Tobias Andersen to revive legendary lawyer Clarence Darrow in one-man show
Back before Thurgood Marshall fought to desegregate schools in the landmark case of Brown vs. the Board of Education, there was another name well known in the legal community: Clarence Darrow.
Darrow has been hailed as a champion of labor rights, known to many as a humanitarian for his defense of the lives of criminals who faced death sentences, and he argued against racial bias in a trial that would have condemned the lives of 11 Black men in 1925.
Darrow represented the defense in such well-known cases as Illinois v. Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, the Sweets Trial and the Scopes Trial, and he was a founding attorney of the NAACP.
"When we fully understand the brevity of life, its fleeting joys and unavoidable pains; when we accept the facts that all men and women are approaching an inevitable doom: the consciousness of it should make us more kindly and considerate of each other," Darrow once said.
"This feeling should make men and women use their best efforts to help their fellow travelers on the road, to make the path brighter and easier as we journey on. It should bring a closer kinship, a better understanding, and a deeper sympathy for the wayfarers who must live a common life and die a common death."
In an attempt to use his best efforts to brighten other's paths while also dusting off an old classic, Tobias Andersen will bring the one-man play by David W. Rintels "Clarence Darrow" to the Nutz-n-Boltz stage starting Nov. 6.
Andersen has become well acquainted with Darrow over the past 20 years, performing this one-man show about the late legend's life all over the country and even at a drama festival in Pakistan in 1997.
With the November show, Andersen isn't performing for the money or continued notoriety, but to revive the story he has grown fond of over several decades and to help raise funds for Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company. He also feels this show is very applicable to the country's current political climate, and therefore relevant for any who attend.
"It's about time we heard from a man like Darrow," Andersen said. "He was a man who spoke the truth with passion and who had empathy. He defended (people's) right to speak out and be heard. I admire him to no end."
The two-hour show will run at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, and Saturday, Nov. 7, and again at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8.
The show, Andersen said, "is a riveting play that explores the concepts of race, integrity and dedication to equality and justice."
"Darrow's words are even more powerful and compassionate now than they were when Darrow spoke nearly a century ago," he added. "At a time when compassion and equality are at a premium, the resounding wisdom and dignity of Darrow will resonate loud and clear with the audiences of today."
For more information, visit nnbtheater.org.
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