NARRATOR: In 1630, one thousand puritans left England, tired of King Charles of telling them what and how to believe. They traveled in a ship, to a strange world to live in a place where they could live by their religion, and they landed in New England. The people who settled in Salem, Massachusetts, brought their own religion, customs, and superstitions, such as their belief in witchcraft. They wanted religion freedom, but only for themselves, and they were not tolerant of people who believe differently than they did. If someone disagreed, they felt he was helping the devil. It was January 1692, when strange behaviors were exhibited by two Salem girls.
ACT I – AT REVEREND PARRIS HOUSE
(Elizabeth, Abigail, and Tituba are in the living room sitting on the floor)
ELIZABETH: I’m bored!.
ABIGAIL: It’s so cold that we can’t go outside to play!.
ELIZABETH: Should we read the bible again?.
ABIGAIL: We already read it four times!.
TITUBA: Girls, you shouldn’t complain. You know what happens to those who complain too much.
ABIGAIL: I know. Poor Mrs. Parke, she was forced to wear a bridle like a horse to keep her from talking.
ELIZABETH: And what about little Tommy!. He was punished for saying the sermon was boring!.
ABIGAIL: What did they do to him?.
ELIZABETH: They sat him with his hands and feet locked into a wooden chair, and all the neighbors laughed at him!.
ABIGAIL: Poor Tommy, no wonder why he doesn’t want to speak anymore!.
ELIZABETH:(to Tituba) Since we cannot go out, tell us one of your stories.
TITUBA: You mean about witches?.
ELIZABETH AND ABIGAIL: Yes!. Tell us what else they do.
TITUBA: Well, where I come from…
ABIGAIL: Where do you come from?.
TITUBA: From Barbados, Abigail.
ELIZABETH:(to Tituba) Keep going.
TITUBA:(in a low voice) Well, where I come from, witches can sink ships, they can make thunder, and they rattle dishes.
ELIZABETH: Oh, I love to be scared by your stories of devils and witches!.
ABIGAIL: What do they look like?.
TITUBA: You mean, the witches?.
ABIGAIL: Yes!. Tell me, are they ugly?.
TITUBA: They have big warts or moles in their faces, and they ride on sticks to different places.
ABIGAIL: Tell us our fortune again!. (Tituba gets some stones from her dress and throws them into the floor) What does it say?.
TITUBA: Mmmm…I know WHO bit you the other day.
ABIGAIL: Who or What?.
TITUBA: Who!. It was an invisible force!.
ABIGAIL: An evil force?.
TITUBA: Yes!. You should wash your injury every hour for nine days, and if you don’t…
ABIGAIL: What Tituba?.
TITUBA: HE will come again, and this time he will take you along with HIM!.
ELIZABETH: Who is him?.
TITUBA: I can not say HIS name!.
ABIGAIL: Come on, tell me. I’m not afraid!.
ELIZABETH: No, don’t tell her, please!. Let’s keep playing (closes her eyes). Teach me some of your magic, Tituba!.
TITUBA: Do you want to learn how to bark like a dog?.
ELIZABETH AND ABIGAIL: Yes!.
TITUBA: Do as I do. (she gets on four legs, and starts to bark like a dog. Elizabeth and Abigail imitate her. She meows like a cat. Elizabeth and Abigail imitate her. Reverend Parris enters the stage)
REVEREND PARRIS: What are you doing!.
(Tituba, Elizabeth, and Abigail stand)
REVEREND PARRIS: Why are you acting like animals!. (he takes Tituba by the arm) Come with me!.
(They leave the stage)
ABIGAIL: We will be punished!.
ELIZABETH: My father was furious!.
ABIGAIL: What are we going to do, Elizabeth?.
ELIZABETH: We have to make up a story. Mmmmm, I have an idea!. (she lies on the floor and starts to roll and cry)
ABIGAIL: Elizabeth!. Elizabeth!. (she heads to the door shouting) Uncle, come quick!.
(Reverend Parris enters the stage and kneels down beside Elizabeth. Elizabeth keeps yelling and crying)
REVEREND PARRIS:(to Abigail) Go and get doctor Gregg!. (Abigail leaves the stage) Elizabeth!. What’s wrong with you!.
(Doctor Gregg enters the stage and looks at Elizabeth)
DOCTOR GREGG: What’s going on in here?.
REVEREND PARRIS: Look at her doctor! .
DOCTOR GREGG: (examines Elizabeth) There’s nothing medically wrong with this child. She is bewitched!.
– Lights Off –
ACT II – AT CHURCH
(The Puritans are in church. Reverend Parris is giving a sermon)
REVEREND PARRIS: Lord, God, show us your holy face. Give us your strength.
(Elizabeth and Abigail stand and start to yell loudly in the middle of church)
ELIZABETH: There is a yellow bird in the Reverend’s head!.
ABIGAIL: Ha, ha, ha, ha.
PURITAN MEN AND WOMEN: Ohhh.
PURITAN WOMAN 1: Oh my God!. They are scaring me!.
PURITAN MAN 1: The only one who can interrupt a lesson is the devil himself!.
(Reverend Parris runs toward Elizabeth and Abigail)
REVEREND PARRIS: Tell me who did this to you!.
ELIZABETH: It was Tituba!. It was her!.
REVEREND PARRIS: I knew she was evil!.
ABIGAIL: And two old woman.
REVEREND PARRIS: Tell me their names!.
ABIGAIL: Sarah Good and Sarah Osburn!.
REVEREND PARRIS: Are you sure?.
(Elizabeth and Abigail look at each other. Abigail lowers her head and closes her eyes)
ELIZABETH: (lowers he head) Yes.
REVEREND PARRIS: I believe you!.
PURITAN MAN 2: They bewitched the poor little girls!.
ELIZABETH: They tortured us and casted a spell on us!.
PURITAN WOMAN 2: They are telling the truth!. I heard them making animal sounds!.
PURITAN MAN 3: Yesterday I saw little Kate casting a spell on her cousin!.
PURITAN WOMAN 3: But she’s only five years old!.
REVEREND PARRIS: Oh, Lord!. They should be arrested and incarcerated!.
PURITAN MAN 4: There are witches all over Salem!.
PURITAN WOMAN 4: Even dogs are behaving strange lately, as if they were possessed by the devil!.
PURITAN WOMAN 5: Satan is recruiting witches and wizards to work for him!.
REVEREND PARRIS: They all should be tried on charges of witchcraft!.
PURITAN MAN 5: All Salem witches must die!.
REVEREND PARRIS: Come on, let’s get them!.
(They leave the stage)
(The Narrator is in the middle of the room/stage)
NARRATOR: More than one hundred people were tried on charges of witchcraft. Twenty people and two dogs were put to death. But when the girls accused the Reverend’s wife, who was the most godly person in town, everyone knew they were lying. There was a public apology by the leaders of the town, and they cleared the names of the people who had been executed. It was the end of a public belief in witchcraft.