Nov 02

‘The Monkey Trial’ explores themes still relevant today

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments

Kulturhuset, Sweden,2007 october/November Kulturhuset, Sweden,2007 october/November

 

Theatre Junction Grand is presenting, tg Stan’s The Monkey Trial. This production is documentary theatre, based on ‘The Scopes Monkey Trial,’ where a substitute high school biology teacher, was accused of violating Tennessee’s Butler Act, which made it against the law to teach evolution in a state-funded school.

tg Stan is from Belgium and when co-creator Frank Vercruyssen wanted to explore the trials, he originally was looking at the McCarthy Era. “But that wasn’t very interesting,” Vercruyssen says.  However, they found the Monkey Trial and became fascinated with how the lawyers spoke and set out their arguments.

The company has an interesting way of staging the play, the three actors perform the transcription, switching out characters continuously, but “it’s very easy to follow,” Vercruyssen says reassuringly. All of the characters names are projected behind the actors and the audience is able to keep a hold of the narrative.

The company has performed The Monkey Trial since 2004 and it still has themes that are quite relevant today. “When they talk about fundamentalism, about bigotry, about religious hatred and all those things that are beautifully addressed, the whole background is not so funny.” Vercruyssen says.

“It’s so fantastic to live the different colours offered by the filter of time,” Vercruyssen says when asked about performing the play multiple times. “The text is classical or universal when it always shows itself as relevant. It will never be outdated. It’s the reason to continue to play it.”

Theatre Junction Grand’s presentation of tg Stan’s production of The Monkey Trial opens tonight and runs until November 5th. More information is available online.

Photo Credit: Martin Nordström

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