TIME: 8pm Fri-Sat, 2pm Sun
The Hoogland Center for the Arts, Wolter, Beeman and Lynch, and
NewsRadio 1240 WTAX will present the classic drama Inherit the Wind Oct. 4-6
In 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee, schoolteacher John Scopes was tried for teaching evolution. The press dubbed it the Scopes Monkey Trial. The trial, which drew national attention including reporter H.L. Mencken, pitted William Jennings Bryan against Clarence Darrow.
In the 1950s, playwrights Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee recognized a parallel between the anti-evolutionists involved with the Scopes Monkey Trial to Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist Senate hearings. Lawrence and Lee chose the Scopes Trial to explore the clash between fundamentalists and intellectuals, to make the point that man has the right to think.
Inherit the Wind is not meant to be taken as literal historical fact. The authors used the trial transcripts but the fictional character names emphasize that this is more allegory than literal history. Darrow becomes Drummond, Bryan is Brady, Mencken is Hornbeck, Scopes is Cates. Rev. Brown and his daughter Rachel are purely fictitious.
The authors state in the preface: “Inherit the Wind is not history” and “does not pretend to be journalism.” They do not set the play in 1925 but instead say that “It might have been yesterday. It could be tomorrow.” In the political climate in which the play was written and produced, those words function as a warning against repeating the wrongs of the past. The debate rages on today in the clash between intelligent design versus the theory of evolution.
Inherit the Wind often considered one of the great plays of the 20th Century, debuted on Broadway in 1955 at the National Theatre with Paul Muni and Ed Begley earning Tony Awards® for their performances as Drummond and Brady, respectively. The popular 1960 movie version starred Spencer Tracy and Frederic March, and three television adaptations of the popular play have also been filmed.
The Hoogland Center for the Arts production will be directed by Laurie McCoy. The cast includes: Drummond: Jim Dahlquist, Brady: Rich McCoy, Rev. Brown: Harvey Mack, Hornbeck: John Paris, Rachel Brown: Jillian Taylor, Cates: Liam Schaver, Mayor: John Woodruff, Judge: Don Schneider, Davenport: Joe Jackson, Mrs. Brady: Felicia Coulter, Meeker: Dave Anderson, Dunlop: Mark Anderson, Sillers: Mike Coulter, Bannister: Jim Hepworth, Howard: J.D. Lindley, Chorus: Linda Schneider, Nancy Miller, Donna Price, Megan Hart, Mychael Knight, Sam Brown, Caroline Dahlquist, Shawn Smith, Grace Smith, Melissa Betty, Dave Berkum, and Charley Cross.
Show dates are October 4-6 and 11-13 in Theatre 3 at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, with Friday and Saturday performances at 8pm, Sunday performances at 2pm.