Oxford Playscripts: Salem by David Calcutt


Oxford Playscripts: Salem by David Calcutt

An engaging classroom playscript. In 1692, 19 people were executed for witchcraft and the whole village was engulfed in fear. But what actually happened in Salem? This play re-tells the Witch Trials by combining historical evidence with a healthy dose of imagination, and exploring the build-up of hysteria in the village. It covers important issues of prejudice and peer pressure, gang mentality, suspicion and fear. A more accessible version of events, Salem is ideal for preparation work for The Crucible. It also acts as an interesting comparison text to Miller's play, placing emphasis on different events and characters. New, innovative activities specifically tailored to support the KS3 Framework for Teaching English and help students to fulfil the Framework objectives. Activities include work on Speaking and Listening, close text analysis, and the structure of playscripts, and act as a springboard for personal writing.

About the Author

David Calcutt

David Calcutt was born in Wednesbury, West Midlands, in 1950, and now lives in Walsall. He taught in schools for ten years, then was a Community Arts Director for three years. He is now a freelance playwright and storyteller. The main influences on his work are myth and folk-tale. "Those ancient myths have provided us with some of our greatest works of literature, art, music and theatre...."

Q & A on Shadow Bringer with David Calcutt

1. What inspired you to write Shadow Bringer?

2. Describe it in two lines?

3. How long did it take you to write?

4. What do you think people will say about this book?

5. Are you working on something else at the moment?

6. What is your favourite food?

7. What makes you laugh out loud?

8. What is your one luxury item you would take with you on to a Desert Island?

9. What is your most treasured memory?

10. What is your weakness?

11. What is the worst/most unusual job you have ever done?

12. What is your most embarrassing moment?

13. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

14. What is the best piece of advice you could give to someone?

15. Last album brought? First album ever brought?

The first that I bought myself was, I think, “The Times They Are A-Changin’” by Bob Dylan. The most recent is “Elegy of the Uprooting” by the Greek composer Eleni Karaindrou. The Greeks call her the tenth muse. She is.

“Njal’s Saga” by an anonymous and brilliant Icelandic writer, and “Light in August” by William Faulkner. Also Ted Hughes’ poetry - but then I’m always reading this.

The music from “The Third Man”. Orson Welles. In fact I’d rather be in that film.

The Greek island of Lesvos

Shakespeare, Ted Hughes, Dylan Thomas, William Golding, Nikos Kazantzakis, George Seferis, Herman Melville, William Faulkner, Flannery O’ Connor, Jorge Luis Borges, John Steinbeck, James Joyce.

“Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson

My bike, and whatever notebook I happen to be writing in.

I’m pretty happy in most places.

Chocolate digestives.

Too many to list. Stupidity’s probably at the top.

I’d be less quick to judge, and work harder

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Book Info


128 pages


David Calcutt
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Author's Website




Publication date

28th June 2007



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