TheatreCentre Cast Members Visit WEIS Radio Studios

TheatreCentre is proud to present the stage version of the classic Harper Lee novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” through this Saturday (November 15th – 17th) – in the Edge Building at the Centre First United Methodist Church (341 West Main Street).  Performances begin at 7:00 each evening – tickets are $10.00 at the door.

Director Gary Davis and three cast members: Allison Windsor, who plays Jean Louise Finch, Crystal Byrd, who plays Calpurnia and Jason Yarbrough who portrays Atticus Finch – paid a visit to the WEIS Radio studios this week to discuss the rehearsal process, the challenge of bringing to the stage a deeply emotional experience known to many through the Academy Award winning film version from 1962 starring Gregory Peck, and the lessons learned from the timeless work of literature.

Allison Windsor:

If you missed the interview you can still hear it in its entirety by clicking on the link provided.

Introduction

This 281-page novel was written by Harper Lee, and a publication done in 1960 by J. B. Lippincott & Co in New York. It won the Pulitzer Prize, shortly afterward and has now become one of the best references to classic modern American literature.

The characterization and storyline are lightly influenced by the author’s childhood observations and memories of her neighborhood and family in Monroeville, Alabama. She relates the plot to the events that took place in her hometown at the age of 10 in 1936.

Setting

Harper Lee highlights how poverty cements the duplicitous nature of society’s race-based class system. She demonstrates how people who are caught up in the jumble of ignorance and poverty turn to racism to mask their shame and low self-esteem.

Characters

The following figures are some of the characters in the novel and are discussed as the main characters in this To Kill a Mockingbird book summary:

Jean Louise Finch (Scout): the protagonist and narrator of the novel. Scout comes to understand the goodness and the dark side of people.

Jeremy Finch (Jem): Scout’s older brother who appears as a protective figure. In his shadow, Scout’s youthful innocence is highlighted.

Atticus Finch: The proud, moral, and respected father, Scout’s father.

Tom Robinson: The accused but seemingly innocent rapist who is shot dead trying to escape prison.

Arthur “Boo” Radley: The neighbor who is clouded and hidden in mystery.

Plot

The story is told by the little six-year-old girl Jean Louise Finch nicknamed Scout. She is a rebellious girl who has tomboy tendencies.

The storyline is based in Maycomb, a small town in Alabama in the 1930s where Scout lives with her elder brother Jem, and her father, Atticus, who is widowed. They have a housekeeper named Calpurnia, who is a stern kind-hearted African-American. They also befriend Dill, a small boy who comes to visit and stay with his aunt every summer.

The timeline is placed during the depression where the status of her father as a respected and successful lawyer alleviates the Finch family from the harshness of the depression gripping the small town.

The two major themes in the novel are judgment and justice. Scout and her brother get to learn some crucial lessons about judging others through the character of Boo, the cryptic and solitary neighbor. Early in the story, the children mimic and mock Radley, but they, later on, come to experience his goodness.

The judgment theme is depicted in the circumstances that befell Tom Robinson, a poor African-American field attendant who is accused and put on trial for rape. He was charged with trying to rape a white woman Mayella Ewell. Atticus is appointed by Judge Taylor as Robinson’s defense against the disapproval of many of the town’s citizens. Despite the apparent evidence that proves Tom’s innocence, the jury convicts him. The racist nature of the white supremacy society places all odds against Tom.

After being humiliated in court, Bob Ewell sets out on a revenge mission against the Finch’s as he spits into Atticus’ face; he tries breaking into the Judge Taylor’s house; he menaces Robinson’s widow, and he later attacks Scout and her brother as they walk home at night. Boo comes to the rescue of the children where Jem is injured, a fight erupts, and Bob is killed.

Conclusion

To Kill a Mockingbird was introduced in the classroom as early as 1963. It has been featured in several other lists that describe its impacts, for instance, it was voted as the “Best Novel of the 20th Century” by readers of the Library Journal. It is placed in the fifth position on the list of Modern Library’s Readers List of the 100 Best Novels in the English language since 1900. This to kill a mockingbird summary is an insight of the general impacts the novel has had on the society.

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