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Theatre: Witches The Musical
Who's the witch?Watch what you say
Watch what you do
Satan he may come for you
In Salem Town
Witches! The Musical is a play which chronicles the events of the Salem Witch Trials. Written by Conrad Askland in 2012, the musical is described as taking the historical events of the Trials and adding some characterization, with a little bit of fantasy thrown in. The primary protagonist is Abigail, a young girl who is alone and without friends. She lives with her uncle, the Reverend Parris, his daughter Betty, and his slave Tituba. When Abigail shows the girls in the reverend's bible study a way of telling the future, strange afflictions start befalling the girls in the group, starting with Betty Parris.
Witches! contains examples of:
- Aborted Arc: The part in the first act when Abigail goes to the invisible world and signs Satan's book at first appears to be left hanging. It's finally subverted at the very end.
- Actor Allusion: Almost certainly unintentional, but the actors who played Doctor Griggs and Bridget Bishop in the original cast are husband and wife in real life. It almost brings new meaning to the fact the she is always rejecting his advances.
- Another Dimension: The invisible world is one of these.
- Arc Words: "Everyone dies due to little girls' lies?"
- Bad Girl Song: Bridget Bishop
- Based on a True Story: The Salem Witch Trials of 1692. See Shown Their Work below.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: Reverend Parris blackmails one of the church members into agreeing with his plans for a big house by bringing up "the truth about that incident on your farm last summer."
- Big Bad: Possibly Rev. Parris, or Doctor Griggs.
- Bilingual Bonus: At the end of her Bad Girl Song, Bridget Bishop shouts, "Sláinte!" and downs her drink. Sláinte is an Irish word meaning "health" and is commonly used in toasts.
- The Blank: Satan.
- BSOD Song: Abigail gets one right before her Face-Heel Turn
- Burn the Witch!: Nicely averted as historically no accused witches were burnt at the stake, but rather they were hanged.
- Chekhov's Gun: A witch cannot recite the Lord's Prayer without making a mistake.
- Chosen One: Those who dabble in witchcraft will have a dream that calls them this, immediately before being given the offer to sign Satan's book.
- Color-Coded Characters: The Circle girls each have slightly different colored dresses, ranging from a light brown to purple. Abigail Williams and Ann Putnam (Junior!) both wear black.
- Corrupt Church: The Puritan Church in Salem, though this is noted as being almost entirely due to the Putnam family and Reverend Parris.
- Curse Cut Short: From I Want a Big House. The word is meant to rhyme with "flock" from the preceding line:
Random Churchwoman: Excuse me reverend, for butting in, but we don't really give a fu-!
Everyone in church: *gasps as the reverend puts his hand over her mouth.*
Reverend Parris: Big house.
- Cut Song: Thankful for the Joy
- Dark Magical Girl: Abigail. Perhaps in a literal sense as well.
- Dark Reprise: Who's the Witch gets a short reprise on the accusation of Sarah Goode.
- Deal with the Devil: Literally.
- Death Song: John Proctor sings the Lord's Prayer flawlessly just as he's about to be hung. It doesn't save him though.
- Deleted Scene: Apparently, some pre-premiere versions of the script had a scene which showed the death of Abigail's parents.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Rev. Parris taught the girls' Bible study to sing! He's so forward thinking, and a champion of women's rights, too! He thinks women should have the right to find a good husband they can care for.
- Doomed by Canon: John Proctor flawlessly recites the Lord's Prayer just as he's about to be hung, thereby proving he is not a witch. But John Proctor died in the historical record, so he still doesn't escape the noose.
- Double Entendre: Wherever Bridget Bishop is involved, you can expect at least one of these.
- Dragged Off to Hell: Or something similar. At the end, one of the characters is pulled into the ground by an evil power, clawing and screaming all the way down.
- Dream Sequence: Happens with both Betty Parris and Abigail.
- Face-Heel Turn: Abigail undergoes one after selling her soul to the devil.
- Heel-Face Turn: Eventually all the Circle Girls, but first Mary Warren. Excluding Abigail, who only pretends to undergo one.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: There are a few: Yoke/joke, sand-witch, witch/which.
- Infant Immortality: Elizabeth Proctor would be hung as a witch, but since she is pregnant she cannot legally be executed, as killing the mother would kill the child, who has not committed any sin worthy of death.
- "I Want" Song: I Want a Big House
- Karma Houdini: Abigail. All these people die, the Circle Girls break up, and Abigail is alone again. But she has gained incredible power from Satan, and (in early versions) the two walk arm in arm off stage. The end.
- Knight Templar: Reverend Parris, the judge and the prosecutor probably qualify for this.
- Let's Duet: God Will Take Care of Us, by Sarah and Dorcas Goode.
- Manipulative Bitch: Abigail, and also Ann Putnam— Junior!
- Opening Chorus: We Once Lived
- Parental Abandonment: Abigail's parents were killed by Indians before the start of the story.
- Put on a Bus: Betty Parris gets sent away to her cousin's house before the trials begin.
- The Reveal: At the very end, it is shown that without a doubt, Abigail really is a witch. She really did gain power from signing Satan's book, and she uses it to kill Mary Warren.
- Rich Bitch: Ann Putnam. Junior.
- Running Gag: *dramatic music* ...witchcraft.
- Shadow Discretion Shot: When the first witch is hung we see her standing on the box with the rope around her neck. Then the lights go out and when they come back on the shadow of a woman hanging is in her place.
- Shout-Out: One to Star Trek.
Reverend Parris: Dammit Sam! I'm a reverend, not a doctor!
- Shown Their Work: This page pretty well sums up how much work they went to: http://witchesmusical.com/blog/witches-the-musical-vs-the-historical-record/
- The Power of Friendship: What initially holds the Circle Girls together.
- Thanatos Gambit: As in the historical trials, Giles Corey, who refuses to speak and gets crushed to death by rocks.
- Those Two Bad Guys: The judge and prosecutor, who provide much exposition on the trials.
- Title Drop: At the end of the first act.
- Token Minority: Tituba and her daughter Violet, though actually justified as they were Rev. Parris' slaves and the only "black" people associated with the trials.
- The Unseen: The rest of the Putnam family, specifically Ann Putnam (Junior!)'s father, who is referenced multiple times throughout the play.
- Villain Protagonist: The Circle Girls probably fit this trope rather nicely, especially Abigail.
- Villain Song: A couple.
- Voice of the Legion:
Abigail: If I can't become what they want me to be, then I'll have to make them (legion voice starts about here) what I want them to be."
- Witch Hunt: Of course.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Fortunately averted. There are a couple uses of "thee" but they appear to have been used correctly.