SLU grads star in History Museum production

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SLU grads star in History Museum production

Salem witch trials: (above) Two SLU graduates perform in “Afflicted” at the Missouri History Museum. Jennifer Theby Quinn portrays Abigail Williams, and Taylor Steward portrays Ann Putnam. (right) Jacqueline Thompson (portraying Tituba) and Emily Jackoway (portraying Betty Parris) share a scene onstage. The play, which is running through March 22, shows what it may have been like to be a girl growing up during the Salem witch trials. 
Luke Lindbergh / Metro Theatre Company

Salem witch trials: (above) Two SLU graduates perform in “Afflicted” at the Missouri History Museum. Jennifer Theby Quinn portrays Abigail Williams, and Taylor Steward portrays Ann Putnam. (right) Jacqueline Thompson (portraying Tituba) and Emily Jackoway (portraying Betty Parris) share a scene onstage. The play, which is running through March 22, shows what it may have been like to be a girl growing up during the Salem witch trials. Luke Lindbergh / Metro Theatre Company

Salem witch trials: (above) Two SLU graduates perform in “Afflicted” at the Missouri History Museum. Jennifer Theby Quinn portrays Abigail Williams, and Taylor Steward portrays Ann Putnam. (right) Jacqueline Thompson (portraying Tituba) and Emily Jackoway (portraying Betty Parris) share a scene onstage. The play, which is running through March 22, shows what it may have been like to be a girl growing up during the Salem witch trials. Luke Lindbergh / Metro Theatre Company

Salem witch trials: (above) Two SLU graduates perform in “Afflicted” at the Missouri History Museum. Jennifer Theby Quinn portrays Abigail Williams, and Taylor Steward portrays Ann Putnam. (right) Jacqueline Thompson (portraying Tituba) and Emily Jackoway (portraying Betty Parris) share a scene onstage. The play, which is running through March 22, shows what it may have been like to be a girl growing up during the Salem witch trials. Luke Lindbergh / Metro Theatre Company

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Show depicts Salem witch trials from girls’ perspectives

Innocents were burned at the stake, fear ruled lives and rumors dictated death. We are all familiar with the horrendous story of the Salem witch trials. This month, the Missouri History Museum is giving us a look into the past with “Afflicted: Daughters of Salem,” a retelling of the story with a relatable twist.

“I imagined the story of what it would be like to be a girl in that time,” the playwright, Laurie Brooks, said of her show, which is in its second production. “I know the girls in that time must have been dealing with a lot of the same stuff as girls do today, and I want to show that to relate the story.”

Saint Louis University graduates Sam Moyer ’15, as Mary Warren, and Taylor Steward ’14, as Ann Putnam, star in the Metro Theatre production, along with Jacqueline Thompson, Jennifer Theby-Quinn, Emily Jackoway and Alicia Smith. The leads successfully portray colonial, Puritan, teenage girls in, who deal with common problems, including boys, overbearing parents, nosy younger family members and the desperate desire to know what the future holds. The play showcases the destructive power of rumors and bullying – ever-relevant topics among youth – and the extreme effects they can have. These girls playfully experiment with made-up spells in an innocent way, until word of their secret meetings and childish fun get out, putting their friendship and their lives on the line.

The costumes, designed by SLU professor Lou Bird, set the time period of the play and help further the girls’ character development. The lights, designed by Paige Seber, and the set, designed by David Blake, work brilliantly together to give the play a surprise ending.

The show runs through March 22 at the Missouri History Museum. Tickets are $14-18. The show provides an educational, thoughtful and relatable-for-all-ages look into colonial history.