Rock River Players offer open reading of Inherit the Wind and present On Golden Pond

WILLIAMSVILLE – The Rock River Players’ [RRP] summer season features two events at the Williamsville Hall on Dover Road in Williamsville.

On July 30 the public is invited to an open reading of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s Inherit the Wind.  Inherit the Wind is “a fictionalized account of the 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial, which resulted in John T. Scopes’ conviction for teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution to a high school science class, contrary to a Tennessee state law. The characters of Matthew Harrison Brady, Henry Drummond, Bertram Cates, and E. K. Hornbeck correspond to the historical figures of William Jennings Bryan, Clarence Darrow, Scopes, and H. L. Mencken, respectively. However, the playwrights … note at … that it is not meant to be a historical account, and there are numerous instances where events were substantially altered or invented. … Lawrence explained … that the drama’s purpose was to criticize the then-current state of McCarthyism. The play was also intended to defend intellectual freedom. According to Lawrence, “we used the case against the teaching of evolution as a parable, a metaphor for any kind of mind control. … It’s not about science versus religion. It’s about the right to think (Wikepedia).”

The event begins at 6:30 with potluck refreshments,  an update on the Rock River Players progress and the many opportunities for involvement.   The play will be read from 7-9:  All are welcome to come listen or to join the reading as a character:  To read the play in advance go to:  For more information on the open reading of Inherit the Wind, contact RRP co-chair, Annie Landenberger at 348-7156 or

The Rock River Players summer offering is On Golden Pond by Ernest Thompson.  According to Samuel French, Inc.,  “This is the love story of Ethel [Debbi Reed-Savory] and Norman Thayer [Stewart McDermet], who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for the forty-eighth year. He is a retired professor, nearing eighty, with heart palpitations and a failing memory—but still as tart-tongued, observant and eager for life as ever.  Ethel, ten years younger, and the perfect foil for Norman, delights in all the small things that have enriched and continue to enrich their long life together. They are visited by their divorced, middle-aged daughter, Chelsea,  [Sara Vitale] and her dentist fiancé, Bill Ray [Jeff Connor], who then go off to Europe, leaving his teenage son [Alex Beshay] behind for the summer. The boy quickly becomes the “grandchild” the elderly couple have longed for, and as Norman revels in taking his ward fishing and thrusting good books at him, he also learns some lessons about modern teenage awareness—and slang—in return. In the end, as the summer wanes, so does their brief idyll, and in the final… moments of the play, Norman and Ethel are brought even closer together by [a health incident]. Time…is against them, but the years have been good and, perhaps, another summer on Golden Pond still awaits.  The cast is rounded out by Miles Keefe as Charlie and Susan O’Hara as the operator.  Cris Parker-Jennings directs; Rick King and Bonnie Cramp are the technical staff, Annie Landenberger is producer and RRP founders are covering crew and front-of-house. Performances are Thursday, August 18 through Saturday, August 20 and Thursday, August 25 through Saturday, August 27 at 7:30PM, as well as Sunday, August 21 and 28 at 3PM.   Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students and seniors.  The venue is Williamsville Hall on Dover Road in Williamsville.  For more information and to reserve in advance call 802-348-7156.