'Inherit the Wind' is high school spring play, will open April 5

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

New Prague High School students will be staging a classic play when they perform Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee.

There will be two performances of the play - at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 5, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 6.

The production is still as relevant as when it was first published in 1955. At the heart of the play is the issue of censoring or limiting an individual's freedom to think. The production is a fictionalized account of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial where John Scopes, a teacher in Dayton, TN, was accused of teaching the theory of evolution in the classroom, which was against the law at that time.

When Lawrence and Lee wrote the play, they were more concerned about addressing censorship. In America, the early 1950s were a time when actors and writers were blacklisted and refused work if they they had been accused of having some connection to communism. Due to a fear of losing their livelihood or worse, many stopped expressing their thoughts, beliefs or ideas. Lawrence and Lee became aware of how dangerous it can be when laws are created that limit the freedom to think and speak.

Valerie Drommerhausen is directing the production. Student actors in the play are Dan Forberg, Neil Gysland, Dan Simon, Joe Forberg, Jasmine Norris-Marsh, Kyle Dvorak, David Loose, Larissa Schmitz, Nicole Hoffman, Jill Zimanske, Sara Lang, Brieanna Brown, MaKenzi Hanson, Kelsey Bossen, Rebecca Goulson, Cami Gysland, Evan O'Malley, Allie Meyer and Nick Smith. Student directors are Shelby Zellmer and Mary Gebhardt.

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