Harper Lee's Classic "To Kill a Mockingbird" Onstage May 30-June 8
The book, based on themes of justice, equality, morality, ethics and compassion, is considered one of the most influential novels and best sellers in recent history. This coming of age story recognizes our childhood innocence and challenges us to keep searching for fairness and decency in a troubled world.
Harper Lee loosely based her novel’s plot and characters on the reactions of family and neighbors to a tragic event that occurred in her Southern Alabama town of Monroeville in 1936, when she was 10 years old. The novel, published in 1960, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and for more than 50 years has been widely taught in schools throughout the United States. The Academy-Award winning film adaptation, released in 1962, is also regarding as a classic, featuring an iconic portrayal of Atticus Finch by Gregory Peck.
The Southern Gothic novel, narrated by the young girl Scout Finch, attacks issues of racial inequality and loss of innocence. Scout’s father, Atticus Finch, an attorney in a rape trial that involves a clash of the races, is perhaps one of the most enduring and beloved characters in American literature. He is a moral hero who pursues justice unfailingly in an unendingly broken and unjust situation. His pursuit of fairness, equality and justice shine like a beacon in the face of the novel’s tragic ending.
The adaptation of the novel is written by playwright Christopher Sergel, who was one of the few people to receive permission from Lee to adapt her work. Sergel spent more than 20 years revising his play for the stage where it premiered in 1991 at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, N.J. It has since become a favorite of theatres across the nation, including the courthouse in Monroeville, where the play is performed annually.
For SBCT, director Gary Oesch leads the cast that features Greg Melton as Atticus and Tess Klingele as Scout. Also in the cast are Alexander Bobbs, Michael Boles, Preston Bolser, Angela Brister, Taylor Brister, Soren Campbell, Steve Chung, Lee Clark, Pierre Cooks, Lori Duda, Zach Gassman, Brandon Harper, Tony Hutti, Jason Johnson, Natalie MacRae, Melissa Manier, Rick Miller, Eula Milon, Mary Ann Moran, Michael Porter, Joe Roman, Scot Shepley, Siôn Shepley, Mary Toll, Patrick Trimboli, Reg Wagle, and Justin F. Williams.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” performs in the Wilson Theatre May 30-June 8, 2014. Performance times are 7:30 PM Wed-Sat, and 2 PM Sundays. Ticket prices are $15 (Wed-Thu) and $18 (Fri-Sun). For tickets call the SBCT Box Office at 574-234-1112 or online at sbct.org.