John Burroughs High School students present Inherit The Wind this Friday through Sunday, November 20 – 22. The intense drama based on the Scopes “Monkey” Trial of 1925 focuses on the still-relevant public and legal discourse of personal religious beliefs conflicting with scientific facts and religious freedom in the United States.
“With such a large cast, heavy subject matter and a live monkey, Inherit the Wind has certainly been one of the most challenging shows we have taken on,” commented JBHS Drama Director Guy Myers. “At some points, the dialogue of the play sounds as if it could have been written today, touching on the timeless issues having to do with our basic freedoms.”
“The drama students are handling the complicated and rich scenes with humanity and are breathing life into these characters,” he added. “I am so proud to work with such dedicated thespians, tech students and parent volunteers to bring this important story to the stage.”
Written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, Inherit The Wind takes its title from the book of Proverbs in the Bible: “He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind.”
Inherit The Wind follows the story of Tennessee school teacher Bertram Cates, arrested for teaching his students Darwin’s theory of evolution. National attention focuses on the small town as two famous lawyers battle in the Hillsboro courthouse. The defendant’s girlfriend Rachel is also the daughter of the town preacher, and as the story develops, everyone in the town must choose sides.
“The drama’s purpose was to criticize the then-current state of McCarthyism and also to defend intellectual freedom,” stated Lawerence, the author, on his fictionalized story. “It’s not about science versus religion. It’s about the right to think.”
“This has been a very fun show for me to be a part of,” commented student Matt Bond, who portrays reporter E.K. Hornbeck. “It’s a great senior year show because it’s a show of firsts. This is really the first show where I’ve gotten the chance to just play a total jerk, which is actually quite enjoyable to get into that character.”
“Also the big new experience is getting to work with the ever talented Squirt the Monkey!” added Bond. “Squirt’s a great actor and he’s going places man, probably a TV deal soon. Overall this show has been a great learning experience and just a lot of fun!”
“I love playing Mrs. Brady. She is such a diverse character and one I’ve gotten to work with to change her perspective,” said junior Maddie Seiffert. “It is super entertaining to sit in the court room and watch Nick and Daniel banter back and forth. I wouldn’t trade the role for the world.”
Nick Apostolina portrays the defendant’s lawyer Henry Drummond and Daniel Beimford is prosecuting attorney Matthew Harrison Brady.
The show runs Friday and Saturday, November 20 and 21, at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 22, at 2:00 p.m. at the John Burroughs High School auditorium located at 1920 Clark Avenue in Burbank. Tickets are $12 general admission and $8 for students, seniors and faculty. Tickets are available via the JBHS Drama website and updates can be found on the JBHS Drama Facebook page.