Perhaps one of the most important books in the 20th century, To Kill A Mockingbird, has become a cultural phenomenon. The vital life lessons witnessed by the young eyes of the narrator, Scout, still resonate until this day. Although fictional, the Pulitzer Prize award-winning book by Harper Lee reflects a critical era in American history and presents pressing issues, such as racial inequality, abuse of power, and social injustices among the minorities. Adapting this essential story into a musical may be daunting for any playwright. However, the pressure to present the timeless tale of Atticus Finch’s fight for righteousness in the face of adversities is given justice in this musical adaption by the Academy award-winning Aaron Sorkin. Coming to Durham Performing Arts Center this August 2 until August 7, To Kill A Mockingbird will take you on a poignant ride back into the 1930s Alabama and let you realize why it’s important “not to kill a mockingbird.”
“The most successful play in Broadway history!” – 60 Minutes
“This is theatrical storytelling so assured and involving it’s hard to imagine anyone not being mesmerized. Sorkin has pulled off something quite remarkable by honoring Lee’s novel while remaking its events of more than 80 years ago in terms that speak directly to where we are now.” – David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
“An emotionally shattering landmark production of an American classic.” – Rolling Stone
“True bravery is when you keep fighting and persevering even if you know you don’t win.” This might be one of the greatest lessons To Kill A Mockingbird reflects about the world. The fight of Atticus Finch to defend the innocent despite the prejudices speak volume of the reality of life. In the story, Atticus is appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who has been accused of raping a young white woman. Although he failed in freeing Robinson from the accusations led against him because of racial prejudice, Atticus succeeded in teaching his kids important lessons in life: empathy, fighting for what is right, the certainty that the world may sometimes be unfair, and never killing a mockingbird. The latter is both literal and metaphorical, referring to the helpless and innocent ones who could never defend themselves against oppressors.
The musical adaptation captures all these lessons through well-thought scenes –– especially the fiery and convincing courtroom drama and emotional scenes. Both critics and audience members vouch for the play’s vast medley of emotional experiences, from humorous scenes to tear-jerking moments. Not to mention the incredible set design cleverly created to take you back to the fictional town of 1930s Maycomb, Alabama. Thus, it gives a new depth to the classic story while capturing the original work and making it relevant to 21st-century viewers.
An excerpt from A BROADWAY’ MOCKINGBIRD,’ ELEGIAC AND EFFECTIVE by Jesse Green, The New York Times
Evidence shows that it does not deface the Harper Lee novel on which it is based, as the Lee estate at one point contended. And far from devaluing the property as a moneymaking machine, it has created an honorable stream of income that should pour into the estate’s coffers for years to come.
But as any reader of the novel knows, to say something is not guilty is not the same as saying it’s innocent. And this adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird — written by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Bartlett Sher and starring Jeff Daniels — is hardly innocent.
How could it be? Every ounce of glossy know–how available at the highest echelons of the commercial theater has been applied to ensure its success, both on Lee’s terms and on what it supposes are ours. Mr. Sher has made sure that every movement, every perfectly cast face, every stage picture and costume tells the story so precisely that it would do so even without words.Jesse Green, The New York Times
“Majestic and incandescent, this ‘Mockingbird’ is filled with breath and nuance and soul. This is a phenomenon.” – Sara Holdren, New York Magazine
To Kill A Mockingbird’s Broadway production got multiple nominations from different award-giving bodies: Tony Awards with 9 nominations, Drama Desk Award with 1 nomination, Drama League Awards with 3 nominations, and Outer Critics Circle Awards with 3 nominations. In all these nominations, the play won three awards for a featured role of an actress for Celia Keenan-Bolger’s portrayal of Scout.
The Emmy award-winning actor Richard Thomas will play the role of Atticus Finch in the production’s stop at the Durham Performing Arts Center this August 2 to 7. Catch the award-winning ensemble this summer and prepare to feel myriad emotions as you watch this timeless classic brought to life on stage. Grab your tickets now by clicking the “Get Tickets” button.