MONROE, Ga. – On Stage, Monroe’s community theater, presents the powerful and timeless “To Kll a Mockingbird,” based on the Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee that explores prejudice, compassion and the courage to do what’s right.
The play will be staged at 8 p.m. on April 26, 27 and May 3, 4, 10 and 11. Matinees will be at 2 p.m. on April 28 and May 5. Tickets are $15 and are available online beginning April 12 at www.onstagewalton.org and at Carmichael’s Drugs at 150 M.L.K. Boulevard in Monroe.
“We are thrilled to have the most diverse cast in our theater’s history, with 19 players selected after 50 actors auditioned for this production,” said Marc Hammes, artistic director of On Stage and director of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Scout Finch is played by Christina Casey, a sixth-grader at Youth Middle School in Monroe. Tom Robinson is played by Avant Cotter, a tenth-grader at Loganville High School. Atticus Finch is played by On Stage veteran Mitch Alligood. The Rev. Sykes is portrayed by a real-life minister, the Rev. Nathan Durham, pastor of New Beginnings Bible Church in Monroe.
“We had a wild time preparing for this play,” Hammes said. “Just as we started rehearsals for the version of the play that has been performed around the country for a half century, a new production opened on Broadway and its attorneys sent cease-and-desist letters to small theaters planning to stage the play – if they were within 25 miles of a major city.
“We never received a letter from the attorneys, so we continued rehearsing the play written by Christopher Sergel, adapted from Harper Lee’s classic novel,” Hammes said. “We had bought the rights to perform it. The Broadway lawyers eventually backed off other theaters and we will certainly consider trying to stage the new version, written by Aaron Sorkin, in the future. It’s getting great reviews. But so is the classic version we’re presenting. And we’re going to knock this one out of the park.”
About On Stage: Organized in 1971 “to bring a little culture to our town,” the theater moved in 1975 to the current On Stage Playhouse in the old Monroe Primitive Baptist Church, built in 1910. On Stage holds summer workshops for adults and youths. The theater helps support a 501c3 organization. For more information: www.onstagewalton.org.