Theatre Department’s “Inherit the Wind”


Students rehearsing a courtroom scene for the school’s fall play, “Inherit the Wind.”

The school’s school fall play “Inherit the Wind” played November 15 through the 17 at 7 p.m. Many students and family members went to watch the final performance of the play, but much more goes into the production of the play than just the acting.

“Inherit the Wind” is based on the true story of the 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial when high school teacher John T. Scopes was charged for breaking Tennessee law by teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.  The legislature declared the teachings unlawful, going against those taught by the Bible, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

Scopes was later convicted and fined, but the trial caught the world’s attention. This caused confrontation between fundamentalist literal belief and liberal interpretation of the Scriptures, also according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

Head of the Theatre Arts program Mr. Keith Cassidy has worked at the school for 12 years, directing  23 plays during his tenure. Mr. Cassidy says he has always loved the play “Inherit the Wind.”

“It was the first play the really inspired me as to what theater could be,” Mr. Cassidy said.

When Mr. Cassidy was in fourth grade, his father was cast in “Inherit the Wind.” Mr. Cassidy would go to every rehearsal and even learned the script by watching the play so much. This helped Mr. Cassidy learn how theater can deal with tough issues, as shown in “Inherit the Wind.”

Mr. Cassidy has wanted to direct the play here at school for a long time, but due to the fact that the play originally had a mostly male cast, he has refrained from doing so.

With the production of plays taking about two months, there is a lot that goes into preparing for the play. According to Mr. Cassidy, the audition process involves multiple auditions where students choose from three monologues. This year auditioning students also read from the script.  

For the call back auditions, students read from specific scenes for specific characters, according to Mr. Cassidy. Once the characters are cast, there are many students from all grades who work together during the production process.

Rosie Couture, a freshman who played the role of Mrs. Blair in the play, explained  that her favorite part of the play production was, , “Getting close with all the actors… they’re  all awesome people and they’re so much fun, and it’s just one big family.”

There are also many students who work backstage. There are many roles to the backstage crew that include student heads of different tech designers. There are student light designers, set designers and also sound designers. Students also help make costumes, build the set, run the show, do set changes, and much more help behind the scenes.

“Theater is a collaborative art form and we have to bring a lot of people together … but every play has its own challenges,” Mr. Cassidy said.

Besides rehearsal struggles, there can also be other outside sources that cause disruption in the performance. For example, on Thursday, November 15, the opening night of the fall play was cancelled due to snow, causing the performance to be rescheduled for Saturday, November 17. This caused for there to be two performances to be on Saturday, an afternoon performance and an evening performance.

Still Mr. Cassidy says through the hard times there are many fun times that make it all worth it.

“The best part of any play is working with the actors and developing the characters and developing their roles,” Mr. Cassidy said.