In The Originalist, Theater Tries to Interpret Antonin Scalia

AP Photo/Matt Rourke
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

This article originally appeared in the Atlantic:

The Originalist, a world-premiere play by John Strand at Washington’s Arena Stage, explores the personality and legacy of an atypical theatrical character: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. “He has intrigued me for a long time because he’s kind of a lightning rod,” says Strand in the program notes. “Half the country thinks of him as a monster, and half thinks of him as a hero … How can you resist a character who’s a brilliant jurist, and also a showman at heart?”

The play attempts to unpack Scalia’s intellectual commitment to originalism, and the extent to which his personal beliefs have any influence on his interpretation of the law. The Atlantic’s two Supreme Court correspondents, Jeffrey Rosen and Garrett Epps, discuss the success of The Originalist, both as an analysis of judicial process, and as a theatrical interpretation of a divisive and fascinating individual.

Read the rest of the article here.


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