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“To Kill a Mockingbird” opens in theaters

“To Kill a Mockingbird” opens in theaters



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On December 25, 1962, To Kill a Mockingbird, a film based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee, opens in theaters. The Great Depression-era story of racial injustice and the loss of childhood innocence is told from the perspective of a young Alabama girl named Scout Finch, played in the film by Mary Badham, who lives with her older brother Jem (Phillip Alford) and their widowed attorney father Atticus (Peck). While Scout, Jem and their friend Dill (John Megna) become fascinated by the mysterious shut-in Boo Radley (Robert Duvall), Atticus goes to court to defend a Black man falsely accused of raping a white woman. Directed by Robert Mulligan (Love with the Proper Stranger, Inside Daisy Clover, Summer of ‘42, The Man in the Moon), To Kill a Mockingbird was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won three Oscars, including Best Actor (Peck). The American Film Institute has rated Atticus Finch as the greatest movie hero of the 20th century, and in 1995 the United States National Film Registry picked To Kill a Mockingbird for preservation in the Library of Congress as a “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” film.

Peck, born on April 5, 1916, in La Jolla, California, graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, where he became involved in theater. He debuted on Broadway in the early 1940s and made his big-screen debut in 1944’s Days of Glory. He went on to earn Academy Award nominations for 1946’s The Keys of the Kingdom, 1947’s The Yearling, 1948’s The Gentleman’s Agreement and 1950’s Twelve O’Clock High. The handsome, dark-haired actor also starred in such movies as Spellbound (1945), The Gunfighter (1950), Roman Holiday (1953)–which marked Audrey Hepburn’s silver screen debut, as well as her first Best Actress Oscar win–Moby Dick (1956), in which Peck played Captain Ahab, and The Guns of Navarone (1961). Among Peck’s other movie credits are The Omen (1976), The Boys from Brazil (1978) and Other People’s Money (1991). He also made an appearance in director Martin Scorsese’s 1991 remake of Cape Fear, starring Robert DeNiro, Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange. (Peck had starred in the original 1962 film.) He died at the age of 87 on June 12, 2003.

Although it seemed as if To Kill a Mockingbird would be the only book that Harper Lee ever published, that changed in 2015, with the controversial publishing of Go Set a Watchman—Lee's first book in 55 years.

The author, who was born on April 28, 1926, and raised in Monroeville, Alabama, was a friend from childhood of the writer Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, In Cold Blood). In the 2005 biopic Capote, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, the actress Catherine Keener played Lee, while Sandra Bullock took on the role in 2006’s Infamous. Lee died on February 19, 2016, at the age of 89.


To Kill a Mockingbird (film)

To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote is based on Harper Lee's 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. It stars Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Mary Badham as Scout. To Kill a Mockingbird marked the film debuts of Robert Duvall, William Windom, and Alice Ghostley.

The film gained overwhelmingly positive reception from both the critics and the public a box-office success, it earned more than six times its budget. The film won three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Peck, and was nominated for eight, including Best Picture.

In 1995, the film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". In 2003, the American Film Institute named Atticus Finch the greatest movie hero of the 20th century. In 2007, the film ranked twenty-fifth on the AFI's 10th anniversary list of the greatest American movies of all time. In 2005, the British Film Institute included it in their list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14. The film was restored and released on Blu-ray and DVD in 2012, as part of the 100th anniversary of Universal Pictures. [3] Many consider it one of the best films ever made.


By Harper Lee | Adapted by Christopher Sergel | Directed by Risa Brainin

Running time: Two hours, 35 minutes. Performed with one 20-minute intermission.

Lee&rsquos Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is a beloved tale that still resonates today. Scout Finch is growing up in Depression-era Alabama, where poverty and prejudice dominate daily life. With the guidance of her wise father, Atticus, the rebellious Scout discovers her own path, learning the power of empathy and the struggle for justice.

Harper Lee&rsquos passing as well as recent events remind us of the importance of what she wrote in this landmark story.

Ronan Ryan and Kaylee Ryan. Photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

Jonathan Gillard Daly. Photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

Kaylee Ryan, Tanesha Gary and Ronan Ryan. Photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

The cast of To Kill a Mockingbird. Photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

The cast of To Kill a Mockingbird. Photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

Whit Reichert and Alan Knoll. Photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

Rachel Fenton. Photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

Terrell Donnell Sledge. Photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

The cast of To Kill a Mockingbird. Photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

Christopher Harris and Kaylee Ryan. Photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

Groups of 10 or more get the best seats at the best price. View more details.

