Jerome Lawrence, co-author of such wonderful plays as “The Night Thoreau Spent In Jail” and “Inherit the Wind”, has died
In 1986, I got to meet Jerome Lawrence, while attending the International Thespian Society festival in Muncie, Indiana. He gave a wonderful speech about being an amateur theatre person, concluding with “Never forget that amateur means ‘lover’. So even if you decide to make a career out of theatre, never give up your status as an ‘amateur’ — never give up the love that brought you here.”
Got to shake his hand afterwards, and exchanged a few words. Very pleasent guy, and one of my happier memories of that week.
The year following that, I had a bit part in Martin Community Players’ production of “Inherit the Wind”, playing the Mayor. (I had secretly wanted the Hornbeck role, since I was already at that time a big H.R. Mencken fan, but I had a lot of fun with it anyway.)
If you’ve never read “Inherit the Wind”, do. Or, get the wonderful 1960 movie, starring Spencer Tracy, Gene Kelly, and Fredric March. You won’t regret it.