General Info > News Releases > News Releases 2011-12 > 8/10/12: Mendocino College Seeks Actors for Inherit the Wind


August 10, 2012

Mendocino College
1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
Contact: Reid Edelman
Phone: 707-468-3172


Auditions for Inherit the Wind will be held Monday, August 20, 6-10 pm at the Mendocino College Center Theatre

The Mendocino College Theatre Arts Department will hold auditions on Monday August 20 for the upcoming production of Inherit The Wind, Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's searing courtroom drama based on the historic 1925 Scopes "monkey trial" in which a school teacher was put on trial for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution to his biology class. The production will be directed by Mendocino College theatre professor Reid Edelman, and will be performed at the College's Center Theatre October 19-28, 2012.

The historic trial upon which the play is based became an international media event. Three time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan was the prosecutor and famed lawyer Clarence Darrow was the defense attorney. The events in the small town of Dayton, Tennessee were transmitted throughout the world via the new medium of radio and via the sardonic newspaper reports by H.L. Mencken. However, while the play is based on history, the playwrights are clear that the play is theatrical rather than historical. The names have been changed and the setting is the fictional town of Hillsboro, "not too long ago." The play could be taking place in 1925, or it could be yesterday. The playwrights actually wrote the play in 1955 in response to McCarthyism. Despite the subject matter of the play, the story is not about religion versus science. According to Edelman, "the theme of the play is the sanctity of independent human thought."

The cast of the play includes roles for at least 32 actors (including 20 men, 8 women and 4 children). Additional non-speaking roles may also be available. Director Reid Edelman encourages anybody with an interest in being a part of this important community event to come to the auditions on August 20. An entire town must be brought to life on stage, so a lot of actors are required. Many roles are smaller and will involve fewer rehearsals. All roles will be cast through open auditions on Monday August 20. Interested performers should arrive at the Mendocino College Center Theatre at 6 PM and plan on staying until 10 PM. No preparation or experience is required, though scripts are on reserve at the Mendocino College Instruction Office for those wishing to read the play in advance. Some performers will be invited to attend additional call-back auditions on Tuesday August 21 and Wednesday August 22. Available roles include:

Melinda:   a young girl 12-14 years old
Howard:   a young boy 12-14 years old
Rachel Brown:   female, early 20s, daughter of the reverend, girlfriend of Bertram Cates.
Bertram Cates:   male, early 20s…the school teacher…based on John Scopes.
EK Hornbeck:    a big city journalist …a cynic with an acid tongue…based on H.L. Mencken. Male 30s or 40s.
MR. MEEKER:   the court bailiff, any age 20 or olderRev 
Jeremiah Brown:    a fiery preacher and strict authoritarian. 
Father of Rachel.     Male, 40s-50s.
Meeker:   the court bailiff, any age 20s or older.
Matthew Harrison Brady:   a famous American lawyer and politician, sent to prosecute the case. Based on William Jennings Bryan. Male, 50s-60s.
Mrs. Brady:    his wife, 50s-60s
Henry Drummond:    a famous lawyer sent to defend Cates…based on Clarence Darrow. Male 50s -60s.
Tom Devenport:   the local district attorney, male 30s-40s
Mayor of Hillsboro:   male, any age 30 or older
Judge:   male, any age 30 or older
    Plus at least 20 other actors of various ages, male & female, to play the many excellent smaller roles.
Rehearsals will begin August 27 and continue until the show opens on October 19, 2012.  Performances will run through October 28, and will include a special student matinee on Tuesday October 23 at 10:30 AM. Several college courses are associated with the production, and all performers will receive college credit. In addition to the performance opportunities, numerous backstage production positions are available. Crews are needed to build scenery, props and costumes, as well as to work as stage managers, light and sound operators and run-crew.

For those with an interest in learning to build costumes, there will be a costume construction course taught by Kathy Dingman Katz. This class will meet Tuesday evenings from 5:30-9:20 PM. A production course focusing on scenery construction will be taught by Larry Lang. Meeting times for this course will be Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30-9:20 PM.

For additional information about auditions, or to join the back-stage production team, contact Reid Edelman at (707) 468-3172.

Created: August 10, 2012 @ 10:28 AM
Last Modified: August 22, 2012 @ 07:17 AM


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