Archive for the ‘Behind the Scenes’ Category:
The family of our own Will Parr is extending their hospitality on a very personal level by hosting a “Homestay” student in coordination with the Salem-Ota Club.
For more information about our sister city check out the City of Salem website:
The Salem Witch Museum offers our main presentation translated into Japanese as well as 7 other languages.
Every year in January we close for business for a few days to scrub, paint and refresh. Here is our schedule, but feel free to call us with questions at (978)744-1692.
1/4/12 Wednesday CLOSED
1/5/12 Thursday CLOSED
1/6/12 Friday CLOSED
1/7/12 Saturday Open 10am – 5pm
1/8/12 Sunday Open 10am – 5pm
On the 319th anniversary of the hanging of Bridget Bishop we approached learning more about her story in a few unique ways. We spoke with Jenney Dale, the actor who portrays the first executed Salem witch trial victim in the History Alive! theatrical production of Cry Innocent.
We asked Ms. Dale what most captivated her about playing Bridget Bishop. “She was stubborn. I could identify with her outspoken nature, not wanting to go along with others’ definitions of how a person should act.” In some ways we still experience that today, but we have it so much easier than they did in 1692.” Being an outspoken woman certainly made her all the more suspect of being a witch, having endured years of town talk about her independent spirit.
Cry Innocent calls their audience to sit on the Puritan jury, hearing the reenacted historical testimonies from the pre-trial examinations, cross-examining the witnesses, and finally passing judgment themselves. Ms. Dale admits that sometimes the verdict is surprising. “It’s hard to tell which way they’ll go. But, I really want people to see the events through the eyes of Puritans,” so they can understand why the proceedings went as they did.
For more information about Cry Innocent, please click here or call their box office at: 978-867-4767
For more information on Fleurish call 781-820-0190
Here at the Salem Witch Museum we’re so blessed to have many creative, talented people on our staff. Peter Murphy, a sophomore theater student at Salem State University, has been part of our team for the last year and hails from Plymouth, Massachusetts.
During a recent trip home for spring break Peter took time to stop by Manomet Elementary School, where his mother is a Teacher’s Aid, to impart his knowledge of the Salem Witch trials to the third grade class. With a photo presentation to illustrate his history lesson, Peter shared the infamous story of the tragic 1692 witchcraft accusations. Not an easy task considering his audience of 8-year-olds might presumably rather watch Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place than learn about colonial history – and a tragic period at that. But Peter was surprised to learn that these kids had many questions and positive views of witch characters, like those portrayed in Harry Potter or Sabrina the Teenage Witch. “I was thrilled to find that the kids were curious about the topic, asking ‘Are witches real?’ ”
There is a broad span in perception between the Puritan notion of witches and the way these images are depicted in popular media today; though of course today we know that the accused in Salem were not in fact “witches” by any definition. Peter described Hollywood interpretations and other stereotypes associated with the witch image. He explained the evolution in perceptions of the archetype from ancient healing wise women, through medieval persecutions of so-called heretics and sorceresses – like Joan of Arc – all the way to the ever recognizable Wicked Witch of the West.
For his part, Peter was enthusiastic in his own learning experience speaking to a group of young people about the subject. A seasoned actor in Salem State’s recent production of Ghosts of Troy, he’s no stranger to performing in front of large groups. For his role as a seer in this “punk rock with a Cirque du Soleil twist” interpretation of the Odyssey, Peter energetically studied the athletic movement art of aerial silks. Adept at working in front of theater audiences and guiding tours through the Salem Witch Museum exhibits, Peter was invigorated by the challenge of relating the history of the Salem witch trials to elementary school children in a classroom setting.
We’d like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank Peter Murphy for his passion in the projects he undertakes, in and outside of the museum. It is an honor to work alongside him.
Last week at the Destination Salem annual meeting the long awaited new logo and tagline was unveiled to an enthusiastic crowd. Take a minute to view this fun and energized look at its debut.
You may have heard in recent news that the Salem Award Foundation has received a $25,000 grant from the Annenburg Foundation.
“Charles Weingarten visited Salem last fall to research the history of the witch trials in preparation for a possible film. He contacted Alison D’Amario, Patty MacLeod and Tina Jordan, of the Salem Witch Museum. D’Amario and MacLeod were instrumental in establishing the Salem Witch Trials Memorial and the Salem Award Foundation. During his exploration at historic sites with local experts, they told him about the Salem Award and its mission to educate the public through the lessons of the trials.”
Charles Annenberg Weingarten (pictured left). Photo courtesy of the Annenberg Foundation.
The Salem Witch Museum is proud to be part of a community dedicated to contributing to the cause of human rights and social justice.
We were honored last month to host distinguished Salem witch trials scholar Marilynne Roach who has written, among other things, The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege. After the crowds of summer visitors had left the museum for the evening, our staff gathered in the main auditorium for her lecture. She described her years of extensive research in various document archives, writing several books, and answered our many questions.
Ms. Roach first visited the Salem Witch Museum in 1973 and was inspired to launch her own investigation into the subject. Combing over documents written in an antique dialect, she ascertained new details relevant to this well-studied period of Colonial New England history. One of the more exciting moments of the research came , she told us, when she realized she’d discovered jailers invoices that had never before been acknowledged. It’s now widely known that imprisoned accused-witches were billed for their stay! Read more »
Frommer’s travel publications have been an indispensible part of any planned excursion touting that they explore destinations the way the locals do. Founded in 1957 by Arthur Frommer with Europe on $5 a Day (those were the days!) it has expanded to offer over 300 guidebooks and the website www.frommers.com . Today it is part of Wiley Publishing.
Carl has been a professional photographer for nearly 30 years and has earned credentials from some of the most renowned publications including Audubon, National Geographic Traveler and Time. I especially admire the incredible composition of his published work seen at http://www.carlwalshphoto.com/photos/Published/ . We’ll be sure to announce when we hear our piece has been published. Meanwhile, if you’d like to see the range of Carl’s evocative work, check him out at www.carlwalsh.com .