The Crucible sets new first preview and opening dates

In order to give cast member and two-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan time to attend the Oscars ceremony on 28th February in Los Angeles, the forthcoming 2016 Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's drama The Crucible, directed by Olivier Award winner Ivo van Hove, will now begin previews on 1 March 2016 (instead of 29 February) at Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre. A new opening night date has also been confirmed for 31 March 2016 (instead of 7 April), and a limited engagement through to 17 July 2016.

Olivier Award nominee and BAFTA Award winner Ben Whishaw and Tony Award winner and Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo will take on the roles of John and Elizabeth Proctor. They are joined by Ciaran Hinds (Deputy Governor Danforth), Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan (Abigail Williams), Tavi Gevinson (Mary Warren), Jim Norton (Giles Corey), Bill Camp (Reverend John Hale), Jason Butler Harner (Reverend Parris), Tina Benko (Ann Putnam/Sarah Goode), Teagle Bougere (Judge Hawthorne), Michael Braun (Ezekiel Cheever), Jenny Jules (Tituba), Thomas Jay Ryan (Thomas Putnam), Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut (Susanna Walcott), Elizabeth Teeter (Betty Parris), Ray Anthony Thomas (Francis Nurse), Brenda Wehle (Rebecca Nurse) and Erin Wilhelmi (Mercy Lewis).

Synopsis: "The Crucible uses the Salem witch trials of the 1690s as a parable for McCarthyism. The play follows members of the town and the spreading of fear-based rumors after a group of young girls are discovered dancing in the woods. One of the girls, Abigail, out of an obsessive love for John Proctor (with whom she once had an affair,) sets out to have his wife hanged."

This production will be directed by Olivier Award winner Ivo van Hove, who is also represented in the 2015-2016 Broadway season by another Miller drama - A View from the Bridge - and also features set and lighting design by Jan Versweyveld, costume design by An D’Huys, and original music by Philip Glass.

The Crucible originally premiered on Broadway in 1953 and has been revived a total of four times previously. 1964, 1972, 1991 and the last time it was seen on Broadway was in 2002, starring Laura Linney, Liam Neeson and Kristen Bell. It was also revived in London's West End in 2014, starring Richard Armitage, and was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Revival.

Ben Whishaw will be making his Broadway debut, although he has appeared off-Broadway in 'The Pride' at Lucille Lortel Theatre in 2010. His West End credits include 'Hamlet,' 'His Dark Materials,' 'The Seagull,' 'Cock,' 'Peter and Alice,' and 'Mojo.' His screen credits include the 007 films "Skyfall" and "Spectre," "Paddington," "Cloud Atlas," "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer," and "In the Heart of the Sea."

Sophie Okenodo won a Tony Award for her Broadway debut in 'A Raisin in the Sun' in 2014. In London she played Cressida in the 1999 National Theatre production of 'Troilus and Cressida.' She received an Oscar nomination for "Hotel Rwanda" in 2005, a Golden Globe nomination for "Tsunami: The Aftermath" in 2007, and BAFTA nominations for "Mrs Mandela" in 2010 and "Criminal Justice" in 2009. Other screen credits include "Æon Flux," "After Earth," "Skin," "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls," and "The Secret Life of Bees."

- by Tom Millward