DVD of Scopes Trial reenactment available soon
July 18, 2007
The Scopes Evolution Trial was the inspiration for a play and movie that casts Dayton in an unfavorable light; Bryan College is producing a film to try to set the record straight.
In the days leading up to the 20th annual Scopes Festival, the college filmed “The Scopes Trial: Inherit the Truth,” a dramatic adaptation of the trial transcript. The film is essentially the same production Festival-goers have seen for the past 10 years, with a few modifications to take advantage of the flexibility of film.
“For years patrons of the festival have asked if there is copy of the play available,” Bryan President Dr. Stephen D. Livesay explained. “In conjunction with the 20th annual Scopes Festival, we have decided to film the reenactment, and will have DVDs available by early August.”
Unlike the play and movie “Inherit the Wind,” a fictitious account of a trial mimicking elements of the Scopes trial, the Dayton production is an adaptation of the trial transcript, written by Dayton playwright Gale Johnson.
“Our production uses the actual words of the trial and is presented in the courtroom where the trial was held,” Dr. Livesay said. “In addition, one scene was filmed on the courthouse lawn, where Clarence Darrow actually interrogated William Jennings Bryan in 1925.”
The reenactment has drawn praise from both sides of the creation-evolution controversy for its faithfulness to the historic record and the quality of the performance.
Cast members for the festival presentation are featured in the DVD, but “extras” from the community play members of the audience and the jury. Among those who responded to the call for extras were retired Judge Jackson C. Raulston, second cousin of Scopes Trial Judge John T. Raulston, and his wife, Genna; and Allene Smith, daughter of Scopes Trial juror William F. Roberson, all from Chattanooga, Tenn.
Cost of the DVD is $19.95, plus $4 for mailing. Copies may be ordered by calling the Bryan College Bookstore at 423-775-7271.