Inherit the Wind set for old courtroom

MINDEN - It's an old story, loosely based on a true event that happened 75 years ago.

The subject was evolution vs. creationism. Was there room for both subjects to be taught to students in a country still reeling and regrouping after its first World War?

The answers to those questions were only partially answered by the so-called "Scopes Monkey Trial" in July 1925, but the drama of that time lives on in the play, "Inherit the Wind," written 30 years later by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee.

The Carson Performing Arts and Western Nevada Performing Arts Center is bringing this play to the Carson Valley in a fitting, historic setting - old Douglas County Courthouse in Minden, registered with the National Register of Historic Places and opened in 1916.

"I love this," said veteran theater director, actor and Carson High School drama teacher Karen Chandler as she watched her actors in rehearsal in the courthouse Monday evening.

Producer Pat Josten, who has worked in theater in Carson City for 10 years, said the challenges of setting the historic play in the historic courthouse - lighting, a cramped stage and limited seating - are all worth the effort because of the room's authentic ambience.

"We are so excited to be here," she said. "The commissioners were most generous in letting us use the room, and I think the audience is going to love it. We've decided we're not going to change sets and will just go with the natural setting because it is perfect."

The courtroom, which usually hosts Douglas County commission meetings, has high ceilings bordered by crown molding, tall west-facing windows and ceiling fans that might have been spinning in July 1925.

This production of "Inherit the Wind" is a Northern Nevada Ensemble Theatre Co. production.

Play dates are this weekend only, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday and Sunday.

Admission is $6 for students and seniors and $8 for general admission. Because of the limited seating, reservations (887-0438) are recommended although available tickets will be for sale at the door for each performance.

The courthouse is at 1616 8th St. in Minden.

WHAT: "Inherit the Wind"

WHO: Northern Nevada Ensemble Theatre Co.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday.

COST: $6 for students and seniors and $8 for general admission.

WHERE: The old Douglas County courthouse, 1616 8th St., Minden.


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