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To Kill A Mockingbird
a Drama
CATEGORY : DRAMA
by Harper Lee, adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel

COMPANY : Theatrical Outfit [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Balzer Theatre @ Herren's [WEBSITE]
ID# 2472

SHOWING : September 12, 2007 - October 07, 2007

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Widely considered the greatest book of the twentieth century, this Pulitzer Prize winning novel has been adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel and will begin Theatrical Outfit’s thirty-first season featuring Executive Artistic Director Tom Key in the role of Atticus Finch. Directed by Rosemary Newcott.


CAST & CREW LIST
Jean Louise Carolyn Cook
Atticus Finch Tom Key
Dill Tendal Mann
Young Jean Lousie "Scout" Constance Owl
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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In the Shoes of a Child
by Dedalus
Friday, September 28, 2007
5.0
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury:

We are here today to consider the production of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” as produced by Theatrical Outfit. Before you retire to your chamber to deliberate, let me first ask you to step into the shoes of a child. Imagine yourself small enough to wear the clothes you wore when you were ten. Imagine you are seeing the world as you saw it before the twin demons of maturity and experience robbed the world of its freshness. Imagine you are seeing this story for the first time.

Your father is a hero. Neighbors are scary. Summer nights throb with life and insects and dreams and shadow. Your big brother is a protector and a tormentor, most often at the same time. Adults have a conspiracy of silence and perform puzzling acts and have a blindness to the obvious right and wrong that is so plain to you.

Treasures are found in the holes of trees and monsters surprise you with gentleness and old ladies anger you with cruelties.

You can spot lies and liars with an ease that surprises your parents.

You don’t have to express your feelings or articulate your questions or explain your motivations – that is the job of your grown-up self standing to the side, living in a world of memory.

A single act, like the merciful killing of a mad dog, can forever change your father in your eyes.

And an act of conscience, even one your friends and your father’s friends condemn, becomes an act of heroism that will echo through the years and forever color your acquaintances in that ideal father hue that will always make them come up short.

This is how this production fills your evening. If Tom Key, as your father, is the man you always imagined him, if Carolyn Cook, as your grown-up self, is the woman you always dreamed of becoming, if some of Atlanta’s best character actors perfectly embody your neighbors and the friends of your father, you’d be seeing exactly what is to offer in this production.

And if the children, inexperienced as you are, show their inexperience without slowing the story, just remember what Shakespeare said about the quality of mercy, and remember the unfair burden this story places on the shoulders of the young, and, more important, remember when you heard a story as a child, the story was more important than the story-teller.

Before we conclude, consider also the set. It is the home that dominates the memory, not the courtroom. Notice how the second act trial plays out on the steps of the home. Is this how a child sees it or is it how an adult remembers it? Aren't all memories, good or bad, filtered through the lens of our home, good or bad? Consider then how stepping into the shoes of a child clarifies our memory and puts our past in perspective.

Atticus Finch tells his children that the secret of being civilized is to walk in the shoes of your neighbors and your friends, and most important, of your enemies. He says the secret to keeping your temper is to imagine what it’s like to be your tormentor.

Let me argue, and let you consider and deliberate as you judge the quality of this story and this play and this production – you do not have to walk in your younger self’s shoes to appreciate its depth and its lyricism and its ability to make memory come alive. But if you do, it will itself become a memory that you treasure, like a carved piece of soap you found in a tree trunk when you were ten.

Carolyn Cook tells us that we are seeing the summer when “Boo Radley gave us two lucky pennies, a broken watch, and our lives.”

I am telling you that this is the September when Theatrical Outfit gives you back your childhood and this story.

Thank you.

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com)

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