  • Kaylee Ryan (Scout)
  • Ronan Ryan (Jem)
  • Jonathan Gillard Daly (Atticus Finch)
  • Lenne Klingaman (Jean Louise Finch)
  • Charlie Mathis (Dill)
  • Rachel Fenton (Mayella Ewell)
  • Terrell Donnell Sledge (Tom Robinson/Community)
  • Christopher Harris (Walter Cunningham/Arthur "Boo" Radley)
  • Ben Nordstrom (Mr. Gilmer/Nathan Radley)
  • Amy Loui (Maudie Atkinson)
  • Michael Keck (Reverend Sykes)
  • Jerry Vogel (Heck Tate)
  • Tanesha Gary (Calpurnia)
  • Alan Knoll (Bob Ewell)
  • Whit Reichert (Judge Taylor)
  • Kimmie Kidd (Helen Robinson/Community)
  • Cynthia Darlow (Mrs. Dubose/Link Daes)
  • Miriam Dance (Community)
  • Melissa Harris (Community)
  • Alicia Like (Community)
  • Jason Little (Community)
  • Felicia Rogers (Community)

CREATIVE STAFF:

  • Risa Brainin (Director)
  • Narelle Sissons (Scenic Designer)
  • Devon Painter (Costume Designer)
  • Michael Klaers (Lighting Designer)
  • Michael Keck (Composer and Music Director)
  • Gale Childs Daly (Dialect Coach)
  • Shaun Sheley (Fight Director)
  • Miriam Dance (Assistant Director)
  • Brooke Viegut (Assistant Director)
  • Emilee Buchheit (Stage Manager)
  • Lorraine LiCavoli (Assistant Stage Manager)

Read The Rep's To Kill a Mockingbird Play Guide for background on characters, plot and the creation of the play.

Join cast member Ben Nordstrom for a Quick Start presentation on the world of To Kill A Mockingbird. Presentations will begin one hour prior to curtain. Quick Start is offered for every performance except for previews, opening night and 8 p.m. Saturday performances.

A free, half-hour Post-Performance Discussion with the cast and staff will follow the matinee performances on February 15 and March 1, and the evening performances on February 16 and 23.

Join us for a Talk Theatre presentation on February 13, 2017 at 7:30 pm. Rep veteran Jerry Vogel shares stories and experiences about acting on The Rep stage. For tickets and more information, click here or call (314) 968-4925.

Check out the St. Louis County Library's curated resource list for To Kill a Mockingbird. It includes books and movies with the themes of small towns, coming of age, race, class and the inequities of the justice system.

The Saint Louis Art Museum partners with The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis to offer Museum visitors a one-hour docent-led led observation of works of American art. See how themes, motifs and symbols express our moral nature.

Tours depart from the Museum&rsquos Information Center in Sculpture Hall in the Main Building. All tours are free no reservations required. Tour dates and times:

Saturday, February 11 @ 11:00am

Sunday, February 19 @ 2:00pm

The Rep's Education Department recommends this production for grades 6 and up (ages 11 and up).

Consistent with the time period in which the story is set, the play contains racial slurs as well as discussions of racial injustice, a physical altercation, weapons and an alleged sexual assault.

Open Captioning & Live Audio Description

The Rep offers Open Captioning seats in the Left Bay as well as live audio description for the 2 p.m. March 5 performance of To Kill a Mockingbird.

OPEN CAPTIONING DETAILS:

Hearing-impaired patrons can purchase tickets here. Please note that Open Captioning Seats are only available in the Left Bay area.

At performances presented with Open Captioning, the dialogue spoken or sung by the actors on stage is also displayed in text on an electronic screen visible to one section of the seating area.

Much like Closed Captioning for television programs, Open Captioning presents the spoken or sung portions, as well as sound effects, of the performance in a format accessible to deaf audience members or to patrons who may have difficulty hearing clearly.

LIVE AUDIO DESCRIPTION DETAILS:

Patrons who wish to listen in to live audio description provided by MindsEye Radio can purchase tickets anywhere in the theatre.

The description begins with program notes and stage description 10 minutes prior to the performance. Visual moments of the performance will be described without interfering with the dialogue.

To reserve tickets and description devices, please call the Box Office at 314-968-4925.


‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Sets Broadway Return, Replaces Scott Rudin

Jeff Daniels will reprise his role as Atticus Finch in the Aaron Sorkin play.

Jackie Strause

Managing Editor, East Coast

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Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird has set its Broadway return. Jeff Daniels will reprise his iconic role as Atticus Finch when the play resumes performances on Oct. 5 at New York City’s Shubert Theatre. Celia Keenan-Bolger will also return in her Tony Award-winning performance as Scout Finch.

