NOW PLAYING: Theater Company of Lafayette's INHERIT THE WIND
Theater Company of Lafayette Presents
INHERIT THE WIND
The Theater Company of Lafayette (TCL) is turning a corner of Old Town Lafayette into 1920s Hillsboro, Tennessee for its production of the classic courtroom drama, Inherit the Wind, running April 29 - May 21 at the historic Mary Miller Theater with audience involvement. The play was written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee. The audience-interactive nature of the production is a long-time dream of director Ian Gerber. "The first time I came to the Mary Miller Theater, which is a converted church dating back to the 1800s, it was a warm, sticky night. The theater didn't have air-conditioning yet, just ceiling fans. I looked around at the old wooden paneling, the staiNed Glass windows and people fanning themselves with their programs, and I said to the friends I was with, "Wouldn't this be a great place to put on Inherit the Wind?"
The carnival-like atmosphere of the play, which is inspired by the Scopes Monkey Trial that pitted world-famous lawyer Clarence Darrow against renowned politician William Jennings Bryan, will start well before the opening scenes. The play's 30 actors, in character, will greet the audience to period lemonade and hot-dog stands set up outside the theater. They'll engage them in conversations ranging from the weather to the Bible to evolution. The court bailiff will "screen" people at the box office before letting them take their seats in the gallery, where they may find themselves sitting next to characters in the play! Members of the audience will also be recruited to sit on the trial jury.
"We really want people to understand and feel the universality and timeless nature of the play," says Gerber. "The conflicts of science and religion and schools and First Amendment rights are constantly being challenged, reinterpreted, stretched and then often ignored." The opening stage directions in the script set the time of the play as "Not too long ago," and continue, "It might have been yesterday. It could be tomorrow."
The Theater Company of Lafayette presents Inherit the Wind. Performances are at the historic Mary Miller Theater, 300 E. Simpson Street, Lafayette, Fridays & Saturdays, April 29 - May 21, at 7:30 p.m. with Sunday matinees, May 1 & 15, 2:00 p.m. To purchase tickets or make reservations, go online at www.TCLStage.org. Reservations can also be made by calling the Box Office at 720-209-2154.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ian Gerber
From This Author Michael Mulhern