High school students are showing off their acting chops this weekend.

The Mountain Pointe High School production of Inherit the Wind continues Friday.

Inherit the Wind, loosely based on a 1925 court case, tells the story of Bertram Cates, a science teacher in the small town of Hillsboro, awaiting trial for teaching his students about Darwin’s theory of evolution. Cates’ teachings go against the town’s law and beliefs so he is thrown in jail and forced to defend his beliefs of academic freedom.

Though the play is set in the early 20th century, director Corey Quinn said its main message holds a lot of relevance with audiences today.

“This play addresses the ideas of freedom of speech and free will,” Quinn said. “It asks how far will you go to defend what you believe in?”

Quinn said he chose this particular play because of those common themes and the inspiration he feels it gives his students. 

“Everyone has an opinion when it comes to freedom of speech,” Quinn said. “Whichever side they choose, this is a topic I find audience members are always passionate about.”

Shannon Phelps, an actor in the production, said this show will leave the audience guessing and unsure of which side they should be on.

“You don’t get pushed onto one side when watching the show,” Phelps said. “The characters keep you guessing and you will find yourself conflicted as the play goes on even if you were sure of your opinion at the beginning.”

Inherit the Wind is the fourth main stage production done at Mountain Pointe this year. The 27-student cast has been in rehearsals for over a month, Quinn said. 

“All of the students have responded really well to the material and we are all very excited to bring this story to life,” Quinn said.

Phelps said the play has something for every taste.

“Whether you love good drama, crime stories, or if you are just really into historical fiction, you will enjoy this production,” Phelps said.

Performances began Thursday and continue Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. at Mountain Pointe High School, 4201 East Knox Road, Phoenix, AZ 85044.

To learn more about Inherit the Wind or Mountain Pointe High School, visit www.tuhsd.k12.az.us/mtp.

Vanja Veric is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a freshman at Arizona State University.

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