THE CRUCIBLE
& THE DRESSMAKER

UNIT 4: READING & COMPARING TEXTS

Scenes and extracts from The Crucible and The Dressmaker are integrated into performance and presented in a style that enables students to make clear thematic comparisons and contrasts between the two texts.

Set against the Salem witch trials of 1692, The Crucible recreates the terrifying reality of a village in Massachusetts where a group of young girls, accused of witchcraft, attempt to escape retribution by pointing the finger at others. We follow the flawed but ultimately heroic response of the protagonist, John Proctor. His battle with Puritan authorities, jealous neighbours and those bent on personal revenge, suggests that love, integrity and dignity can prevail.

Our team of five performers facilitate a comprehensive analysis with Rosalie Ham’s novel set in the fictional Victorian wheatbelt town of Dungastar in the 1950’s. Tilly Dunnage returns from Europe to care for her sick mother. As the small town rumour mill springs into action she quickly becomes revered for her dressmaking skills and the desire to be dressed in Tilly’s haute-couture designs must be balanced against the townsfolk’s enthusiastic and spiteful marginalisation of the Dunnage women. What ensues is the unravelling of past grievances, a tragic love story and dramatic revenge against small-minded bigotry.

The performance explores authorial context and perspective, and key ideas such as how fear and prejudice can divide and reshape communities, the power of class, control and its effects on the marginalised as well as the nature of heroism and resilience.

 

SUITABILITY

Year 11 - 12
VCE English/EAL


IDEA/ISSUE/THEME

Communities in Crisis, Competing World Views, Social Hierarchy


DURATION

75 minutes,
followed by Q&A

90 minute session recommended


TOURING TO SCHOOLS

TERM 3
13 July - 28 August

VENUE REQUIREMENTS

  • Minimum 6 x 6 metres
    flat, clear playing space

  • Set up time - 60 min

  • Pack up time - 20 min


COST

$18.00 per student,
groups 120+

$2160 minimum fee,
groups 120- 

All prices include GST,
cancellation fees apply


Many students praised the quality of the production and how it helped them to develop their understanding of the text pairing’s big ideas.
— Trinity College Colac

Complete Works acknowledges this program is supported by the Department of Education and Training through the Strategic Partnerships Program.