In place of departed producer Scott Rudin, Orin Wolf (Tony-winning musical The Band&rsquos Visit) has been named executive producer, effective immediately, and will oversee all aspects of the production. Rudin, under fire after The Hollywood Reporter detailed allegations of workplace abuse against him, had stepped back from his Broadway productions, including To Kill a Mockingbird, in April. “I do not want any controversy associated with me to interrupt Broadway&rsquos well deserved return, or specifically, the return of the 1500 people working on these shows,” said the embattled theater uber-producer at the time.

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'Hamilton,' 'Lion King' and 'Wicked' Set Broadway Returns

After New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Broadway League announced that the theater industry would turn its lights back on to full capacity starting Sept. 14, many hit Broadway shows announced their reopening dates. But To Kill a Mockingbird, along with other still-unannounced former Rudin productions The Book of Mormon and West Side Story, remained an outlier until Thursday.

“We&rsquove been waiting more than a year for Mockingbird &mdash and all of Broadway &mdash to come back, so this is a very happy announcement,” said Sorkin in a statement. “I&rsquom looking forward to the re-launch of the play under Orin Wolf&rsquos leadership and I&rsquom excited for the electricity that Jeff, Celia and the whole cast will be bringing to the Shubert Theatre. Mostly I&rsquom looking forward to being back in our rehearsal room.”

Daniels added in his own statement, “Over the course of the original year long run, I felt a nightly privilege playing Atticus Finch. At this moment in our country&rsquos history, I&rsquom honored to play him again, to inhabit an iconic American Hero who still speaks to our times and will help us all remember who we can be.”

To Kill a Mockingbird, which is produced by Barry Diller and directed by Bartlett Sher from the classic Harper Lee story, has amassed a total gross of more than $125 million and, before the Broadway shutdown, played to standing-room-only houses. Tickets are now available on Telecharge.com.

Rudin is also no longer officially involved in the play’s national tour, which will now launch next year on March 27 in Buffalo, NY, with Richard Thomas as Atticus or the London West End production, opening March 10 at the Gielgud Theatre starring Rafe Spall.

Hard-hit from the coronavirus pandemic, Broadway has been shut down since March 12, 2020. At that time, 31 productions were running, including eight shows in previews and another eight in rehearsals.


‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Becomes Top-Grossing American Play in Broadway History

Aaron Sorkin's blockbuster stage adaptation of the 1960 Harper Lee novel about racial injustice in the Jim Crow-era Deep South has surpassed $40 million in just 27 weeks.

David Rooney

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Right on schedule, Scott Rudin’s hot-ticket production of To Kill a Mockingbird has become the top-grossing American play in Broadway history, with cumulative box office as of Sunday hitting $40.1 million.

Last week marked the fourth new house record for a nonmusical in the 27 weeks since the play began performances at the Shubert Theatre, with grosses for the seven-day period of $1,767,464. The $40 million total does not include advance ticket sales, which bring the gross sales total to more than $55 million. The advance has consistently remained north of $20 million since the production opened Dec. 13 to superlative reviews.

Adapted by Aaron Sorkin from Harper Lee’s 1960 novel about principled small-town Alabama lawyer Atticus Finch, who takes on the defense of a local black sharecropper falsely accused of raping a white woman in 1934, the drama has struck an emotional chord with audiences in a time of resurgent race-based intolerance and shocking hate crimes like the 2015 church shootings in Charleston, S.C., and the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., two years later.

The production also has acquired the status of event theater, with its rich thematic scope, its large cast of 23 and its ability to address topical themes in stirring theatrical fashion, while eloquently championing the virtues of human decency.

It has not played to an unsold seat at a single performance since the start of previews Nov. 1, registering the kind of weekly numbers more customary for a musical than a play, and recouping its entire $8 million investment just 19 weeks after its Dec. 13 official opening.

“The success of To Kill a Mockingbird so quickly out of the gate is &mdash beyond our obvious pride in what we made &mdash actually a testament to Harper Lee and the power of her novel,” Rudin told The Hollywood Reporter. “Forty-five million copies is a lot of books, and we’re the beneficiaries of what she created.”

The production’s stratospheric sales now seem all the more remarkable given that, a little over a year ago, a lawsuit filed by the Lee estate threatened to derail the adaptation, claiming that Sorkin’s script departed from the spirit of the novel. The dispute was settled in time for rehearsals to begin, though the terms were undisclosed.

