1642 and 1693, thirty-four people in the colony of Connecticut
were tried as witches, and
eleven of them were hanged. Most of them
were women. The largest Connecticut
Witchcraft Panic preceded the famous Salem Massachusetts Witch Trials by some thirty
"Panic in Connecticut:
Accused Witches Have Their Say" is a one-woman show that brings to
life the stories of five of the women accused of being a witch in 17th century Connecticut.
Researched, written, and performed by Connecticut
actress Virginia Wolf, the 40 minute
performance spans a period of over 30 years, and by the end gives a full
picture of the experience of being accused of witchcraft at a time when
witchcraft was a capital crime, punishable by death.
Ms. Wolf portrays Mary Staples, Lydia
Gilbert, Judith Varlet, Mary Barnes and Mercy Disborough. Lydia Gilbert and
Mary Barnes were hanged while
the other three were acquitted for various reasons. Their experiences ranged
from being jailed, to
being searched for witch's marks, to being put to the water test.
writing the play, Ms. Wolf used as
many primary resources as exist. Many
records are lost, damaged, or were never kept and they are stored in museums
and historical societies throughout the state. Where primary sources were not
Wolf only took dramatic license in keeping with the stories and the times.
Rockville Public Library is joining
with the Vernon Historical Society
to sponsor this unique program. The
performance will take place on October
20, 2013 at 2 PM at the Historical Society's building at 734 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon.
The program is free to the public.
further information, please call the society at 860-875-4326 or send an e-mail
to VernonHS@SBCglobal.net or visit our webpage at www.Vernonhistoricalsoc.org