“TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD” SOARS AT SEVEN ANGELS
By Bonnie Goldberg
“To Kill a Mockingbird,” the first and only to date novel penned by Harper Lee, won a Pulitzer Prize and enjoyed an instant success that has endured for five decades since it was written in 1960. It explores the destruction of innocence and the terrible toll of racial injustice in the small southern town of Maycomb, Alabama in 1935 when the Great Depression was still being felt.
Harper Lee based the story on events that happened in her own life when she was an impressionable ten years of age. To see a fine community based performances of this classic American story, written for the stage by Christopher Sergel, look no further than Waterbury’s Seven Angels Theatre Stage II production running weekends until Sunday, March 6.
Abigail McMillan is outspoken and fearless as Scout Finch, a six- year- old tomboy who enjoys palling around with her older brother Jem (Will Sandercox) and friend Dill (Michael Ell), who is a summer visitor to the town. The trio is fascinated by a nearby house where a recluse Boo Radley (Nathan Rodriguez) resides, a man who has not been seen for years. When Scout finds little gifts from Boo in a hollow of a tree near his home, his cloak of mystery grows.
Atticus Finch, played by a noble Jonathan Jacobson, is a widower and a fair-minded lawyer, but his children dismiss him as unimpressive. When Atticus is appointed to defend a black man, Tom Robinson (Foster Evans Reese), against charges he raped a white girl Mayella Ewell (Katie Corbett), the town and especially Mayella’s father (Michael Sacco), want to see Tom lynched.
An older Scout, now a grown-up known by her real name Jean Louise (Calaine Schafer) narrates this intriguing tale of injustice, reflecting back on her unusual childhood and how it made her the woman she is today. Semina De Laurentis directs a truly gifted cast in this play described by the author herself as “a code of honor and conduct, Christian in its ethic, that is the heritage of all Southerners.”
For tickets ($20-25, students $10), call Seven Angels Theatre, Plank Road, Hamilton Park Pavilion, Waterbury (off I-84) at 203-757-4676 or online at www.SevenAngelsTheatre.org. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Seven Angels announces a play reading about bullying on Tuesday, March 1 at 7 p.m. with “Turn Up the Volume,” based on Eleanor Estes’ “The Hundred Dresses.” Talented local actors will read and discuss the play by Mary Hall Surface, set in 1944, about a 12 year old girl who has no friends and is poor but boasts of having a hundred dresses. Tickets are $5.