The 1925 trial of science teacher John Scopes was a defining moment in the debate over evolution and creation and the source of some of America's finest literature and theater. This new theatrical production compares favorably with its esteemed predecessors. With Sharon Gless narrating and providing detailed historical background, the production aims to be historically accurate. At the forefront is Ed Asner, who brings out William Jennings Bryant's passionate belief in the Bible in a style reminiscent of Fredric March's in Inherit the Wind. Similarly superb is Jerry Hardin who, as Judge John Ralston, valiantly attempts to maintain order while trying to ensure that Scopes is convicted. Because there are no recordings of the actual trial, this production is certainly the next best thing.
The Scopes Trial, over the right to teach evolution in public schools, reaffirmed the importance of intellectual freedom as codified in the Bill of Rights. The trial, in a small-town Tennessee courtroom in 1925, set the stage for ongoing debates over the separation of Church and State in a democratic society - debates that continue to this day.
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Edward Asner, Bill Brochtrup, Kyle Colerider-Krugh, Matthew Patrick Davis, John de Lancie, James Gleason, Harry Groener, Jerry Hardin, Geoffrey Lower, Marnie Mosiman and Kenneth Alan Williams.
The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.
©2006 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2006 L.A. Theatre Works
This is a play that is a reenactment of the Scopes trial. In this trial, Mr. Scopes was accused of teaching evolution in a Tenn. school which was against the state law. This was a 'trumped up' case by the ACLU to have a public forum on this topic. The crime was a misdemeanor and the fine was a maximum of $100 but the topic brought two of the most famous and thoughtful men of the time, William Jennings Bryant for the prosecution and Clarence Darrow for the defense. Both men offered their services for free so that they may express their views. It was also the first trial that was broadcast by radio. I found the background of the trial fascinating and the courtroom eloquence and humor of all the lawyers is inspiring and entertaining. As this topic is still just as unsettled as it was then, the cases made by both sides are still relevant. As this was play, the actors are excellent and the 'readings' are far better than usually found in audiobooks. Regardless of your stance on this topic, I believe that you will find the book well worth the time. My only criticism is that it ended too quickly.
If knew John De Lancie as Q and Edward Asner as Lou Grant, get this performance. They bring out the most engaging, disturbing, and mesmerizing drama of two men struggling over the theory of evolution vs creationism.
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