The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial
Subaru of America, Inc.
This event sponsored by
Subaru of America, Inc.

2009 GSA Public Forum

LA Theater Works presents:

The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial

Monday, 19 Oct., 7:30 p.m., Newmark Theater
1111 SW Broadway (at Main Street), Portland, Oregon

The grand finale of Darwin Day events.

The contentious 1925 Tennessee versus John Thomas Scopes trial heats up the stage — over the right to teach the theory of evolution in public schools. The official transcripts of the historic battle between science and theology bring contemporary arguments to life in this remarkable drama starring Edward Asner as William Jennings Bryan.

The trial, in a small-town Tennessee courtroom in 1925, set the stage for ongoing debates over the separation of Church and State in a democratic society — debates that continue to this day.

Tickets: GSA meeting attendees get a special price of $25 by purchasing on their registration form.

This event is open to the public. All attendees at The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial will receive a free pass to the GSA Exhibit Hall.

CAST Monkey Trial Poster

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[521KB PDF]

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Ed Asner
Patrick Davis
Matt Gaydos
James Gleason
Jerry Hardin
John Heard
Rob Nagle
David Novak
Geoffrey Wade
Tanner Ward
Tegan West

[ read cast bios ]

It is a reconstruction of the celebrated 1925 trial in Dayton, Tennessee. Obstensibly about a teacher's illegal teaching of Darwin's theory of evolution, it evolved into a "duel to the death" (the prosecution's words) in a contest between theology and science. The recording was made in Hollywood, the cast were all American, Peter Goodchild, the adapter, was British, and the production team were half British, half American. Neither theatre nor documentary, it succeeds in thrillingly being both.
-- The London Times

Most of us respond to the Scopes Monkey Trial in terms of the popular play and movie "Inherit the Wind." But that was a dramatization of court transcripts, not a meticulous playback of the sundry strategies, witnesses and warring attorneys. Now, with the radio drama THE GREAT TENNESSEE MONKEY TRIAL, you can experience another more literal dramatization, totally compiled from the transcripts of that historic battle in Dayton, Tenn., in the summer of 1925 over the right to teach the theory of evolution in public schools. Starring Edward Asner as the Bible thumper William Jennings Bryan and Charles Durning as the attorney Clarence Darrow, the production celebrates the bicentennial of the Bill of Rights with a swarm of heretofore unknown characters in a recording that catches the heat and clamor of that legal boiler room known as Tennessee versus John Thomas Scopes.
-- Los Angeles Times

Radio drama of a special order.
-- L.A. Times

The remarkable aspect of THE GREAT TENNESSEE MONKEY TRIAL is how closely Peter Goodchild's adaptation of the official record of the infamous court battle in Dayton, Tennessee reflects contemporary arguments. This American production features a bravura performance by Edward Asner as the fundamentalist William Jennings Bryan.
-- The Guardian


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