Planning underway for 2013 Scopes Festival
The County Courthouse yard during the Scopes Trial in 1925
A new play, a new director and a new sense of excitement have members of the Scopes Festival steering committee eagerly anticipating the third weekend in July when the festival returns after a year’s hiatus.
“We have been encouraged by the number of people who have inquired about the festival,” Chairman Tom Davis said. “With this kind of interest so early, I think that tells us the festival is important to our community. We’re going to do our best to make sure the 2013 festival does not disappoint.”
Rhea County native Morgan Robbins has been recruited to direct “Front Page News,” a new play written for the festival. “Morgan is a graduate of the theatre program at Chattanooga State and has acted and directed plays at theatres throughout the area.” Mr. Davis said. “She comes highly recommended, and her enthusiasm is contagious.”
Ms. Robbins said, “It is such an honor to direct at the Scopes Festival. Theater is my passion mainly because I get to watch a page come to life, but now I’m helping bring history to life. I will actively be coaxing our history out of the page and into the courtroom where it all happened. It’s a rare opportunity, one I couldn’t pass up.”
“Front Page News” was written by Deborah DeGeorge Harbin, an award-winning playwright who works at Tusculum College in Greenville, Tenn. “She has done a wonderful job capturing the sprit of the community when the Scopes Trial was planned, and helps her audience understand the courtroom proceedings,” Mr. Davis said. “In addition, we can see some new insights into the personalities of William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow that will help the audience put the whole event into perspective.”
The Scopes Festival is scheduled for July 19-20 at the Rhea County Courthouse.
Other Festival Events
- A separate play, “And On the Eighth Day,” an imaginary conversation between Bryan and Darrow discussing their lives and the trial
- Music, crafts, and demonstrations on the courthouse lawn
- Charleston dance demonstrations
- A car cruise-in