Which Witch Was It?

Between Orchard House on Friday and my trip today, this weekend has been one of actually taking advantage of the colonial historical sites that I live near.  I confess, during the past few years, I haven’t made as much as an effort as I should have to actually visit all of these places that are within a half hour drive of school.  Today involved an excursion into Salem (which is ca-RA-zy in October) to go to a showing of Cry Innocent: The People vs. Bridget Bishop.  Admittedly, I wouldn’t have really considered going if I didn’t have a free ticket provided by my brother who is a part of it (as a college student, I don’t really have 9 bucks to blow on seeing a play…).  However, since I’d never seen my brother act, it was time to go.  I knew parking would be hazardous, but nothing really prepared me for the amusement park of traffic that constituted Sunday Salem in October.  I arrived early–at 2 for the 2:30 show–and drove to the parking lot I’d used previously.  Full.  Bummer.  Drive around.  Street parking?  Full.  Of course.  Other parking lots I’d seen (I even brought change for meters this time).  Oops, can’t get to it because there are mobs of people on the road.  Finally got to it.   Full.  Drive across the street.  No more parking.  Stuck on a road going out of Salem.  Nooooooo! 2:20, still no spot, still driving out of Salem and can’t turn around.  Back track on back roads.  Get lost.  Spits me out going the other way.  Finally.  Back to the first parking lot. 2:25.  No spots.  Someone walking…someone leaving?  “Are you leaving?”  “Yes.”  Hallelujah.  Park car at 2:28, run to Old Town Hall, made it.

It was a good play.  A different kind of play, but a very historically accurate play.  It put together the historical records of the trial of Bridget Bishop when she was accused of witchcraft into an accurate representation of what it might have been like, with audience participation.  The play on the whole made me realize that people don’t actually change.  Whether it’s witchcraft hysteria in the 17th century, or the Red Scare of the 20th century, people are still looking for excuses to get rid of people they don’t like.  I guess that’s why history matters…because people don’t really change.

AND they still get caught in tourist traps like Salem…


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