Rehearsing for Rider Theatre's production of Inherit the Wind are Shelly Walsh in the role of Drummond and Dan Maldonado in the role of Matthew Harrison Brady in Rider University's upcoming production of the play Inherit the Wind
Rider Theatre will present the Tony Award-winning play Inherit the Wind in the Yvonne Theater on the campus of Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J. February 22 through February 26. A preview performance will be Wednesday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m., and performances will be Thursday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, February 25 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, February 26 at 2 p.m. The production, directed by Miriam Mills, will be performed by Rider University students.
Written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, the drama focuses on the real life Scopes "monkey" trials from the 1920s, in which a Tennessee high school teacher was charged with teaching evolution in his classroom, violating the current State law. It made headlines across the country, focusing on the question of evolution versus creationism, and the proper place of science in schools.
"Authors Jerome Lawrence and Robert Lee – writing at the pinnacle of power of the House Un-American Activities Committee, which led the crusade to blacklist and imprison writers suspected of Communist ties – presented their play as a not-too-subtle metaphor for McCarthyism, red baiting and censorship," James Castagnera, Rider's Associate Provost writes in the program note Why Inherit the Wind Matters.
"Inherit the Wind is a fictionalization of the case," said Miriam Mills, director of Rider's production. "Some names were changed to protect the guilty. But, it's a close adaptation. Some of the dialogue in the play was taken right from the trial itself. It is the same story, just with different names and points of view."
Considering her approach to this production, she says, "I want people to consider the options as opposed to just picking one. We always seem to battle the other side as opposed to listening. We are more interested in destroying the countering view instead of trying to find common ground. I hope to challenge that with this show."
Miriam Mills has directed more than 100 shows nationally included productions of Extremities, The Pillowman, Rent and Sweet Charity. She has twice received the Kennedy Center ACTF Meritorious Directing Award for Excellence in Directing for her productions of The Pillowman and The Misanthrope. She is active in the Association for Theater in Higher Education and currently serves as the director of the Acting Program for the national association. Ms. Mills is an active voice-over artist and her New York acting credits include leads in such productions as Romeo and Juliet, Hotel Baltimore and Company.
Rider University's Theatre program has a rich tradition of preparing students for successful careers in all aspects of the theatre. Graduates of the program are working with national theatre companies, in film and on television. Our campus productions have earned critical praise for more than 50 years and offer the community the opportunity to see aspiring actors in the early stages of their careers.
Tickets for the Inherit the Wind performances are $20 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. They can be purchased at the door, through the box office at 609-896-7775 or online at www.rider.edu/arts. General admission preview tickets are $9 and are only available at the door. For more information, visit rider.edu/arts. Rider University is located at 2038 Lawrenceville Road in Lawrenceville, N.J.
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