Scopes Trial Play And Festival Set For July 18-20

Monday, July 7, 2014
Rhea County Courthouse during the Scopes Trial (1925).
Rhea County Courthouse during the Scopes Trial (1925).
- photo by Scopes Trial Play and Festival

Crossville’s Cumberland County Playhouse and Dayton’s Scopes Trial Festival will present “Front Page News: Dayton and the World Famous Scopes Trial,” a newly adapted play with music, in the historic Rhea County courtroom July 18-20. 

The Scopes Trial Play and Festival features the prosecution of John T. Scopes, who was put on trial for reportedly teaching his students the theory of evolution. Clarence Darrow, an acclaimed criminal defense lawyer and religious skeptic, volunteered to defend Scopes. The prosecution brought in William Jennings Bryan, a renowned orator, fervent fundamentalist and Bible expert. The first American trial to be broadcast live nationally on the radio, the trial received worldwide attention - although not necessarily the type town leaders were seeking.

Each July, the city of Dayton hosts the play in the actual courtroom where all the action took place in 1925. In its 28th year, the Scopes Trial Play and Festival is the community’s effort to remember an important moment in history—and to clear up the many misconceptions about what actually took place. 

This year, the Cumberland County Playhouse is co-producing this historically accurate account of the famous trial. Grammy-nominated Nashville songwriter/actor Bobby Taylor will team with the Cumberland County Playhouse’s Producing Director, Jim Crabtree, to adapt the 2013 play written by Deborah DeGeorge Harbin of Elizabethton, Tenn. Taylor - whose Billboard hits have been recorded by Montgomery Gentry, The Oak Ridge Boys, Allison Krause and Don Williams - will also play “The Storyteller” in Front Page News, weaving original, traditional and sacred music throughout the story. 

“’Front Page News’ will bring the power of Southern gospel and Tennessee music, and the faith and spirit of rural America to this true account of the Scopes Trial, which is the flagship event of our festival,” said Tom Davis, chairman of the Scopes Trial Play and Festival.

The Scopes Trial Play and Festival will take place July 18–20, in Dayton. "Front Page News" performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. July 18, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. July 19, and 2:30 p.m. July 20. Tickets cost $12 to $24, with discounts for seniors, children, students and groups. To purchase tickets, call 931.484-5000 or visit www.CCPlayhouse.com.

 

Lera Lynn Performs At The Camp House

Last week, Chattanooga’s Gig City Productions presented singer-songwriter Lera Lynn, born in Texas, raised in Georgia, and now based in Nashville, who self-released her sophomore album, The Avenues (out now), which continues to receive praise and critical acclaim from many sources. Lera Lynn is a songwriter, who co-wrote and performs the song “The Only Thing Worth Fighting ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Sings For Hope Memorial Concert And Tribute Is Aug. 8

The Chattanooga Sings For Hope memorial concert and tribute to first responders will be held on Saturday, Aug. 8, from 4-7 p.m.  This memorial concert is designed to pay tribute to the military personnel who lost their lives on July 16 and honor first responders at every level. Multiple agencies from Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama will participate in a motorcade ... (click for more)

Michael Futrell, 38, Shot By Corey Mullinax, 25, In Cleveland

Michael Futrell, 38, was shot by Corey Mullinax, 25, Saturday night in Cleveland. At approximately  9:15 p.m. , the shooting occurred at Forest Grove Apartments at 2350 Blackburn Road SE. According to multiple witness statements, the victim, Mr. Futrell walked over to the vehicle of Mullinax, where the two were speaking. The suspect then shot the victim in the torso. ... (click for more)

Teenager Shot In Drive-By Shooting On West 38th Street

Javier Lansden, 18, was shot early Sunday morning on West 38th Street. At approximately  2:47 a.m.,  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 264 Water Street for a person shot.  Officers found that the shooting occurred at 263 West 38 th  Street.  The victim stated he was sitting on his bicycle at 263 West 38 th  Street, when a dark-colored ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Is A Blessed Community

I am an American by birth and a Chattanoogan by the Grace of God. (A phrase I borrowed from the late Lewis Grizzard and modified) I grew up in Chattanooga / East Ridge – Anna B. Lacey Elementary, Dalewood Junior High, Brainerd High, degree UTC.  My family lived in Chattanooga until March of this year but I’m still up every month visiting friends.   I have been following ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Orange Grove's Gonzales Takes Gold In World Special Olympics

Debra Gonzales, a resident at Orange Grove Center, is a world champion. The cute 21-year-old, who moved to Chattanooga two years ago, took first place in the shot put at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles after entering the event on a whim.  Debra’s winning throw of 4.49 meters bested a 4.30 heave by Darinka Pasapera of Peru while Grace Dindillo of Papua, ... (click for more)