The Crucible, Arthur Miller's classic play about the witch-hunts and trials in 17th century Massachusetts is a searing portrait of a community engulfed in hysteria. The Crucible was conceived by Miller partly as historical drama and partly as a reaction to American hysteria surrounding communism and the McCarthy hearings. This riveting tale of the power of fear to turn neighbor against neighbor may be as relevant and timely today as it was in 1953.