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Inherit the Wind

Inherit the Wind: Inspired by the true events of the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trail, authors Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee fictionalize the characters of Clarence Darrow, William Jennings Bryan and H. L. Mencken in order to criticize the contemporary McCarthy Trials. Small town teacher Bert Cates has, in direct violation of state law, taught Darwin's Theory of Evolution to his class. The case has picked up national attention and the popular lawyer Matthew Harrison Brady is coming to town to prosecute. A reporter names E. K. Hornbeck from the Baltimore Herald is also arriving with a lawyer supplied by the paper to defend Cates, Brady's long-time friend and well-known lawyer Henry Drummond. From jury selection, the play soon reveals that the local judge harbors sympathies with the fundamentalist Protestant Reverend Jeremiah Brown, called as an expert witness. The Reverend's daughter Rachel, engaged to Cates, mirrors the town's confusion and instability as the case proceeds. Meanwhile the Mayor, a staunch religious advocate, recognizes the danger of the recent media attention and attempts to balance his faith with his duty to protect the financial future of Hillsboro. Exacerbated by the hot weather, the personal and intellectual intensity of the case steadily increases.

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