ON THE STAGE:Local children star in upcoming Troy University production of ‘To Kill A Mocking Bird’
The Troy University Department of Theater and Dance could not have chosen a better time to bring the play based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” to the stage.
Renewed interest and enthusiasm have been generated about the classic novel following the discovery of Harper Lee’s “new” novel, “Go Set a Watchman.”
Tori Lee Averett, Troy University Department of Theater and Dance chair, said “To Kill a Mockingbird” is once again in the spotlight but the novel, which is a classic of modern American literature, has never been completely out of the spotlight.
“We are excited to bring this ‘different’ stage version of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ to Troy University,” Averett said. “The playwright met with Harper Lee and she loved the play.”
Averett said the beauty of the novel is that the story is revealed as it is seen through the perspective of Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, who is the narrator and protagonist of “To Kill a Mockingbird.
Averett said the children – Scout, her older brother Jem, and Dill, their best friend, drive the play.
“The children are learning about the adult world,” Averett said. “They are innocent and they’re not afraid to ask questions as they try to figure out the rules of the world.”
Averett said. “‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was chosen for production because it’s a story that needs to keep being told.
“Not just because it’s a classic but because it’s generational. It’s about race. It’s about poverty. It’s about how we treat each other and about lines that we draw between each other, lines drawn out of fear, hate and ignorance. It’s not just about the South in 1935. It’s about now.”
Six students from the local area are cast in the Troy University production – Tate Gardner, Pike Liberal Arts School in the role of Scout; Dalton Causey, Ariton Middle School as Jem; and Brady Singleton, Goshen Elementary School, as Dill. Understudies are Claire-Ann Manning, PLAS (Scout); Tripp Spivey, PLAS (Jem); and Bryce Senn, Troy Elementary School (Dill).
“The kids didn’t know the story of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ when we started but they have all read the book,” Averett said. “They will ask about something that was in the book but not in the play. We can’t fit everything in the book in the play but we can make the characters and the story bigger. That’s the magic of theater.”
The Troy University Department of Theater and Dance will present “To Kill a Mockingbird” at 7:30 p.m. April 15, 16, 17 and 18 and at 2:30 p.m. April 19 at the Trojan Center Theater. Tickets are $10 and $5 for students. Tickets may be purchased at the Trojan Center Box Office at the Trojan Center.
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