The Cardinal Stage Company opens their 2009/2010 season with Inherit the Wind. It’s a production of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s dramatization of the 1925 Scopes Trial.
We at WFIU have particularly warm feelings for Lawrence and Lee. Their first play together was for the radio. Later, the two of them enlisted in the army during WWII and served with armed forces radio. They continued their association with broadcasting for years moving on into early pioneering TV drama. Interestingly enough, their big hit besides Inherit the wind was Auntie Mame.
Earnest Perry, Jr. and Danny Goldring are veteran actors from Chicago where they are frequently seen at the Goodman Theatre. They join the Cardinal Stage Company for the show. The Cardinal’s Artistic Director Randy White is the director for the production.
“1925 was a long time ago,” said Earnest Perry. “So, I looked for something a little closer as I began to think about my character. He’s based on William Jennings Bryan. Now Brian ran for president three times, lost all three. That has to mark a person. But he ran way back even before the beginning of the last century, so I looked to a more recent man. I looked at Adlai Stevenson from Illinois. Stevenson ran and lost only twice, but it was a start.”
“One of my favorite speeches from the show is where my character confronts the defense attorney that’s based on Clarence Darrow and just out and out accuses him of twisting things to confuse the jurors and stoutly maintains that he’s not going to let it happen this time.
Danny Goldring didn’t point to any specific models for the development of his character. “I just kind of worked into it and did what the part seemed to call for. I will say that I was impressed with the way that he would wind and turn until I was almost lost, but then solidly come back to the constitution.”
“A speech that I especially enjoy has him attack what he calls the “clock stoppers”, people that he accuses of wanting to stop progress by filling the constitution with a bunch of medieval junk.”
The Cardinal Stage Company’s 2009 production of Inherit the Wind opens Wednesday September 2nd and then continues with Thursday-Saturday evening performances at seven-thirty and Saturday and Sunday matinees at two through September 20.