The Originalist

Where Great Minds Don’t Think Alike


To go into law, one must possess four traits to succeed, passion, commitment, desire, and risk. These traits will carry you through the door, and it just might keep you there all the way to the Supreme Court as it did with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

 Known as the “Originalist” Scalia was a man that was a legal thinker in his generation. A man who believed the constitution had to be interpreted by what it theoretically meant to those who ratified it, instead of it being a “living document.”

 Court Theatre brings us a masterpiece that is interesting, thought-provoking and an exhilarating debate in “The Originalist” written by John Strand. It is about listening to and engaging in civil discourse with those who have opposing viewpoints as well as the passion one must have for the law and the risks one must take to defend their version of the truth.

“The Originalist” is centered on a man people love to hate, the exceptional and very opposing law giant Justice Antonin Scalia (Edward Gero). Scalia becomes the unexpected mentor to a very headstrong Harvard Law School graduate by the name of Cat (Jade Wheeler), who sought out to be his law clerk and who is also a young lady with strong liberal beliefs that challenge his views on the law.

9715feScalia is fascinated by Cat’s combative personality and decides to bring her in for an interview, and that’s when the electrifying discord between the two begins. The heated debate gets intense, personal and sometimes even crosses the line, however; Scalia relishes their passionate battles and hires Cat even though they have opposing views.  

Cat gets concerned that her personal life may become somewhat of an issue, but Scalia assures her that her personal affairs should be just that, personal and that comprehensive studies were completed on all candidates.  

The camaraderie between the Justice lawmaker and the future clerkship is brilliantly played out on stage as their relationship faces the crucial test, encountering one of the most dividing cases to reach the nation’s highest court. It’s a compelling struggle of an originalist who interpret the Constitution’s meaning as from the time of enactment versus a  liberal pragmatist that believes that the Constitution was written to be altered as life changes.

9715fbAlthough Justice Scalia represented the extreme with a hefty punch, he was known to welcome debates from his clerks. The pairing of Scalia and Cat two individuals opposite in views, evoked a superb political gamut of truths which brings about the making of some tremendous theoretical and theatrical debates.

Edward Gero masterfully coveted Justice Scalia with so much vigor and character that he surely needs to be awarded for his stellar performance nominated. Gero was invited to meet with several of the actors and members of the original production crew to help outline his character; which prepared him for the role. Jade Wheeler should be praised for holding her own spurring against the law giant. She was incredible with her tenacity with getting her point across. Together, Mack and Wheeler are spectacular!

 The cast includes:

Edward Gero (Justice Antonin Scalia)

Jade Wheeler (Cat)

Brett Mack (Brad).

Court Theatre concludes 63rd Season with the Chicago Premiere of

The Originalist

The Asolo Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, Pasadena Playhouse Production

By John Strand

Directed by Molly Smith

with Associate Director Seema Sueko

Featuring Edward Gero as Antonin Scalia

May 10 – June 10, 2018



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