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Prince William Little Theatre Inherit the Wind

By • Oct 10th, 2007 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Prince William Little Theatre’s Inherit The Wind [MP3 6:44 3.1MB].

Laura: This is the ShowBizRadio.net review of Prince William Little Theatre‘s Inherit The Wind in Manassas Virginia. Mike and I saw the performance on Saturday evening October 6, 2007.

Mike: This was a strong character driven piece that really got down to the nitty gritty of the characters of the main lawyers that were fighting each other in the court room.

Laura: That’s true. It had the potential to drag out really long because there isn’t really a lot of action on stage. Everybody is just kind of talking. I liked the pace of this performance very much. It moved right along and it really was a good character driven show.

Mike: Inherit The Wind is a play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. It’s a fictionalized account of the 1925 Scope’s Trial which resulted in Scopes’ conviction for teaching Charles Darwins’ theory of evolution to a high school science class. This is a fictionalized telling of the story of the trial. It’s not quite history, but it’s not quite fiction as well.

Laura: The lawyer for the prosecution, Matthew Harrison Brady, was played by Jack Seeley. He did an excellent job, he really got into his part. He was very much the southern gentleman. When his debates with the lawyer for the defense, he really got into it and you really saw a lot of emotion on his face.

Mike: He was definitely a great casting choice for that role. The exasperation he was feeling as well as the frustration during the trial worked really well. He did a really good job. Then when he was defending the Biblical beliefs he held he did a really good job with that too. It just seemed very believable and I liked that a lot.

Laura: Matthew Brady’s opponent, Henry Drummond, was played by Dan Yount. He did a good job. He was not quite into the Southern mannerisms that went on and was very much wanting to get on with it and also had a lot of emotion and did a great job.

Mike: There was a strong contrast between Brady and Drummond. Brady was very much the old school presidential candidate turned lawyer turned defender of the Bible. Versus Drummond who was very humanistic and very much in control. He was able to have a good time and laugh at things such as the absurdity of some of the arguments that were being made in the courtroom. At the same time he had lots of frustration he was feeling with the decisions the judge was making. I think the contrast of the two men, even though there was an air of friendship between them. Especially near the end of the show when Drummond talked about how great Brady was at times. I think that worked very well.

Laura: Rachel Brown, who was in love with the accused, was played by Becky Farris. She did a good job. She was very much torn in wanting to do what she thought was right, but not quite sure having always believed what her father said. Now as an adult she is starting to make her own decisions. There was really a lot of confusion between what her boyfriend was saying and what her father had always said was law. I liked her intense emotions.

Mike: Her boyfriend was Bertram Cates, the teacher who was accused of teaching Evolution. He was played by August Kruesi. He did an ok job in the role. He was kind of stuck. He really couldn’t do much because the lawyers had to do all of the work for him. He did have the deer in the headlights look of being attacked for something he didn’t think was wrong. He had to make the hard decision. Does he say he was wrong or does he go ahead with the trial and maybe end up in a worse situation? He did react well to the horrible situation he was placed in.

Laura: The set for Inherit The Wind I thought was good. It was performed at an elementary school that had a high ceiling auditorium where they did the performance. Thus they were able to spread out the actors and actresses on stage so everybody wasn’t crammed into one small space. I liked that they were spread out and could interact with what was going up on stage.

Mike: A lot of people in this how are just kind of extras. They are just kind of in the background or in the jury or in the crowd at the reception for Drummond. You don’t really need to know they’re there. You know they’re there, but you don’t have to see them. It’s a danger that the people that are in your show, you want them to have stage time. In this case you don’t want to give everybody the stage time they could get because it’s distracting and it also makes it really cramped. Zina Bleck, the director, did a good job with keeping the action up on stage focused on the people who were actually doing things and not the extras in the background. I’m glad that they were available. They were able to be siting down in the audience, but they could still yell out their lines as needed without being distracting.

One thing I didn’t like about the show was the lighting. It was designed by Anton Pavage. This is probably just a limitation of having to use a rented facility. It seemed like the lights were really harsh in the courtroom. That could have been just because they had to set the light stand so far back and couldn’t do a softer light. It seemed like the shadows that were being cast were really sharp and were a bit distracting. Although later in the show it wasn’t quite as bad so I probably just got used to it.

Laura: Inherit the Wind was just over two hours long with one intermission. It is playing for one more weekend. Friday and Saturday at 8 at the Baldwin Elementary School in Manassas Virginia. This is a good show. Recommend that you go see it. It will give you a lot to talk about.

Mike: This show is being performed in an elementary school. When I walked in, I saw a sign in the lobby that said In God We Trust. Once you’re in the auditorium there are several other signs like Read your Bible and things like that. At first I was a little confused to see that in a public school, but then I realized they were actually put there by Prince William Little Theatre. I looked around and the one thing I really expected to see after realizing that they were part of the show was that the Ten Commandments were not anywhere.

If you’ve seen the show, we’d like to hear your comments. Simply go to ShowBizRadio.net. Also we’d like to invite you to join our free mailing list to stay informed with what’s happening in the DC area theater community.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

Cast

  • Howard Blair: Laonna Rauser
  • Melinda Loomis: Natalie Woods
  • Rachael Brown: Becky Farris
  • Mr. Meeker: Don Petersen
  • Bertram Cates: August Kruesi
  • Mr. Goodfellow: Dan Bellotte
  • Mrs. Loomis: Monica Price
  • Mrs. Krebs: Sallie Willows
  • Reverend Jeremiah Brown: Rocky Jackson
  • Phil, Hot Dog Man, & Eskimo Pie Salesman: Mike Edwards
  • Mrs. Blair: Lanna Krogman
  • Jesse Dunlap: Susan Coffey
  • Hurdy Gurdy Man: Don Petersen
  • Elijah: Mike King
  • E.K. Hornbeck: Herb Tax
  • Matthew Harrison Brady: Jack Seeley
  • Harriet Y. Esterbrook (Photographer, Reporter, Radio Person): Laonna Rauser
  • The Mayor: Bill Schillinger
  • Mrs. Brady: Marji Jepperson
  • Tom Davenport: Mike Coffey
  • Henry Drummond: Dan Yount
  • Bannister: Mike King
  • Sillers: Mike King
  • The Judge: Dan Bellotte

Crew

  • Director/Producer: Zina T. Bleck
  • Assistant Director: Herb Tax
  • Assistant Producer: Becky Farris
  • Stage Manager: Cana Wade
  • Set Design: Zina T. Bleck
  • Set Construction: Jennifer Rose & Dave Warner
  • Set Painting: Monica Price, Jeanne Trimble & Dave Warner
  • Set Dressing: Becky Farris & Jackie Holohan
  • Scenic Artist: Jeanne Trimble
  • Sound Design: Bill Schillinger
  • Sound Board Operator: Becca Jackson
  • Lighting Design: Anton Pavage
  • Light Board Operator: Robbie Foreman
  • Properties: Becky Farris, Jackie Holohan, & Will Shields
  • Hair & Make-up Design: Lolita Marie
  • Publicity: Janel Manning
  • Program: Pam Cribbs
  • Program Artwork: Herb Tax
  • Flyer Design/Graphics: Herb Tax
  • Front of House: Janel Manning, Katherine Blondin & Pam Cribbs
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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

One Response »

  1. Laura and Mike,
    Thank you so much for the lovely review. I think I speak for the whole cast and crew when I say how proud I am to be in this show. I know it was a laobr of love for Zina, and I think it became that for all of us. It’s been great working with all these wonderful and talented actors. Thanks again.

    Sallie