TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – For two months, TCT cast and crew have been building sets, preparing props and rehearsing.
The stage of the historic Lyric Theatre is transformed into the fictional town of Maycomb Alabama. That’s the setting for the famous novel by Harper Lee. “To Kill A Mockingbird” takes place during three years of the Great Depression and looks at race relations in a small southern town.
This is not the first time TCT has brought the classic story to the stage and each time there is a strong commitment to getting everything right.
“When we put together our season of five shows each year we look at a variety of opportunities for our patrons, of course we always look at a classic theater experience, the book, about a hometown not far from Tupelo is a story we couldn’t resist doing one more time,” said TCT Director Tom Booth.
Cast members have been working hard, memorizing lines, making sure they are in proper place on stage and getting in character. For some, that has been the biggest challenge.
“You got to reach a little deeper,” said Josh Sullivan, who plays Bob Ewell, the villian in the story, whose daughter has wrongly accused a black man of rape.
“It’s hard for me, i’m not a mean person, so it’s hard for me to do that, it almost makes you uncomfortable, some lines I have to say,” Sullivan said.
To Kill a Mockingbird is Sullivan’s first stage production, and it is also the inugural show for one of the youngest cast members.
“I’ve sen the movie before and I’ve heard the book is really good and we thought it would be good for our whole family to be in it so we all tried out and all of us got a part,” said Mary Wilson who plays Scout Finch.
A main theme in the classic novel centers on race relations in the south in the 1930s. Cast members say the message is timeless.
“One of the main messages in the show is to display the fact that there’s always going to be evil in the world and always hatred, but there’s those people who are appointed to do good and committed to do good and the show is a testament to that, I think,” said John Young, who plays Tom Robinson.
“Even though the play was set back in 1935 , you had an attorney who was very well known and he knew the importance of treating people right, so he basically tried to emulate that message to the children, in teaching them values they needed to have,” said Sally Williams, playing the part of Calpurnia.
It takes about 40 people to stage this production. “To Kill a Mockingbird” starts Thursday night and runs through Saturday evening.
For more information go to www.tct.ms