For me, The Crucible is about fear of the unknown, fear of the New World, and fear of the devil. All of these can be captured in a single metaphor: Fear of the Forest.
For this production, a wall of New England aspen trees, in silhouette, stands all across the composition against the sky. All of the scenery for the show is achieved through a series of light boxes built into this wall.
We cut out the doors, fireplaces, and windows. All windows were covered with black rear-projection screen. The entire wall was painted black. Everything was then covered with black scrim, so that there was no difference in sheen between the rear-projection screen and the painted surfaces. The fireplace and the doors were invisible when closed.
Set changes involved actors moving furniture into new configurations. The windows all changed simply by changing the manner in which we backlit the set.
Windows with t ree-branches showing were lit with gobos. Colors were chosen to match the light being cast on the cyclorama.