It’s a coming of age story set against a backdrop of racism and small town secrets. Theater to Go presents “To Kill a Mockingbird” The Kelsey Theatre – Fridays, March 17 and 24 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, March 18 and 25 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, March 19 and 26 at 2 p.m.
Kelsey Theatre is located on MCCC’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on March 17.
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1960 novel by Harper Lee and adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel, the story of tomboy Scout Finch unfolds as she observes her father, lawyer Atticus Finch, take on the most controversial case of his career. Set in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, in 1935, Atticus is preparing for the trial of Tom Robinson, a young Black man unjustly accused of raping a young white woman. As Atticus strives to prove Tom’s innocence against daunting odds, Scout learns about the imperative to do what is right over what is easy. These lessons in courage, compassion and hope are ones that she – and the audience – are unlikely to forget.
Director Ruth Markoe is excited to bring this production to Kelsey Theatre. “When this book was released in 1960, it had particular resonance due to the growing Civil Rights Movement. Although the overarching topic is racism and subjugation of African Americans in the Jim Crow South, it speaks to issues that we face in America today – inequality, justice, hopelessness and the need for compassion.” As Atticus says in the play, ‘You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.’”
The cast features Tim Anderson of Princeton as Atticus; Katie Greendorfer of Lambertville as Scout; Shane Howell of Morrisville, Pa., as Scout’s brother, Jem; Malik Abdul Khaaliq of King of Prussia, Pa., as Tom Robinson; David Whiteman of Lambertville as Sheriff Heck Tate; Evan Chartock of Princeton Junction as Dill; Cherylanne Jones of Ewing as Calpurnia; Linda Cunningham of Yardley, Pa., as Miss Maudie; Deb Lasky of New Egypt as Miss Stephanie; Susan Schwirck of Monroe as Mrs. Dubose; Chelsea Sznaza of Allentown as Mayella Ewell; Rob Lasky of New Egypt as Bob Ewell; Fred Dennehy of Cranbury as Mr. Gilmer; Jeffrey Millstein of East Windsor as Judge Taylor; Renard Wright of Lakewood as Rev. Sykes; Lee Grabelsky as Mr. Cunningham; and Wayne Rossignol of Hamilton as Boo Radley.
Ensemble members include Roger Madding of New Hope, Pa., Karen Hilton of Trenton, Vivian Blackshear of Trenton, and Brenda Jenkins of Willingboro.
The production team includes Director Ruth Markoe and Stage Manager Melissa Rittmann, along with Ruth Rittmann (costumes), M. Kitty Getlik (lighting design), Eric Collins (sound design), and John Russell (set design).
Theater To Go will present a fascinating companion piece on Saturday, March 25 at 2 p.m. when acclaimed actress Prudence Wright Holmes presents a solo show, “The Secret Life of Harper Lee.” Lee was a reclusive figure and, in this solo show, audience members will learn of her close relationships with her father and her childhood friend, Truman Capote, both of whom ultimately broke her heart. Lee did not publish another book until the controversial “Go Set a Watchman” in 2015.
Holmes has appeared in numerous films and Broadway productions alongside some of today’s most well-known stars. She wrote and performed her critically-acclaimed solo show Bexley, OH! at New York Theatre Workshop. She is currently touring her solo show, “Call Me William, the Life and Loves of Willa Cather,” as well as her interactive murder mystery, “Agatha is Missing.” This show originated in NYC and is touring regionally.
Tickets for “To Kill a Mockingbird” are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students. Tickets for “The Secret Life of Harper Lee” are $15. Tickets for both shows are available online or by calling the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.
For a complete listing of adult and children’s events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.