Centerpiece of the Scopes Festival is “Front Page News,” a play adapted from the transcript of the 1925 Scopes Trial and presented in the courtroom where the famous trial was held.


Including information about how “The World’s Most Famous Court Trial” came to be held in Dayton, introductions of the two most famous lawyers involved – William Jennings Bryan for the prosecution and Clarence Darrow for the defense – and others, the play takes the audience through the eight days of the trial and offers a glimpse of the aftermath.


The play is presented the third and fourth weekends of July at the Rhea County Courthouse in Dayton. Show times are Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 1 and 5 p.m., and Sundays, 2:30 p.m. Reserved and General Admission (first come, first seated) tickets are available online here, and, as available, at the door.


The play is produced in partnership with Cumberland County Playhouse, Tennessee Valley Theatre, Bryan College Theatre Department, and Chattanooga State Community College Theatre Department, with major funding provided by Rhea County, the City of Dayton, and the Tennessee Arts Commission.


"Front Page News" is a play with music written and developed by Jim and Ann Crabtree and Bobby Taylor for original production by, and in association with, the two nonprofits, The Scopes Festival and the Cumberland County Playhouse, in 2014 through 2018, and based in part upon the 1925 Scopes trial transcript and a script by Deborah DeGeorge Harbin.”