Thursday September 20, 2018
HERSHEY, Pa., September 20, 2018 – Hershey Area Playhouse is proud to present, Inherit the Wind, an American play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, which debuted in 1955. The story fictionalizes the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial as a means to discuss the then-contemporary McCarthy trials.
Lawrence and Lee’s play was rejected by eight Broadway producers before coming to the attention of Margot Jones, a theater director and producer in Dallas, Texas. With Jones directing, Inherit the Wind premiered in Dallas on January 10, 1955, and received rave reviews. The Broadway rights were soon acquired by Herman Shumlin, and the play opened at Broadway’s National Theatre on April 21, 1955. Shumlin directed, with actors Paul Muni, Ed Begley and Tony Randall in the cast. It played on Broadway until June 22, 1957, where it closed after 806 performances. A 1960 film adaption of the play was filmed starring Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly, and Dick York, amongst others. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Spencer Tracy.
“This is one of those great plays that was written decades ago but is still so timely. As Supreme Court hearings scroll across screens, the nation debates issues that surf the line dividing church and state,” Playhouse chairwoman Jennifer Feldser said.
“We live at a time when division has become a prominent part of our culture. What began as a war protest, a civil rights demand, a women’s movement, and a Woodstock counterculture has evolved into a modern psychological and theological split fueled by the overarching technology we’ve created and the isolation that comes from listening and watching only that which we believe and accept is right,” director Skip Becker said. “What you’ll see in the show isn’t journalism. We aren’t recreating The Monkey Trial verbatim. We are a company of actors creating theatre.”
Those actors that are creating theatre include: Virginia Hahn as Rachel Brown; Phil Jurus as Meeker; Sean Reynolds as Bertram Cates; Ruth Stewart as Mrs. Krebs & Mrs. Loomis; John Messmer as Reverend Jeremiah Brown; Gene Ellis as Mr. Bannister; Grace Signor as Melinda; Carter McQuiddy as Howard; Jude Petersen as Hot Dog Man & Eskimo Pie Hawker; Rachel Koppenhaver as Mrs. McClain & Mrs. Blair; Brian Kreider as Elijah; Larry Dorf as E.K. Hornbeck; Laurie Miller Petersen as Hurdy Gurdy Man & Harriet Esterbrook; Nathan Swank as Timmy; Thomas Marks as the Mayor; Eddie Costik as Matthew Harrison Brady; Shelby Snyder as Mrs. Brady; Connor Feeney as Tom Davenport; Marc Lubbers as Henry Drummond; Chuck Whalen as the Judge; Todd Pagliarulo as Dunlap, Cooper, & the Photographer; Steve Dincau as Sillers; Lesley Reed as Reuters News Service; Carly Evans as Lila Ann Krebs; Alyssa Adams, Renee Howard, Silas Howard, Jacob Porter, Molly Sargent, and Bridget Still as Townspeople.
In addition to Becker, the production team working behind the scenes for Inherit the Wind include Lois Heagy, co-director and stage manager; Lisa Greene, producer; Carlton Hoke & Jeff Miller, set design; Dave Ebright, lighting designer; Linda Pagliarulo, costumes; and Vickie Feinstein, props.
Experience the history of Inherit the Wind, running October 4-7 and October 11-14, 2018. Thursday through Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday performances begin at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $20 for teens/adults and $17 for those ages 12 and under. Tickets are available by visiting www.HersheyAreaPlayhouse.com or by calling the Playhouse's box office at 717-533-8525.
Hershey Area Playhouse (www.HersheyAreaPlayhouse.com) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing residents of the community with an opportunity to participate in the creation and production of a theatrical experience. Since its inception in 1999, Hershey Area Playhouse has staged dozens of productions at numerous venues around the Hershey area. In April 2007, the Playhouse opened its new permanent home, Hershey Area Playhouse at Country Meadows.