming of transgender individuals—all individuals, really—by forcing privates be checked by an attendant before an individual can enter a bathroom. In the race for the presidency, at least one candidate is hell bent on the continued hatred and persecution of anyone meeting the vague, profiled descriptors associated by mass American media with overseas terrorism. What a day! What a lovely day! 

McCarthy may just sound like a bar to you, but that name carried a very different connotation way back when, at a time when the White of our flag became afraid of the Red, and paranoid that the Blue was secretly Red, too. It was against that sort of background that Arthur Miller’s masterpiece The Crucible, a historical drama regarding the Salem witch trials, was born. The Crucible, which will be performed by Cal Poly’s Theatre and Dance Department at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 25 through 27 and March 3 through 5, in the Spanos Theatre on Cal Poly campus, is a powerful consideration of the dangers of human paranoia. 

The historical events of the infamous witch trial serve as a powerful allegory even today. As Rod Serling wrote in a famous episode of The Twilight Zone, “The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs, and explosions, and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy; and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own for the children, and the children yet unborn.” 

The Poly version of The Crucible features Thomas J. Bernard, costume designer; Sarah Bryan, costume shop supervisor; Pegi Marshall, set and lighting designer; Clint Bryson, technical director; plus projection work by students from the Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies program; and lobby displays by graduate students in the History Department. About 60 students from a variety of majors across campus contributed to the production through construction, backstage work, research, design, management, and performance. 

The ticket price for this production, which includes parking, is $20 for the public and $12 for students, Cal Poly faculty, staff, and seniors. The Cal Poly Ticket Office is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, or call 756-4849 to purchase tickets by phone.

Contributor Lola White-Sanborn hopes that one day “scapegoat” is only the name of a bizarre, popular YouTube Role Playing Game. Send her your collegiate news via cougarsandmustangs@newtimesslo.com!

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