When first asked why I wanted to study Inherit the Wind,my immediate answer was: "Because I love it." But as I read the play again and again ... and again, I began to find what had always interested me without my realizing it - the intensity of the characters and the complications of modern life, but also the ultimate faith, not in God, but in other people. Inherit the Wind is about the human condition and how we relate to each and how we survive - together.
Inherit, as a performance, has a little something for everyone - from theology to humor to law to economics. As a web of history and drama, I've have tried to bring each of these into my project. The layout of the Inherit web site is chronological, and exploring it is this way may be most productive, but feel free to move between the different stages of the drama. There are main pages for the 1925 trial, the 1955 Broadway play, the 1960 film, 1965 television movie and the 1996 return to Broadway, with links to relevant reviews, contemporary news events and other background information. Despite some inaccessible research material, I have constructed a framework for Inherit the Wind through the years both as a dramatic piece of history that is never far from the present.
This project would not have been possible without the advice and support of my fellow American Studies students and Alan Howard. I would also like to express my thanks to the librarians in the Billy Rose Theatre Collection at the New York Public Library, the Multimedia Resource Center at the University, Tom Davis of Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, and the many other librarians across New York City who helped in my search for material on Inherit the Wind. The assistance is greatly appreciated.