BWW Interviews: Wichita Community Theatre's INHERIT THE WIND Brings Controversy

BWW Interviews: Wichita Community Theatre's INHERIT THE WIND Brings Controversy

Inherit the Debate

Wichita Community Theatre is hard at work preparing for their upcoming production of Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. Directed by Mark Mannette and Apprentice Directed by Steve Miotto, Inherit the Wind promises to be a challenging and exciting theatrical experience. Based on the Scopes monkey trial of 1925, Inherit the Wind used the controversy to examine the then-present McCarthyism debate of 1955.

The inciting incident is when Bertram "Romeo with a biology book" Cates (played by Lewis D. Mize) teaches his sophomore science class the ideas within the pages of a thinly veiled "The Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin.

David Weills, who plays his lawyer Henry Drummond, wants the audience to consider the meaning behind the play. "I want them to consider the ramifications this has on present day, on education, on our children. I want them to talk about this play. That's what theatre's all about. It's a town square."

The rest of the cast is rounded out with a mix of Wichita Community Theatre mainstays and new faces, including Caitlin Trevino as Melinda, Nate McManis as Howard, Isabelle Scroggie as Rachel, Guy Blankenship as Bollinger, Don Wineke as Mr. Goodfellow, Crystal Meek as Mrs. Krebs, Michael Criss as Reverend Brown, Jim Moreland as Mr. Sillers, Bob Garrett as Cooper, Andrew Blocher as Mr. Dunlap, Paul Snyder as Bannister, Logan Buehler as Davenport, Andrea Weaver as Mrs. Loomis, Myra Mevey as Mrs. Blair, Mauren Kirby as Mrs. McLain, Peter Emery as Elijah, Bryan Welsby as E.K. Hornbeck, Ben Mannette as Timmy, Glenn Williams as Mayor, David Bailey as Brady, Cheryl Pearce as Sarah Brady, Andrew Johnson as Photographer/Reporter, Bob Lancaster as Judge, Ben Blankley as Mr. Meeker, Mark Schuster as Harry Esterbook, Dana Womack as Hot Dog Vendor, Robert Ryder as Mr. Krebs, and Rebekah Valentine as Reuter's Reporter.

A Minute with Mannette

Director Mark Mannette feels passionately about the play and it's message. "The subject matter is still timely. The debate involved in the play is still going on today." Inherit the Wind makes an argument not for evolutionism or creationism, but for independent thought. "You can form your own idea. It's perfectly healthy for people not to agree with each other, and it's perfectly healthy for people to form their own opinions and think for themselves."

The production runs from January 23rd to February 9th, 2014. Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances at 8:00 pm and Sunday performances at 7:00 pm except February 2nd, which is a 2:00pm matinee. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for Students/Seniors/Military. Wichita Community Theatre is located at 258 N Fountain.

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Alison Bridget Chambers Alison Bridget Chambers holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Shenandoah University Conservatory and an MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama. A former professor of theatre, she has also worked professionally as an actress, director and choreographer. She resides in Wichita, KS with her husband.

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