“Given the travails we went through to get the play on, this is a satisfying landmark to have the play achieve,” added Rudin. “It’s been a huge pleasure for all of us from start to finish, even during the litigation, which in fact had the effect of bringing this group together immediately and decisively. The company of Mockingbird is a remarkable and passionately dedicated group of people &mdash on stage and off &mdash and given the likelihood at one moment that the play would open and close in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, this is a giant moment for all of us.”

The show received nine Tony nominations, including Bartlett Sher for best direction, Jeff Daniels for lead actor, Celia Keenan-Bolger for featured actress and Gideon Glick for featured actor. Composer Adam Guettel also earned a nomination for best original score, making Mockingbird one of the rare nonmusicals to be recognized in that category.

In what was hands-down the biggest shocker of the nominations announcement, the production failed to land a best play nomination, leaving Sorkin shut out and radically altering the picture in what was widely predicted to be a two-horse race between Mockingbird and Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman, which also landed nine nods but trails far behind the Sorkin play in grosses.

Observers attribute the Sorkin snub to a quirk of the Tony Nominating Committee’s anonymous voting system in an unusually crowded year for new plays, as well as the tendency to favor original works over adaptations. However, Mockingbird needs the marketing boost of Tony attention less than any play currently on the boards, and its track record as a bona fide Broadway smash should provide ample fuel for the two-year national tour, kicking off in August 2020 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Plans for a London production will be announced in the next few weeks.

The production takes the top-grossing American play spot from previous record holder It’s Only a Play, the Terrence McNally backstage farce that made $37.5 million in a starry 2014 revival followed by Proof, the 2000 drama from David Auburn that earned $32.9 million and Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County from 2007, which totaled $32.8 million.


‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ plays Madison Square Garden

The crowd at Madison Square Garden Wednesday. (Photo: Jenny Anderson)

“To Kill a Mockingbird” made history Wednesday afternoon when the play was performed in Madison Square Garden in front of approximately 18,000 New York City public school students.

This is the first time a Broadway play or musical has appeared in the arena, which is typically home to the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and rock concerts. The full Broadway cast, led by Ed Harris as Atticus Finch, performed, with director Bartlett Sher, playwright Aaron Sorkin and producer Scott Rudin on hand to monitor the action.

Unlike the play’s Broadway proscenium stage, Wednesday’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” was played on long rectangular stage in the center of Madison Square Garden, with four separate sections representing the front porch of the Finch home, the interior of the home, the courthouse and Tom Robinson’s jail cell. Cast members had rehearsed for about a month in a rehearsal space in Long Island City in preparation for the special performance.

Video cameras were used to capture scenes at the far ends of the stage and the images were projected on four screens throughout the auditorium.

As is the case with many school-aged audiences, the reactions to dramatic moments in the play were bigger than with the typical Broadway crowd. Screams began as the ensemble cast members first approached the stage and reached a fever pitch when Atticus Finch began to fight Bob Ewell in the second act. Students reacted with soft “awws” to Dill Harris’s more tender moments and with loud boos to the Ewell family’s racist diatribes.

Moments of the play were accompanied by the singing of school choirs seated in the audience.

The performance was free to New York middle school and high school students from all five boroughs through a partnership between t he Madison Square Garden Company and “To Kill a Mockingbird” producers. The impetus for bringing “To Kill a Mockingbird” to the Garden was to open up the play to a younger and more diverse audience, which has a been a goal of Rudin’s since the beginning of the production, according to a spokesperson for “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The production took on personnel and rehearsal costs and Madison Square Garden provided the arena rent free and covered in-house expenses for the three days of arena preparation.

“We have been honored to join Scott Rudin, Barry Diller and the Department [of] Education in offering this very special event, which we hope marks the beginning of a new tradition of Broadway at The Garden, for the benefit of our city’s students,” James L. Dolan, executive chairman and chief executive of the Madison Square Garden Company, said in a press release.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” opened at the Shubert Theatre on Dec. 13, 2018 and has been maintaining high grosses and high capacity throughout its run. It announced the recoupment of its $7.5 million capitalization in April 2019. Before coming to Broadway, however, the production had been flagged by lawsuits filed by the Harper Lee estate over Sorkin’s adaptation. The matter was later settled.

The production also faced pushback from community theaters across the country after the theaters were not allowed to perform Christopher Sergel’s 1991 adaptation of the play due to the first-class production running in New York. Rudin later offered those community theaters the ability to perform the Sorkin play.

