Harper Lee's Pulitzer-prize winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, returns to Park Square after sold-out performances in 2011. Set in a small town in Alabama in 1935, it is a story of one man's pursuit of justice in a climate of racial inequality. The novel's hero Atticus Finch serves as an iconic inspiration for tolerance and integrity; his eight-year-old daughter Scout remains among the most beloved young characters in literature with her pluck, smarts and willingness to understand the perspectives of others. Directed by David Mann, this large-scale staging of Christopher Sergel's adaptation includes a gospel chorus and an evocative set designed by Joel Sass. To Kill a Mockingbird is on stage for eight general audience performances April 4-14, 2013.
"The novel is, in a way, perfect-great characters, great story, and themes that are both universal and topical," said Director David Mann. "When the book came out, the civil rights movement was just beginning to take hold. Harper Lee illuminated its core ideas through this quasi-fictional account of her own childhood in rural Alabama, when race relations were volatile. But the remarkable thing to me about the story is that although it focuses front and center on the dehumanization of racism, it's really about misperception of the 'other'. Many characters are perceived to be something they're not-Atticus Finch, Mrs. Dubose, and of course, Boo Radley. Told as a child's memory, this story is a reminder that learning to understand and accept each other is a lifelong process."
There will also be 26 matinee performances for middle and high school students, beginning April 2 and running through May 17, presented as part of Park Square's 3M Student Series. More than 20,000 students are served through Park Square's award-winning education program. A complete study guide, written by teachers serving on Park Square's education advisory board, is available online at http://www.parksquaretheatre.org/www/pst-education-study-guides.php. There is also a video trailer featuring excerpts from the 2011 production, available at http://www.parksquaretheatre.org/www/pst-showpage-mockingbird-video.php.
Many members of the 2011 cast are returning, including Fred Wagner as Atticus and Warren C. Bowles (Rev. Sykes), Robert Gardner (Judge Taylor), Jane Hammill (Stephanie Crawford), Ed Jones (Heck Tate), John Lilleberg (Boo Radley), Bob Malos (Mr. Gilmer), Miriam Monasch (Mrs. Dubose), Peggy O'Connell (Maudie Atkinson), Joel Raney (Bob Ewell), Heather Stone (adult Scout), Nathan Tylutki (Walter Cunningham), and Payton Woodson (Tom Robinson).
Olivia Coon will make her Park Square debut as Scout, and her brother Noah Coon, known to Park Square audiences as Oliver Twist and the Boy in Ragtime, will portray Jem, Scout's brother, joined by Ben Atmore as Dill. Audience favorites Thomasina Petrus (Calpurnia) and Jane Froiland (Mayella Ewell) are new to the 2013 production.
The gospel chorus, under the direction of Delores G. Matthews-Zeno, includes Nina Black-Zachary, Michael L. Brown, and Grace Tippy.
Mann's production team includes Amy B. Kaufman (Costume Designer), Michael P. Kittel (Lighting Designer), C. Andrew Mayer (Sound Designer), Abbee Warmboe (Properties Designer), Katie Willer (Assistant Director), Jamie J. Kranz (Stage Manager) and Charles Fraser (Assistant Stage Manager).
Performance Schedule: Performances run April 4 to 14. 2013. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday evenings, and Sunday matinee performances are at 2:00 p.m. All performances are in Park Square's intimate 340-seat theater in Saint Paul's historic Hamm Building, 20 W. Seventh Place.
Student matinees run from April 2 through May 17. Student matinees are sold primarily to school groups. Patrons interested in attending a weekday matinee should contact the box office for starting times and availability.