Evolution dispute scraps New Ulm play

There’ll be no production of the play “Inherit the Wind” by the New Ulm Actors Community Theatre.

The production lost too many cast members after professors at Martin Luther College objected to the way the debate over creationism vs. evolution is depicted in the play, which is a fictional version of the 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial.

The college is part of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which believes that the book of Genesis is historical fact.

“We felt it was not compatible with what (the school) teaches the Bible says about the universe and the world,” Jeffrey Schone, the college’s vice president of student life, tells the New Ulm Journal “This is a ministerial school. People employing our students need confidence about their views.”

The play was to be held at the college, and The director, Zach Stowe, is a student at the college. He quit the play after professors and others on the campus criticized him for participating. Other cast members quit thereafter.

“The play does not just say evolution is right. It treats Christians with respect. The entire point of the play is both sides need open, free discussions,” Stowe told the paper. “But, I don’t have any negative feelings about it. Everyone acted how their conscience directed them in this situation. I can respect it.”

Next summer’s musical, “Fiddler on the Roof,” is still on.