World Famous Scopes Trial Play

2020 Play Cancelled

Front Page News

The centerpiece of the Scopes Festival, Front Page News invites everyone to experience the humor, drama, and intensity of the trial that put Dayton, Tennessee on the map. Adapted from the authentic transcript from 1925 and presented in the same courtroom, the play will give audiences a chance to relive the historical eight days and aftermath of the Scopaes Trial. 

The play is produced in partnership with Tennessee Valley Theatre, Bryan College Theatre Department, and Chattanooga State Community College Theatre Department. Major funding provided by Rhea County, the City of Dayton, and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Front Page News on DVD

See it now!

The Rhea Heritage Preservation Foundation (RHPF) is proud to announce the release of FRONT PAGE NEWS on DVD, even as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced cancellation of the annual festival.
This DVD, produced in a joint venture by the RHPF and the Cumberland County Playhouse, was filmed by Public Television station WCTE of Cookeville, TN, and aired originally on that station.

FRONT PAGE NEWS, is an original script by Deborah DeGeorge Harbin and adapted with music by Jim Crabtree. New and adapted lyrics were developed by Bobby Taylor and Jim Crabtree, with selected new songs and music by Bobby Taylor. Piano/vocal arrangements are by Ann Crabtree, with guitar arrangements by Bobby Taylor.

FRONT PAGE NEWS is a dramatization of the 1925 Scopes Evolution Trial, which pitted three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, a leading spokesman for evangelical Christianity, against Clarence Darrow, arguably the premiere defense attorney – and outspoken agnostic — in the case of a teacher charged with violating Tennessee’s new anti-evolution law.

Beginning with the plan to test the new law, the story moves through efforts to recruit the teacher – John T. Scopes – through the entrance of Bryan and Darrow into the case, and acknowledges the worldwide interest in the case. With dialogue taken from the trial transcript and other historical records, viewers will get a glimpse of the case and the media circus which surrounded it.

DVDs of FRONT PAGE NEWS are available from the RHPF for $20. Email or call our office at 423-680-9896 to place your order and arrange delivery options. Arrangements can be made to have your order delivered in person at a location in Dayton or your order can be mailed. Please add $3.00 shipping and handling if your order is being mailed. Payment may be made by check, cash or credit card. For credit card purchases call our office.

Play Dates for 2021: Coming Soon! 

​Presented by the Rhea Heritage Preservation Foundation

107 Main St
​ Dayton, TN 37321

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