I cannot let the recent writer's letter regarding "Inherit the Wind" go unchallenged. If the writer did not see the play, shame on him for some of his remarks. If he did see it, then pity him for the inability to see the play for what it really is -- a commentary on society.
It was never meant to mock Christianity, and I as a Christian do not feel the recent performance did that. The acting was superb, reflecting fine direction. The two main characters portrayed the fiery rhetoric of Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan well. The singing of hymns brought smiles to our faces as we recalled the churches of our youth.
The play debuted in 1955 as a story of fiction about the 1925 Scopes trial, something that should be evident with the use of fictional names for Darrow, Bryan and John Scopes. The play was meant to highlight the then-contemporary (1955) McCarthy trials.
Teaching evolution in Tennessee schools, a standard occurrence in the 1920s, did happen. Some of the letter writer's remarks are true: Scopes was used by the ACLU to test the Butler Act. However, Scopes was indeed a science teacher, a substitute for the biology teacher at Rhea County High School. He was indeed arrested but never jailed. Scopes did use a textbook containing evolutionary theory, challenging the students to read the material and think for themselves.
Let's not get so wrapped up in bias that we can't see reality.
Sunni Bond Winkler