Inherit the Wind Tickets
Inherit the Wind is a play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, which opened
on Broadway in January 1955, and a 1960 Hollywood film based on the play. A revival of
Inherit the Wind is currently running on Broadway. Inherit the Wind is a fictionalized account of the 1925 Scopes Trial (the "Monkey" Trial),
which resulted in Scopes' conviction for teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution to a high
school science class, contrary to a Tennessee state law that mandated the teaching of a form of
creationism. The play has been hailed as one of the great American plays of the 20th century, and
its themes of religious belief, religious tolerance, and freedom of thought resonate down to the
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Millville, NJLevoy Theatre Millville, NJ
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Inherit the Wind's title comes from Proverbs 11:29, which in the King James Bible reads: "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind, and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart". The fictional characters of Matthew Harrison Brady, Henry Drummond, Bertram Cates and E.K. Hornbeck correspond to the historical figures of William Jennings Bryan, Clarence Darrow, John Scopes, and H.L. Mencken, respectively. Despite numerous similarities between the play and history, the play was not intended as a documentary-drama about the Scopes trial, but as a warning about the evils of McCarthyism, which some see as one of the darkest moments in American history.
Although the play quotes extensively from the trial transcript, the play and filmscript indulge in much poetic license, in that they did not try to present the Scopes trial as it actually happened, but instead used it as the historical launching point for a fictional story, embellishing events for dramatic effect. In this respect, Inherit the Wind resembles Arthur Miller's play The Crucible. They both employ historical events as a way of commenting on controversies at the time and place they were written. The play was intended to criticize the anti-Communist investigations of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and Senator Joseph McCarthy, with the Brady character representing McCarthy and his assistant Roy Cohn. The authors used the historical Scopes trial as the background for a drama that comments on and explores the threats to intellectual freedom presented by the anti-communist hysteria. Brady's final fit of ranting and raving in the courtroom has no counterpart in the 1925 trial, but does echo McCarthy's behavior on June 17, 1954, when the Army-McCarthy Hearings came to an abrupt end.