• Home

Classrooms as Courtrooms: An “Inherit the Wind” Talk-Back

As educational censorship roils our communities, join Pasadena Playhouse and PEN America Los Angeles for a special matinee performance of Inherit the Wind, the classic play based on the Scopes trial, now boldly reimagined in a production starring Alfred Molina, John Douglas Thompson, and Chris Perfetti. Linger for a not-to-be-missed post-show talk-back about the legacy of this historic battle over the freedom to learn, emerging threats to civic dialogue and academic discourse, and strategies for working together in defense of intellectual freedom.


Enter code PENAMERICA in the top-right corner of the seat selection screen to donate 20% of your ticket purchase to support PEN’s work in defending free expression.


John Douglas Thompson, as Matthew Harrison Brady: Through his impressive body of work John has established himself as a highly regarded and versatile actor in theater, film, and television. From Broadway productions such as Jitney (Tony nomination) and King Lear, to off-Broadway Obie and Drama Desk award-winning performances such as The Iceman Cometh, Tamburlaine, and Satchmo At The Waldorf (Drama Desk, NAACP, Outer Critics Circle Awards). A man of both stage and screen, his film/TV credits include Till, The Gilded Age, the Mare Of Easttown, and more. John is a recipient of a 2022 Eugene O’Neill Medallion.

Chris Perfetti, as E.K. Hornbeck: Chris stars as a series regular on the award-winning ABC comedy series Abbott Elementary. His acting presence spans stage, television, and film, in productions such as the world premiere of King James at Steppenwolf and CTG followed by a run at Manhattan Theatre Club Off-Broadway, to great acclaim, Looking (HBO), The Night Of (HBO), as well as The Virtuoso, Minyan, The Surrogate, and Before I Go.

Allison Lee serves as PEN America’s Los Angeles Director. She brings extensive development, community engagement, and communications experience to the organization. Most recently Allison was the Chief Development Officer for TIME’S UP, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting gender equity and ending sexual violence in the workplace. She has previously served as Vice President of External Affairs at Bet Tzedek Legal Services, where she worked to increase their annual revenue and helped to launch their Rapid Response Family Immigration Project and Transgender Advocacy Program. Prior to that, Allison served for eight years as the founding Executive Director of American Jewish World Service – Southern California.

Michelle N. Deutchman: She is the inaugural executive director of the UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement (Center). In this role, she oversees the Center’s operations, programming and research including its multidisciplinary national fellowship program. Deutchman facilitates workshops for staff, students, administrators and law enforcement on First Amendment principles and how to safeguard free speech at universities while simultaneously maintaining a safe and inclusive campus climate. Her work to study and shape the national discourse on expression and engagement touches all 10 UC campuses as well as higher education institutions across the county.

Larry Isaak: Over the course of his career, Larry has worked for several years with a private CPA firm, with the North Dakota State government and within the North Dakota university systems as Vice-Chancellor and Chancellor, and was named Chancellor emeritus. He served fifteen years as the president of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact. Though he retired in 2018, he continues to be called upon by various organizations as an expert and leader in higher education policy.