Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Theatre UNO Presents 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

Three of America’s favorite characters — Boo Radley, Atticus Finch and Scout Finch — appear this month at the University of New Orleans, where an award-winning theatre troupe will perform a stage adaptation of the classic novel “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Seen here, Kamryn Roane, a sixth grader at Patrick F. Taylor grammar school, performs as Scout Finch alongside UNO graduate student John Neisler, who play’s Scout’s father Atticus Finch, one of the most beloved and revered characters in American literature. Three of America’s favorite characters — Boo Radley, Atticus Finch and Scout Finch — appear this month at the University of New Orleans, where an award-winning theatre troupe will perform a stage adaptation of the classic novel “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Seen here, Kamryn Roane, a sixth grader at Patrick F. Taylor grammar school, performs as Scout Finch alongside UNO graduate student John Neisler, who play’s Scout’s father Atticus Finch, one of the most beloved and revered characters in American literature.

Three of America's favorite characters — Boo Radley, Atticus Finch and Scout Finch — appear this month at the University of New Orleans, where an award-winning theatre troupe will perform a stage adaptation of the classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird.

"From the pages of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Harper Lee's American classic comes to life on the Nims Theatre stage," said UNO Film and Theater Department chair and director David Hoover in a release. "This coming of age story recognizes our childhood innocence and challenges us to keep searching for fairness and decency in a troubled world."

To Kill a Mockingbird

Performances will run at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, March 25 through March 29, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday March 30 will take place in the Robert E. Nims Theatre in the UNO Performing Arts Center. To Kill a Mockingbird is directed by David W. Hoover

Ticket Prices:
$8 Student tickets
$12 General Admission
For Ticket and Information: 280-SHOW (7469) or www.theatre.uno.edu

To Kill a Mockingbird has long been considered a modern American literature classic. Harper Lee, a one-time novelist, loosely based her novel's plot and characters on the reactions of family and neighbors to a tragic event that occurred in her Southern Alabama town of Monroeville in 1936, when she was 10 years old. The novel, published in 1960, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and for more than 50 years has been widely taught in schools throughout the United States.

The book, based on themes of justice, equality, morality, ethics and compassion, is considered one of the most influential novels and best sellers in recent history. More than 30 million copies of the novel have been sold since 1961, according to HarperCollins publishers.

The Southern Gothic novel narrated by a young girl, Scout Finch, attacks issues of racial inequality and loss of innocence. Atticus Finch, who is Scout's father, as well as an attorney in a rape trial that involves a clash of the races, is perhaps one of the most enduring and beloved characters in American literature. He is a moral hero who pursues justice unfailingly in an unendingly broken and unjust situation. His pursuit of fairness, equality and justice shine like a beacon in the face of the novel's tragic ending.

Theatre UNO next week performs an adaptation of the novel, written by playwright Christopher Sergel, who was one of the few people to receive permission from Lee to adapt her work. Sergel spent more than 20 years revising his play for the stage.

The Sergel script, started in 1979, premiered in 1991 at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, N.J. It has since become a favorite of theatres across the nation, including the courthouse in Monroeville, where the play is performed annually.

In next week's performances at the Robert E. Nims Theatre, UNO graduate student and seasoned leading actor John Neisler, stars as Atticus Finch. Undergraduate student Cory Lang, a junior who plans to attend graduate school at UNO, graces the stage as Boo Radley.

Rounding out the cast are UNO graduate and undergraduate students Abby Lake, Tiffany Anderson, Franny Harold, Steven Kudelich, Rick Jackson, Sarah Beth James, David Brown, Meghan Shea, Scott A. Lytell, Peter Smith, Gordon Camadelle, Sam Malone and Tim Rouse.

Three youngsters and three community members also join the cast. New Orleans actors Gordon Carmadelle, Steven Kudelich and Abby Lake will appear in To Kill a Mockingbird as characters Mr. Gilmer, Judge Taylor and Mrs. Dubose.

Kamryn Roane, an 11-year-old 6th grader at Patrick F. Taylor Academy recently accepted to the New Orleans Contemporary Center for the Arts (NOCCA), performs as Scout Finch. Kamryn recently starred as Annie at Rivertown Theatre under the direction of 2012 UNO Distinguished Alumnus Gary Rucker and has previously worked with UNO actress and student success counselor Caleigh Keith. This is her 15th stage performance.

Joining Roane on stage as her brother Jeremy "Jem" Finch" is Andrew King, an 8th grader at Lusher Charter School, and Nathan Hannan, a 6th grader at Christian Brothers School, who performs as Charles Baker Harris, Jem and Scout's friend "Dill."

The play also features the work of UNO faculty Kevin Griffith, set designer; Tony French, costume designer; Diane Baas, lighting designer; and Alex Hitchcock, stage manager, said Hoover. 

Under Hoover's direction, the UNO theater department has won more Kennedy Center American Theatre Awards -- and produced more award-winning actors -- than any other University in the state. Hoover has helped to grow the theater department into one of the University's most popular and successful programs, added scholarships and spearheaded renovations to the Robert E. Nims Theatre, where he often performs and directs.

 

 

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