Boston's Huntington Theatre will produce Kimberly Belflower's John Proctor Is the Villain, a 2019 selection for the The Kilroys List, during the 2023-2024 season, with dates, casting, and creative team to be announced. Set at a rural Georgia high school, the work follows a group of teens studying Arthur Miller's The Crucible inspired to revisit its framing of events in a contemporary and feminist lens. Dramat
The major production comes as Broadway Licensing adds the work to its catalogue for amateur and professional productions. The move places it alongside The Crucible, amateur licensing rights to which are handled by Dramatists Play Service, a Broadway Licensing Group imprint.
The work was commissioned by The Farm Theater in 2017, workshopping there in 2018 and at Ojai Playwrights Conference in 2019. The work's world premiere came via Centre College, and it was later staged at Furman University and Rollins College in 2019. Washington, D.C.'s Studio Theatre offered the premiere professional staging last year.
“Back in 2017-18, the tidal wave of Me Too made me think about what it would be like to grow up in my hometown—in rural Appalachian Georgia—in that moment in time," shares Belflower. "What would it be like to be a teenager in rural America, feeling the world shift underneath your feet while you’re still figuring out the person you want to be, in a place that’s steeped in tradition, in a culture that tries to make teenage girls feel as powerless as possible? How might those young women re-define their lives in real time? The things they’re taught? The books they read? The heroes they worship?
“I thought that over time, the play would start to feel less relevant. But if anything, this story has only felt more timely, more urgent as it’s developed.”
"I read Kimberly’s stunning new play and was obsessed!” adds Huntington Artistic Director Loretta Greco. "I instantly knew it had to be a part of our conversation at The Huntington. The play lives side by side an examination of The Crucible by young women who are discovering their power and agency and who find their way to hold the classic text and their community to account—with a profound sense of rage, authenticity, and hope. We’re thrilled to see this incredible play become available to those it is centered on and to be a part of this movement!”