The production has also claimed Wednesday’s event saw “ the largest attendance at a single performance of a theatrical work ever in world theater.” Presented with that claim, Professor Eric Csapo, an expert in ancient theatre at the University of Warwick, noted that the theater of Megalopolis, built in the fourth century B.C, had seating for 20,000 and that larger theaters were built in Roman times.

In modern history, however, only the Hollywood Bowl, which lists a capacity of 17,500 and the Muny, the 11,000-seat outdoor amphitheater in St. Louis, come close to Wednesday’s predicted attendance. Closer to home, Kevin Spacey’s solo show “Clarence Darrow” played Arthur Ashe Stadium in 2017, drawing crowds of more than 4,000, according to the New York Times .

Load-in of the “To Kill a Mockingbird” set — which took nine hours — preparation for the stage and lighting programming started two days prior to Wednesday afternoon’s performance, according to a spokesperson for Madison Square Garden. The production planned to load-out the set after the performance Wednesday.

The performance was introduced by Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray. Spike Lee, who has been tapped to direct the live capture of “American Utopia,” also spoke, noting that he had also been a public school student in New York. He credited his career in film, in part, to his mother bringing him to Broadway shows when he was younger.


Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird opens at Gielgud Theatre May 2021

Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, the enduring story of racial injustice and childhood innocence has sold 45 million copies worldwide. 2020 marked the 60th anniversary of its publication.

Set in Alabama in 1934, To Kill a Mockingbird centres on one of the most venerated characters in American literature, the small-town lawyer Atticus Finch. The cast of characters includes Atticus’s daughter Scout, her brother Jem, their housekeeper and caretaker Calpurnia, their visiting friend Dill, a mysterious neighbour the reclusive Arthur “Boo” Radley, and the other indelible residents of Maycomb, Alabama.

To Kill a Mockingbird, celebrating one year on Broadway today, has not played to an empty seat and holds the benchmark of having become the most successful American play in Broadway history. A national tour of the United States opens at The Kennedy Center in Washington DC in August 2020.

To Kill a Mockingbird is designed by Miriam Buether, with costumes by Ann Roth, lighting by Jennifer Tipton, sound by Scott Lehrer and an original score by Adam Guettel.

Aaron Sorkin is a celebrated writer, producer and director known for his multi-award-winning work across stage and screen. Sorkin is probably best known as the creator and screenwriter of the Emmy Award-winning hit TV series The West Wing and films such as Steve Jobs and The Social Network for which he received an Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA and Writer’s Guild Award for best screenplay. He is the writer-creator of The Newsroom and the Academy Award-winning 1992 film A Few Good Men, which he adapted from his 1989 Broadway play. His other credits as a playwright include Making Movies and The Farnsworth Invention.

Bartlett Sher is the multi-award-winning Director of the Lincoln Center Theater in New York, a post he has held for over a decade. His critically acclaimed stage productions include the Tony Award-winning South Pacific and Oslo, My Fair Lady and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. He has also worked extensively in opera, staging productions at English National Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera and New York City Opera.

To Kill A Mockingbird is produced by Scott Rudin, Barry Diller and Sonia Friedman Productions.

Douglas Mayo has had a life long love affair with musical theatre. He has authored several books on publicity and marketing for amateur theatre groups.
He is in the process of developing a musical based on his original story concept.


“To Kill a Mockingbird” ****

Pictured: Ellie Schwartz as Scout Kristen Adele as Calpurnia Tammy Meneghini as adult Scout Connor Shearrer as Jem Sam Gregory as Atticus Finch Michael Kane as "Boo" Radley.

Sam Gregory as Atticus Finch in the Colorado Shakespeare Festival's "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Sam Gregory and Ellie Schwartz in a powerfully underplayed "Mockingbird."

Harper Lee is the best thing to happen to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival since . . . Falstaff.

The CSF, which is expanding its programming beyond the Bard to attract new audiences, couldn’t have done better in bringing Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” to its outdoor stage.

It was an enormous risk, turning over the Mary Rippon Amphitheater to a trio of tykes whose lungs have not yet developed the capacity to fill the 1,004-seat theater. The good news: This is the first production in the festival’s 52 years in which all principal actors wear body mics. Let’s hope every single play to come follows suit, forevermore.

What an extraordinary joy to not strain to pick up every word from 10 rows away. To hear soft-spoken hero Atticus Finch not once have to betray his character by raising his voice. To see (and hear) mere kids delivering real, full-blooded performances without sentiment or precociousness.

If they’re the reason the festival finally overrode decades of history and those lingering snobs who feel outdoor acting should never be vocally enhanced, then hooray for kids.

The bad news: Though it just opened, there are only five more performances of “Mockingbird” left in this budget-crunched season.

