Lewis University’s Philip Lynch Theatre (PLT) presents Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel. This timeless tale of the innocence of childhood and a poignant look at justice will run for 8 performances from November 15 through November 24. The drama provides a portrait of the human spirit, as told through the eyes of a young girl growing up in fictional Maycomb, Alabama in 1935.
"To Kill a Mockingbird" is the only novel by Harper Lee. An intensely private and reserved woman, who rarely makes public appearances, Lee once stated, "The novel is a love story pure and simple. My love of the South, a father's love for his children and the love they give in return." The novel was published in 1960. It quickly garnered acclaim, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961, making Lee the first woman to win the award since 1942. Dramatized for the stage by Christopher Sergel in 1970, the play is continuously produced throughout the county, including an annual production in Lee’s hometown of Monroeville, Alabama.
Told through the perspective of eight-year old Scout (played by 10 year old Lauren Klump of Plainfield), "To Kill a Mockingbird" is set in a small southern town during the Depression. She and her brother Jem (Lauren’s real-life brother 12 year old Conor Klump of Plainfield) are being raised by their widower father Atticus (Kamil Borowski of Central Stickney) and by a strong-minded housekeeper Calpurnia (Sabra Thomas of Bolingbrook).
Wide-eyed Scout is fascinated with the people of her small town, but from the start, there's a rumble of thunder just under the calm surface of the life there. The black people of the community have a special feeling for Scout's father and she doesn't know why. A few of her white friends are inexplicably hostile and Scout doesn't understand this either. Atticus, a lawyer, explains that he's defending a young Negro wrongfully accused of a grave crime. Since this is causing such an upset, Scout wants to know why he's doing it. "Because if I didn't," her father replies, "I couldn't hold my head up." Atticus's reply to Scout underscores the central theme of the play: the ability to put oneself in another's shoes in an effort to recognize truth.
Lewis University’s Theatre Department chairperson Keith White of Joliet is at the helm as director, and is leading Celeste Mackey and lighting designer Andrew Nelsen all residing in Joliet. Rounding out the artistic team is student sound designer Mary Bradley of Palos Heights, and student properties designer Alex Stewart of Orland Park. Theatre major Beth Sadler of Homer Glen is performing the duties of stage manager, and her assistant is theatre major Rachel Tau of Wood Dale.
The cast includes: Briana Reidy of Darien (Miss Maudie), Victoria Vega of Burbank (Miss Stephanie Crawford), Sylmarie Soto of Joliet (Mrs. Dubose), Austin Hill of Naperville (Boo Radley), Annie Martello of Morris (Dill), Ralph Scott Hegland of Plainfield (Heck Tate), Griffin Fitzsimons of Bartlett (Judge Taylor), Shannon Flanagan of Chicago (Reverend Sykes, Jordin Richards of Tinley Park (Mayella Ewell), Matthew Carlson of Lockport (Bob Ewell), and Tyler Senjanin of Evergreen Park (Mr. Gilmer).
Student performers Ross Reed of Country Club Hills and Kawaan Panama of Chicago are sharing to role of Tom Robinson. They will alternate performances. Reed will perform the role on November 16, 20, 22 and the 8 pm show on November 23. Panama will perform the role on November 15, 17, 21, 24 and 4 pm November 23. Students also performing in the production include: Justin Anderson of Orland Park, Faith Berry of Joliet, Allie DiMiele of New Lenox, Bryan Lochner of Essex, and Adam Ronald Jezl Sikorski of Burbank.
The show is recommended for patrons 13 years old and up and will run November 15 – 17 and November 21 – 24. Evening performances begin at 8 p.m., while Sunday matinees begin at 2:30 p.m. A 4 p.m. matinee will be performed on Saturday, November 23. Advanced ticket purchases are strongly encouraged. Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 dollars for seniors and students and $2 for Lewis students with their student IDs. Tickets are $8 for groups of 15 or more, a savings of more than 10 % off the original ticket price. Tickets are non-refundable.
For more information, patrons can check out the PLT Website, www.lewisu.edu/plt Call the PLT box office to reserve tickets at (815) 836-5500, Monday thru Friday from 1-4:30 p.m., or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Philip Lynch Theatre is located on the main campus of Lewis University, Oremus Fine Arts Center on Route 53 in Romeoville.
Lewis University is a Catholic University in the Lasallian tradition, offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,600 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.
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