Kevin McGee as Clarence Darrow; Front page of the Des Moines Register, 21 July 1925

Twilight Players Alumni Present “Clarence Darrow”

Actor Kevin McGee Discussed Role with Kevin Spacey

September 16, 2014

The Lyndon State College Twilight Players Alumni are presenting the one-man show, Clarence Darrow, Saturday, September 27 at 7:30 p.m. The play, by David Rintels, is based on Irving Stone’s 1971 biography Clarence Darrow for the Defense.

Kevin McGee (LSC ’81) plays the role of pioneering lawyer Clarence Darrow, J. Michele Laberge ’80 is the director, and George Babcock ’79 is assistant director and stage manager. The show is part of Lyndon’s 2014 Homecoming and Family Weekend and the college’s Year of Social Justice.

Although the play recounts Darrow’s career as one of America’s leading legal crusaders, the play is less about Darrow and more about what he stood for: decency, tolerance, and respect for others. Darrow, as a labor lawyer, a criminal defense lawyer, and as a humanitarian and advocate for social justice, did much to raise the consciousness of people as to the plight of the common man during the Great Depression. Darrow’s life leads to an understanding of how social consciousness is applicable to the current political, social, and economic climate in the US.

With legendary wit and wisdom, Darrow relives some of his pivotal experiences, including the “Thrill Killers” and Scopes “Monkey” trials, which established his reputation as a courtroom giant and civil rights hero. Over his 50-year career he saved 102 people from the death penalty, fought against intolerance and racism, and never lost sight of the connection between crime and poverty.

In her program notes Laberge writes, “This show has given us the chance to really delve into the life of a great man in a manner larger productions don’t allow. Kevin [McGee] began immersing himself in the script many months ago, reading scads of material about Darrow. This morphed into jetting off to London to see Kevin Spacey perform the role at the Old Vic Theater. Kevin was able to meet with [Spacey] to discuss both shows—a truly exciting experience.”

Laberge adds, “The performance is dedicated to former LSC Theater Professors Phil Anderson, Kathy Anderson Kaufman, Cynthia Baldwin, and Dick Portner; and presented in remembrance of departed Twilight Players Larry Carter, Paul Hopkins, Steve Keith, Judd Mason, and Jonathon Sibley.”

The show is at 7:30 p.m. in the Alexander Twilight Theatre on the Lyndon State Campus. Tickets are $10; free to LSC students with I.D. Tickets are available in advance at alumni.lyndonstate.edu/darrow or at the door the night of the performance. All proceeds benefit The Richard and Terry Portner Fine and Performing Arts Prize. The show is sponsored by FLEK, Inc., The Manor Vail Society, Vermont State Senator Joe Benning ‘79, and Wheeler Building Materials. Vermont Broadcast Associates is the media sponsor. Furniture is being provided by The Manor Vail Society, Peggy Bristol, and John Hale/Saranac Street Antiques, Littleton, N.H. Clarence Darrow is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

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