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L.A. THEATRE WORKS - "THE GREAT TENNESSEE MONKEY TRIAL" STARRING ED ASNER AT GMU CENTER FOR THE ARTS

January 27, 2009
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

PRESENTS

L.A. THEATRE WORKS

"THE GREAT TENNESSEE MONKEY TRIAL"

Featuring Edward Asner as William Jennings Bryan

Friday, Feb. 20, 2009 at 8 p.m. 

 

FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 15, 2009One of the great debates of American society comes to life in this riveting production by America’s foremost radio theater company. In 1925, science teacher John T. Scopes challenged Tennessee law by teaching evolution. The trial became a national battleground for evolution versus creationism, and it still sparks debate today. Using the original trial transcripts, L.A. Theatre Works transports audiences back to the sweltering, tension filled courtroom to experience this dramatic trial firsthand. Center audiences have the opportunity to witness the events of this groundbreaking case when L.A. Theatre Works performs "The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial" at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Friday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

A stellar cast (featuring Edward Asner and Jerry Hardin) brings this landmark production to the stage. Clarence Darrow, William Jennings Bryan, H.L. Mencken and John T. Scopes – these unlikely heroic figures of this 20th century drama participated in this momentous trial, which set the stage for an ongoing national debate over the freedom of inquiry and the Separation of Church and State. This was a national conflict of social and intellectual values played out in a small courthouse in rural Tennessee 80 years ago, yet these issues remain unresolved even today and the speeches and oratory from the trial still ring familiar. The Berkshire Eagle said of the production: "'The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial' permits the voices of history to speak with clarity, distinction and, as the closing narrative notes, chilling timeliness."

For more than two decades, L.A. Theatre Works has presented radio dramas onstage with first-rate casts, live sound effects and a connection to the audience rarely felt in a traditional theater setting.  American Theatre Magazine described L.A. Theatre Works as “original, exciting and highly theatrical,” while the Philadelphia Inquirer called the company “a national theatrical treasure.” Under the leadership of Susan Albert Loewenberg, the company has been broadcast on NPR, XM Satellite Radio, the BBC, the CBC and Voice of America, bringing the finest recorded dramatic literature into the homes of millions. The company records the majority of its productions in Los Angeles before an enthusiastic and loyal audience of season subscribers. Works by Eugene O’Neill, David Henry Hwang, Athol Fugard, Wendy Wasserstein, Neil Simon, David Mamet, Charlayne Woodard, Arthur Miller and others have been performed and recorded by L.A. Theatre Works with casts of critically acclaimed film and stage actors. On the road, L.A. Theatre Works has delighted audiences with its unique live radio theater style performances in small towns and cities across America.

 

The Center for the Arts is pleased to recognize the generous support of PNC and the PNC Foundation as sponsor of the 2008-09 Great Performances at Mason Season.

Tickets for L.A. THEATRE WORKS’S production of "THE GREAT TENNESSEE MONKEY TRIAL" are $38, $30, $19. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.  Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.

About George Mason University

George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 35 law schools in the United States.