“To Kill a Mockingbird,” a beautifully crafted adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of violent racial events in a small town, will be staged at Central Lakes College in Brainerd Feb. 11-19. Set in 1935 Alabama, this popular, oft-performed play is scheduled for the 100-seat Dryden Theatre at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 11, 15, 16, 17, and 18 and 2 p.m., Feb. 12 and 19 (the latter ASL interpreted). Adapted by Christopher Sergel from the novel by Harper Lee, “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a powerful, stark drama performed by a cast of 24 under the direction of Dennis Lamberson. “To Kill a Mockingbird” takes its script from a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was instantly successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature. The plot and characters are loosely based on the author’s observations of her family and neighbors, as well as on an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936, when she was 10 years old.
It was adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 1962 by director Robert Mulligan.
The novel is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality. The narrator’s father, Atticus Finch, has served as a moral hero for many readers and as a model of integrity for lawyers.
Critic Joseph Crespino said: “To Kill a Mockingbird” is “probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism.”
The primary themes of “To Kill a Mockingbird” involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence.
Lee’s Southern Gothic poeticism, the examination of the Deep South’s caste system, and themes of racism and lost innocence still reverberate today. More powerful yet is that “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a Bildungsroman (or coming-of-age tale) in which children question – and are affected – by the world around them (the title refers to murdering that which is harmless).
Scott Lucas is the country lawyer, Atticus Finch, assigned by the court to defend Tom Robinson (Robert Howell), a black man accused of raping a white woman.
Atticus’ children are 10-year-old Scout and 14-year-old Jem played by Abby Larson and Jack Friday. Janiqua Robinson is Calpurnia, the Finches’ housekeeper.
Scout as an adult narrator is Miss Maudie (Barb McColgan), a wise, old Southern matron.
The rest of the cast of 19: Kevin Yeager, Jesse Brutscher, Bill Musel, Dustin Beechler, Gary Binda, Tristan Jenkins, Sarah Cooper, Justin Lane, Beatrice Mitchell, Deb Binda, Sally Boos, and Chuck Kaase.
Admission is $6 for general, unreserved seating. CLC students pay 25 cents. Feb. 11 and Feb. 12 are Pay-What-You – Can performances with a minimum cost of $1.
The house will open 30 minutes prior to each show time. Once the play begins, no late-comers are seated until intermission. It is recommended tickets be purchased in advance by calling the theatre box office at 218-855-8199 or on line at www.clctickets.com
This production is not recommended for those younger than 10 years of age. No young children and no infants carried by their parents will be admitted to this production.