Canberra Repertory Society's latest production, Arthur Miller's 1953 play The Crucible, will open on May 1.
The classic American play, directed by Jordan Best, will feature performances from local theatrical talents Duncan Ley and Lexi Sekuless.
Ley, an actor, director and playwright, who has previously won Best Original Work of the Year and Best Play of the Year from the Canberra Area Theatre Awards for his own plays The Burning and In Cold Light, will take the lead role as John Proctor.
Proctor is a tragic hero who finds himself at the centre of a witch hunt in 17th century Salem in New England. The witch hunt, which eventually tears the small community apart, is based loosely on real events.
After two months of rehearsals, members of the cast were "excited" and ready for opening night.
Ms Sekuless, who plays Elizabeth Proctor, the wife of Ley's character, said The Crucible was an incredibly challenging but clever play.
"Every single scene – and this is because it's so well written – starts and just escalates," she said.
A unique aspect of the Repertory Society's production is the set, which was designed by Michael Sparks.
The set is relatively minimalist, with a background of 19 trees and a few benches centre stage, which are rearranged to represent the interior of houses, a court and a gaol.
Geoffrey Borny, who plays villager Francis Nurse, said the result was an almost expressionist background.
"It's not museum theatre," he said. "But the acting is straight realism."
Cast members believe the "abstract" nature of the set will enable the play's themes to become more accessible to their Canberra audience.
Yanina Clifton, who plays one of the hysterical girls, noted Miller intended the play to be an allegory on McCarthyism. However its key theme, our human irrationality "leading to really dangerous things", is still relevant to our times, she said.
The production will be shown at Theatre Three on Repertory Lane from May 1-16.