Mar 10, 2009

ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS INHERIT THE WIND

Oddfellows Playhouse Teen Repertory Company presents a mainstage production of Inherit the Wind, directed by Jeffery Allen and performed by a talented cast of 20 teens from throughout central Connecticut, from March 26-April 4. This fictionalized account of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial employs the debate between teaching evolution vs. creationism in the public schools as the background for a drama intended to criticize the anti-Communist hysteria and the threats to America’s intellectual freedom in the 1950s.

John T. Scopes’s conviction for teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution to a high school science class caused a media sensation in 1925. Evolutionism was contrary to Tennessee state law, which prohibited the teaching of anything but creationism. Inherit the Wind, written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, opened on Broadway in 1955 and incorporated the trial’s historical events and larger-than-life figures of William Jennings Bryant and Clarence Darrow in this fictionalized critique of the McCarthy era.

As relevant today as when it was first performed, Inherit the Wind warns against repeating the wrongs of the past and raises questions with grace, humanity, and power about how we still use faith and science as both shield and sword.Major support for Oddfellows’ 2008-2009 season comes from the State Department of Education, CT Commission on Culture & Tourism, Middlesex United Way, Middletown Commission on the Arts, The Stare Fund, and The J. Walton Bissell Foundation.

A “can-can” preview of Inherit the Wind will be performed on March 26 at 7 pm. All tickets are “pay-what-you-can,” and audience members are asked to bring a nonperishable food item for the Amazing Grace food pantry. Additional performances are on March 27 and 28 April 3 and 4 at 7:30 pm. All performances are at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, in Middletown, CT. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. For more information or reservations, please call (860) 347-6143.