Women, witches, and water : a director’s approach to Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s Abigail/1702.

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American playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa took inspiration from many sources, most notably Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, and combined them to reexamine the post-Salem life of the infamous Abigail Williams in his Abigail/1702. His play stands as a feminist counter-point to Miller’s work, allowing for the redemption of Abigail, who becomes the central character. In the play, Aguirre-Sacasa’s propensity for working in a postmodern style and his strong interest in American gothic combines powerfully with biblical imagery and is influenced by popular culture forms including the comic book and episodic television. This thesis will explore and outline the production process for the 2020 Baylor University production of Abigail/1702, including how the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges were addressed. The evolution of the directing concept into the final image of descent through a well to find living water will be outlined, as well as the design and rehearsal process.

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Abigail Williams. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Feminism. American Gothic. Postmodernism.
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