Vinegar Tom

Fall, 2017
Written By: Caryl Churchill
Directed By: Jules Odendahl-James

The real definition of witch hunt: a community targets its weakest members as “other”, then uses law and religion to persecute and destroy them. It’s no coincidence the victims are female identified. What was true in 1670 is eerily true in 2017. Theater Studies presents a play about power, sex and witches (with songs!) by acclaimed British playwright Caryl Churchill, directed by Dr. Jules Odendahl-James. Duke alum and local composer Bart Matthews leads the punk-rock influenced music that punctuates the script, performing with the undergraduate cast of 9, featuring Anshu Dwibhashi, Ashley Ericson, Alex Felix,  Liddy Grantland,  Shaina Lubliner, Valerie Muensterman, Judy Riviere,  Andrew Spafford, and Maria Zurita.  On top of Sonya Drum's set design, students from Raquel Salvatella DePrada's visual studies class are designing video projections to highlight certain scenes.  Expect an intense journey back and forth through time as the 9 actors present 21 scenes punctuated by songs, music and video, propelling us from the 17th to the 21st century to see just how much things have changed even as they remain the same.

Production dates: November 9-19, 2017

Please go to for tickets. 

The performance on Friday, November 17 will be followed by a post-show discussion:
Where have the Witches Gone? Where are the Witches Now? 
Vinegar Tom Then and Now. 
Join the cast and members of the creative team after the Friday, November 17th performance as they welcome Duke faculty Kimberly Lamm (Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies), Thomas Robisheaux (History, Medieval and Renaissance Studies), and Corina Stan (English). These experts will discuss “bad” women in art and popular culture; the personal and political motivations behind witch trials across place and time; and the early work and influences of playwright Caryl Churchill.

NOTE:  This play is intended for a mature audience and depicts scenes of sexual and gender violence. Please exercise self-care in choosing to engage with this material.

If you are a student at Duke University (of any gender) and are a victim-survivor of gender violence, harassment, or stalking, contact Duke’s Women's Center 24/7 about confidential services. The center (in Crowell Hall, East Campus) is open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Or you can call 919-684-3897, email, or walk in no appointment necessary. After-hours, weekends, holidays: send a page 919-970-2108 or email


Anshu Dwibhashi - Jack

Ashley Ericson - Ellen

Alex Felix - Betty

Liddy Grantland - Joan

Shaina Lubliner - Margery

Valerie Muensterman - Alice

Judy Riviere - Goody

Andrew Spafford - The Man, Doctor, Packer

Maria Zurita - Susan