Home > Plays > Afflicted: Daughters of Salem
The Afflicted

“We did invite the Devil into our midst and he will take us down to hell!”

In 1691 Puritan New England, fear and superstition were rampant. Singing, dancing and amusement of any kind was forbidden. The devil was everywhere. Five girls coming of age in Salem Village, desperate for release of their thoughts and feelings, find an ally in Tituba, a black slave who longs for freedom. Deep in the woods the girls make a pact and build a sisterhood. Then alliances are formed, promises made and broken, power taken. Afflicted: Daughters of Salem tells the story of the Salem girls—Abigail Williams, the leader, Ann Putnam, Mercy Lewis, Mary Warren and Betty Parris, and the events that led up to the infamous Salem witch trials. This origin story examines how these teenage girls became accusers and caused 20 people to be put to death for witching. An interactive forum that explores the accusers and their community is built into the play, encouraging reflection and is ideal for complimenting classroom work. This play is a must for deeper engagement alongside any study of the Salem witch trials. Afflicted: Daughters of Salem, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, explores not only the history and causes of the trials but also how girls raised in oppression have negotiated alliances and power throughout history just as they do today. Commissioned and premiered by the Coterie Theatre.