“Mockingbird” is a masterpiece, masterfully presented by director Jane Page.

It’s Lee’s powerful coming-of-age tale of Scout and Jem, Alabama siblings who learn in the summer of 1935 that the boogeyman is not some 8-foot monster they imagine lingers behind a neighbor’s locked door. He’s everywhere else in this backward, impoverished town where white men attend church and then set out to hang a black man without the inconvenience of a trial.

The boogeyman is the pervading, institutional racism that had lingered in the Deep South for centuries.

But in this one case, the vicious cycle of inherited hate will end with a 9-year-old girl and her 12-year-old brother whose vilified lawyer father deigns to defend a black man falsely accused by a white woman of rape.

The production, which takes place largely in the Finch front yard, nestles seamlessly into the Rippon’s heavily forested background. The great Sam Gregory, on loan from the Denver Center Theatre Company, embodies the iconic Finch we all know as Gregory Peck from the classic 1962 film. He’s true to the essence of the principled widower while infusing him with warmth and even tinges of humor as he dispenses wise life lessons to his children.

The film earned an Oscar nomination for the girl playing Scout, but the stage adaptation is much more an ensemble piece driven by an adult Scout (a wonderful Tammy Meneghini). She’s the narrator who intermingles while commenting on the replaying of the seminal summer of her youth.

That said, 12-year-old Ellie Schwartz is some kind of wonderful as young Scout. This girl just chilled audiences to the bone as that dumbstruck little troublemaker Betty Parris in the Arvada Center’s “The Crucible.” That she transforms so easily into the motherless, searching tomboy shows a remarkable range for an actress of any age. And she’s well- matched with Connor Shearrer as the brother who grows from teasing her to protecting her.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a tragedy born of extreme poverty and ignorance. It may be elegant in word, driven by righteousness and bathed in integrity, but it pulls no emotional punches. It doesn’t get treacly for a second. There is a sense of real danger at the end.

This is an honest look back at a place where kids loved and, yes, lied to their parents. Where a boy got a gun for his 14th birthday as a rite of passage.

Like a rabid dog that will infect anyone who comes near it, racism can’t be killed with just a 14-year- old’s bullet. As long as it remains out in the open, its rotten carcass is just as infectious dead as it was alive.


Gielgud Theatre

Originally named the Hicks Theatre in honour of actor, manager and playwright Seymour Hicks, the venue opened in 1906 as a pair with the Queen's Theatre. Later, the building was renamed the Globe Theatre and then the Gielgud Theatre in 1997, in honour of actor John Gielgud.

First opening with Hicks' musical The Beauty of Bath (1906), the theatre has housed countless successful productions, establishing its name as one of the most prolific playhouses in the West End. Early productions included operetta A Waltz Dream (1908), Noel Coward's Fallen Angels (1925), The Improper Duchess (1931), starring Yvonne Arnaud, The Importance of Being Earnest (1939), starring and directed by John Gielgud, The Lady's Not for Burning (1949), with Richard Burton in a supporting role and A Man for All Seasons (1960), starring Paul Scofield, amongst many more.

Throughout the late 20th century, the venue hosted productions such as A Season of Barry Humphries as Dame Edna Everage (1976), The Rear Column (1978), starring Jeremy Irons, Noel Coward's Design for Living (1982), starring Vanessa Redgrave and a long run of Daisy Pulls It Off(1983). In 1987, Maggie Smith starred in Lettuce and Loveage, Alan Ayckbourn's Man of the Moment premiered in 1990 and Design for Living was revived in 1995, starring Rachel Weisz.

The Gielgud steadily began to expand, housing musicals as well as short-running plays. Denise Van Outen starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tell Me on a Sunday (2003), followed by Judi Dench in the RSC's All's Well That Ends Well (2004), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (2004), starring Mackenzie Crook, Don Carlos(2005), starring Derek Jacobi, and Catherine Tate and David Schwimmer in Some Girls (2005).

Further notable productions include the heralded Equus(2007), starring Daniel Radcliffe, Macbeth(2007), starring Patrick Stewart, Tamsin Greig and Ralph Fiennes in God of Carnage (2008), Bill Bailey's Tinselworm(2008) and Alison Steadman in Alan Bennett's Enjoy(2009). Hit musicals Avenue Q(2009) and Hair(2010) followed. Other major productions include Yes, Prime Minister (2010), with David Haig, The Ladykillers(2011) and the award-winning Chariots of Fire (2012).

