North Hunterdon High School’s Theater Organization will perform Jerome Lawrence and Robert Lee’s classic, Inherit the Wind, on November 1 and 3.
Inspiration for the play came from the famous 1925 Scopes Trial, in which science teacher John Scopes was prosecuted for teaching evolution in a Tennessee high school. Tennessee had recently passed the Butler Act, which rendered it illegal to teach evolution in any public school in the state. The trial attracted a bevy of spectators to the town, with three-time Presidential hopeful William Jennings Bryan serving as prosecuting attorney, and renowned lawyer Clarence Darrow for the defense.
The two legal giants are portrayed in NHTO’s production by senior Jack Murray in the role of defense lawyer Henry Drummond, who personifies Darrow, and senior George Kapetanakis as the beloved Matthew Harrison Brady, who characterizes Bryan. Senior Andrew Tota portrays the accused teacher, Bertram Cates, supported by his colleague and friend, Rachel Brown (junior Taylor Ussia), who happens to be the daughter of the local minister, Reverend Jeremiah Brown (sophomore Joseph McDevitt). A cynical, wise-cracking reporter, E.K. Hornbeck (senior Juliana Gonzalez-Rivas) arrives to cover the trial for the Baltimore Herald, while the Judge (junior Lexie Miller), District Attorney Davenport (junior Lizzie Caso), and bailiff Mr. Meeker (sophomore Quinn Cowell) manage the courtroom.
Other students in the cast are seniors Meredith Harmon and Paeton Horsch, juniors Emily Miljkovic and Morgen Fisher, sophomores Grace Gartlgruber, Emily Koscinski, Raymond Setaro, Annie Meyer, Alicia Chapman, Amelia Milza, and Shayne Piro, and freshmen Joshua Zalot, Anneliese Johnson, Maggie Dean, Makaela Kessie, Andrea Baumgarten, Natalie Bonilla, Nancy Crannell, Chloe Giordano, Kira Lospinoso, Cassandrea Mitros, and Vanessa Molini.
The play is produced by English teacher Regina Cavo, and directed by English teacher Mary Meo. Teachers Aaron Willsey and Ann Semanchik manage sets and technical aspects of the production.
Performances are on Thursday, November 1 at 7:00 p.m., a matinee on Saturday, November 3 at 3:00 p.m., and an evening performance on Saturday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m., all in the school theater. Tickets, at $8 for students and senior citizens and $10 for general admission, are available at the door. Inherit the Wind is produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.