Inherit the Wind
directed by Perry Crafton May 10 - June June 3
Thursdays - Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 5 p.m.
City Theatre, 3823 Airport Road at 31 1/2 St. (behind the Shell Station) (click for map)
Go to City Theatre website for ticket information and reservations
The City Theatre Company brings to the stage Inherit the Wind, the riveting play that has its genesis in the famous 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, an episode that changed our nation. It is one of the most outstanding dramas of our time drawing the portrait of an explosive episode in American culture which remains as fresh and relevant as ever. The production plays May 10 – June 3, Thursday – Saturday 8 p.m. Sunday 5:30 p.m.
“He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind.” – Proverbs 11:29
When a young teacher is arrested for teaching Darwin's Origin of the Species, a small southern town becomes the focus of the entire nation as long-held beliefs are confronted. Evolution and religion go head to head in one of the most momentous and groundbreaking courtroom battles in history digging deep into the heart and soul of America in a timely search for perspective and hope. Over ninety years have passed since John Scopes was convicted of the crime of teaching evolution in a Tennessee public school. The issues of freedom of speech and the proper role of religion in the public arena have been with us since the earliest days of our nation. Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection was seen as a direct challenge to the Biblical version of creation, so a strong effort was mounted to keep these ideas out of public schools.
Two of America’s most seasoned and charismatic orators, Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, inserted themselves into the raging debate about teaching evolution in the classroom when they took up opposing sides in the trial. Darrow was one of the nation’s most successful defense lawyers and was determined to defend the schoolteacher’s rights to teach. Bryan, a Democratic presidential candidate three times, established himself as one of the most popular conservative public speakers in America. When the judge denied Darrow’s attempts to present scientists as expert witnesses on evolution, Bryan accepted the challenge to take the stand as an expert witness on the Bible, and a titanic battle ensued between these towering American icons. That sweltering summer of 1925, the “trial of the century” became a media circus and a national sensation. And the debate over evolution is by no means settled. Rarely does a week go by without a reference to this issue in local and national news. The present tension between science and faith provides fertile ground for this new production.
Inherit the Wind playwrights Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee stressed that the play “does not pretend to be journalism. It is theatre.” Writing in the 1950s and marshaling the Scopes trial as an analogous historical event, they sought to expose the threat to intellectual freedom posed by the hysteria of McCarthy’s anti-Communist witch-hunts. The play ran on Broadway for over two years and was adapted for the screen a number of times, including the celebrated 1960 version. Over the years, renowned actors of stage and screen have squared off against each other in the Darrow and Bryan roles. The impressive list includes Spencer Tracy and Fredric March, Jason Robards and Kirk Douglas, Jack Lemon and George C. Scott, Christopher Plummer, Brian Dennehy and, most recently, Kevin Spacey and David Troughton.
Directed by Perry Crafton, the cast is headed by veteran Austin actors Scot Friedman and Sam Damon. Featured also is an amazing ensemble cast including Laura Ray, Tony Salinas, Gil Austin, Vincent Doenges, Andy Brown, Ellen Massey, David Niegsch, Steve Wright, Dave Westenbarger, Goeffrey Rake, Rachel Cohen, Clare Boyd, Jo Rake, Danilo Garcia, Bobby Warren, Joe Perales, Frank Rios, Alex Yeager and Sam Dubin.