In 2013, Helen Mirren starred in an acclaimed production of The Audience, following on from her lauded performance in blockbuster The Queen. Noel Coward's Private Lives(2013) followed, starring Anna Chancellor and Toby Stephens, which was then replaced with a stage adaptation of Strangers on a Train(2013), starring Laurence Fox. 2014 saw Angela Lansbury return to the stage in Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit.

Following a balcony collapse at the Apollo Theatre, the National Theatre's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time transferred to the Gielgud Theatre in 2014, where it continued to play until June 2017. Following this, Jez Butterworth's The Ferrymanlanded at the venue, fresh from a sold-out run at the Royal Court, directed by Sam Mendes.

After extending to May 2018, The Ferryman transferred to Broadway, and was replaced by the RSC's thrilling two-part play Imperium. Imperium I: Conspirator and Imperium II: Dictator play in rep, followed by a revival of Stephen Sondheim's Company, starring Patti LuPone and Rosalie Craig.

In June 2019, Lynn Nottage's play Sweat transferred from the Donmar Warehouse for a limited 50 performance run. In August, long-running show Les Miserables played for sixteen weeks whilst its home, the newly-named Sondheim Theatre, underwent refurbishment. The production was a fully-staged concert edition, starring Michael Ball, Alfie Boe, Carrie Hope Fletcher, and Matt Lucas.

Conor McPherson's The Girl From the North Countryreturned to the West End at the Gielgud Theatre in December 2019, following a successful run in North America. The play features the music of Bob Dylan. In February, Ben Elton adapted his critically acclaimed Shakespearean sitcom, Upstart Crow for the stage, starring comedian David Mitchell and Gemma Whelan.

The highly anticipated transfer of the Broadway smash-hit production To Kill a Mockingbird will open at the theatre in May 2021, starring Rhys Ifans. This production will be the first to open at the theatre since it was forced to close due to measures placed to restrict the spread of COVID-19 in March 2020.

Past Shows


Upstart Crow
(closed 25 Apr 2020)

Girl From The North Country
(closed 1 Feb 2020)

Les Misérables - All-Star Staged Concert 2019
(closed 30 Nov 2019)

To Kill A Mockingbird

The stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird is a truly special experience. Performed in the old courthouse, it allows attendees an opportunity to transport themselves back to the time of the book's setting. Keeping the tradition of the era, any white male over the age of 18 can be called for jury duty. If selected, he will be asked to sit with the jury during the courtroom scene.

***On March 16, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mockingbird Company made the decision to cancel the Spring 2020 production of Dramatic Publishing’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird. We look forward to the Spring 2021 production being better than ever! At this time, the number of available tickets will be limited to one-half the available seats. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and when it is safe, we will release the remaining tickets. Schools on the Wait List will be first in line for released tickets. Adult performance tickets will be released online on a first-come basis. Prayerfully this will happen soon. On behalf of our Cast and Crew, THANK YOU for your patience and understanding. We WILL get through this together!***

Details About the Play

The first adult performance of the Spring 2021 production of Dramatic Publishing’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird will be May 1, 2021. The play lasts approximately 2 hours and has two acts, one outside and one inside. In the event of inclement weather, Act I will be summarized inside, and then, Act II will begin.

ADULT PERFORMANCE TICKETS:

The number of available tickets will be limited to one-half the available seats. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and when it is safe, we will release the remaining tickets. Adult performance tickets will be released online on a first-come basis.

General Admission ($55) - For General Admission tickets, all seating, except the front row, are unassigned.

If you have questions about tickets, please call 251-743-3386.

2021 ADULT PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:

Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, May 7, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, May 14, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. (SOLD OUT)

Friday, May 21, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.

YOUNG AUDIENCE / STUDENT TICKETS:

There will be no young audience performances this year due to COVID-19. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

Address of Play:

Monroe County Heritage Museum,
Monroeville, Alabama
31 N Alabama Ave, Monroeville, AL 36460

Visitors come from far and away to enjoy this special adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird. Monroeville is more than happy to have you! For accommodations or restaurant suggestions, we encourage visitors to call the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce at 251-743-2879 or visit the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce website.

Special Ticket Information:

Tickets may be turned in for a donation to the Mockingbird Company if not used.

No cameras or filming of any kind.

Any white male over the age of 18 may be selected for jury duty and will be seated in the jury section.

No large handbags, please, as seating is tight.

Groups of 50 people or more, please call 251-743-3386.

History of the Play:

Monroeville, Alabama, presented the first stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird in 1991 as Monroe County Heritage Museum Director Kathy McCoy searched for a way to raise money to renovate the old courthouse. The first one-act performance happened on a freezing night in November in the old courtroom, but was met with excitement from the audience.

The next year, the production was set in May.

By 1994, the local production added a community choir and the spiritual hymns that captivate audiences around the world.

In 1996, the Mockingbird Players, a group of amateur actors dedicated to the production, were invited to bring the play to the Israel International Cultural Festival in Jerusalem to perform the play to sold out audiences.

Two years later, the production traveled to Kingston Upon Hull, England to perform and lead an Alabama Cultural Symposium.

In 2000, the production traveled to Washington, D.C., to perform at the Kennedy Center before Congress and other dignitaries as well as sold-out crowds.

A return trip to Kingston Upon Hull happened in 2004, followed by performances at the Museum of Cultural Arts in Chicago, Illinois, in 2005.


‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Becomes Highest-Grossing American Play in Broadway History (EXCLUSIVE)

“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a certifiable smash and has become one of the greatest stage successes of this or any Broadway season. Aaron Sorkin’s adaption of Harper Lee’s classic novel just shattered records in its second full week of performances, grossing a massive $1.702 million.

That makes it the highest single-week grossing American play in Broadway history, supplanting “All the Way,” the Bryan Cranston drama about Lyndon Johnson that took in $1.623 million during the week of June 22, 2014. The new high-water mark set by “To Kill a Mockingbird” is for the week of Dec. 30, 2018, a particularly busy time for Broadway, coming as it does in the midst of the holiday season when Times Square is flooded with tourists.

“I’ve never had, or seen, a new play perform like this one is,” said Scott Rudin, the Tony-winning producer behind “To Kill a Mockingbird.” “We’ve had plenty of shows break plenty of records, but nothing we’ve ever had has been like this. The company of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ has been together for quite a long time already, through numerous labs, readings, and a very healthy preview period. The success of this play — and the huge affection shown for it thus far — belongs entirely to them. It’s their hit.”

Musicals such as “Frozen” and “Hamilton” may gross higher numbers, but they also perform in larger venues. Even with that caveat, “To Kill a Mockingbird’s” seven-figure weekly grosses are the kind usually reserved for musicals. They don’t equal the numbers of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” but that U.K. production boasts elaborate special effects, a sprawling theater, and a tie-in with a film and literary franchise. “Harry Potter” topped itself over the weekend putting up best-ever numbers for any play in Broadway history with $2,525,850.

Popular on Variety

Since performances began on Nov. 1, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ has not played to an empty seat, with capacity being at 100% or greater for every performance. The advance currently stands at more than $22 million. Earlier in December, the Shubert Organization announced the show had set a box office record for the highest weekly gross of any play on Broadway in the organization&rsquos history. As a sign of “To Kill a Mockingbird’s” popularity, the play has an open-ended run. Most non-musicals have a set end date. Moreover, Jeff Daniels, who stars as small-town lawyer Atticus Finch, has agreed to appear in the show for a full year, a very long commitment for a film and television star.

Set in Alabama in 1934, “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a coming-of-age story that also gives a penetrating look at racial injustice in the segregated South. The play, like the novel, follows Atticus&rsquos daughter Scout (Celia Keenan-Bolger), her brother Jem (Will Pullen), their housekeeper and caretaker, Calpurnia (LaTanya Richardson Jackson), their visiting friend Dill (Gideon Glick), and a mysterious neighbor, the reclusive Arthur &ldquoBoo&rdquo Radley (Danny Wolohan). Bartlett Sher (“South Pacific”) directs the show.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” headed towards the Great White Way facing some headwinds. Lee’s estate sued the producers for taking liberties with the novel (an earlier draft depicted Finch drinking whiskey, for instance, and cursing). The two sides settled the suit last spring in advance of the December opening, removing certain curse words, but sticking to their guns on some changes, such as Sorkin’s decision to enlarge the role of the Finch’s maid Calpurnia. Sorkin is best known for his screenplay for “The Social Network,” a look at the founding of Facebook that Rudin produced, and for creating the NBC smash “The West Wing.”

The task was a mighty one for Sorkin, who didn’t just have to deal with the author’s estate, but also had to grapple with the legacy of the beloved 1962 film adaptation with Gregory Peck as a stentorian Atticus. He appears to have pulled it off, not just commercially, but critically. Reviews have been kind. Variety‘s Marilyn Stasio called it an “effective adaptation” and praised Daniels’ “strong and searching performance” and The New York Times labeled the work “beautiful” and “elegiac.”


Watch the video: To Kill a Mockingbird Opening Monologue (August 2022).