There’s Hope on ‘The Mountaintop’

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Donte Plunkett as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Catie Zaleski as Camae

On the night before his death, a mysterious woman helps Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. face his mortality and the future of his cause.  This is The Mountaintop by Katori Hall and playing at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

Ms Hall has written one of the most uniquely constructed scripts I have seen in quite a spell.  Whether by coincidence or design, the script is actually built as if it is a trek up and down a mountain.  It is a long, sometimes laborious, climb to the summit.  But once the peak is reached, the play really begins to pop and rapidly races down to the finale.  While the first half of the play could be a little dry, the second half provides some compelling viewpoints on racial harmony, faith, mortality, how far we’ve come as a people in overcoming our hatred and biases, and how much further we still have to climb.

Denise Chapman has provided an admirable and nuanced piece of direction to the production.  She has staged the play well, keeping her 2 actors animated with a constant moving about of King’s hotel room.  She also has a good instinct for maximizing the play’s twists and surprises and really makes those moments stand out and sing.  Ms Chapman has also guided her thespians to a pair of solid performances.

Donte Plunkett gives a worthy performance as Martin Luther King, Jr.  His features not only bear a remarkable similarity to the real King, but he also managed to tap into a great deal of his essence.  Plunkett exudes a confidence, authority, and gentleness suiting the great Civil Rights leader.  But he also shows a quiet sense of humor and a tragic vulnerability especially when he has a conversation with God about his mortality.  I was also impressed with how well Plunkett carried off a less than savory aspect of King’s personality, his reported weakness for women, with his charming and eyeballing of Camae.

Catie Zaleski’s take on Camae is a master class in putting on faces.  It’s hard to know what to make of Camae at first.  She seems to be so many things.  She readily flirts with Dr. King.  She curses like a sailor and then apologizes for cursing in front of the famed Baptist minister.  She can be very blue collar and seemingly uneducated in one moment, then start spitting out college level words and improvising a Kingesque speech in the next.  At one moment, she seems fully aligned with King’s mission, then diametrically opposed in the next.

When the truth behind this chameleon like behavior is revealed, Ms Zaleski nails the tragic hopefulness of a character who is looking to expiate her own sins.

I thought the performances could be further enhanced with a brisker pace and a bit more energy to kick off the show.  Volume and diction were also off at a couple of early points in the show.

I was exceptionally impressed with the show’s technical elements.  Jim Othuse has designed a clean and comfortable motel room at the Lorraine Motel.  John Gibilisco’s constant claps of thunder well communicated the oncoming storm in King’s life.  I loved Herman Montero’s use of lighting, especially the starlight at the play’s conclusion.  Amanda Fehlner’s costuming captured the essence of the well-dressed man of God and the blue collar housekeeper.

It takes a little patience to get to the play’s core, but it is worth the wait as it touches on themes of race and equality that are still important today.  We have grown quite a bit as a people, but there is still a lot of growing to do.

The Mountaintop plays at the Omaha Community Playhouse through May 27.  Showtimes are Thurs-Sat at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets cost $36 for adults and $22 for students.  For tickets, contact the Playhouse at 402-553-0800 or visit www.omahaplayhouse.com or www.ticketomaha.com.  Due to strong language and some mature themes, this show is not recommended for children.  The Omaha Community Playhouse is located at 6915 Cass St in Omaha, NE.

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Grave Injustice

On the morning of April 27, 1913 in Atlanta, GA, the body of a 13 year old girl named Mary Phagan was found brutally murdered in the basement of the pencil factory where she had recently been laid off.  In a desperate attempt to close the books on the crime, her boss, Leo Frank, was indicted and convicted for the crime.  Frank was an ideal fall guy due to his being Jewish and a northerner.  This outsider status triggered a bloodlust and savagery in the community of Atlanta that led to the most devastating and tragic results.  This is the story of Parade written by Alfred Uhry with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown.  It opens tonight at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

I’ve seen and been involved with good shows, bad shows, and great shows.  Above these categories lies a fourth category.  To be in this category, the show must transcend the normal theatregoing experience with a uniqueness that can’t be defined.  It’s either there or it isn’t.  But when it’s there, it transforms the show into something truly magical.  After last night’s show, I have added Parade to that fourth category.

Alfred Uhry has written an eminently tragic tale about the trial of Leo Frank.  It is unafraid; boldly tackling ideas such as social justice, racism, anti-Semitism, and blind vengeance.  While it is clearly a drama, it’s also a very realistic show as there are moments of happiness, fun, and laughter mixed in with the grief and tragedy.  Uhry’s script is infinitely strengthened by the score of Jason Robert Brown who has infused the musical with some of the most haunting melodies I have ever heard.

Jeff Horger has helmed what might be the season’s best production with second to none direction and a nearly flawless cast.  What I especially appreciated about Horger’s direction is that the focus is on the community.  Yes, this is Leo Frank’s story, but the community is the central character as it’s the mentality and reactions of the citizenry that drives this series of events.  The audience becomes part of this community through Horger’s staging which has the characters of the play sitting with them, melding them into one unit.

This cast is so loaded with talent that I would like nothing more than to write a 10 page review extolling all of their virtues.  With that being said, some of the remarkable performances you’ll see are Adam Hogston as Brit Craig, a boozy, slimy reporter who sensationalizes the murder to the point where Frank would be unable to get a fair trial; Chloe Irwin who gives a spot on performance as Mary Phagan.  Ms Irwin has an impressive range for one so young as she can be such a kid at one moment and move you to tears with her reactions during Mary’s funeral in the next.

Other mighty performances come from Melissa King as Mrs. Phagan who gives a tortured performance as the grieving mother highlighted by an incredible solo with “My Child Will Forgive Me”; Grant Mannschreck as Frankie Epps, Mary’s friend and suitor.  Mannschreck has a strong, bright tenor that brought tears to my eyes with “It Don’t Make Sense”.  Mike Palmreuter also shines as John Slaton, the governor who sets the chain of events into motion for political reasons, but tries to do the right thing in the end.  Brian Priesman is menacing as Tom Watson, a hypocritical Bible thumper who knows how to stir up the masses.

One of the actors to watch out for is J. Isaiah Smith as Jim Conley.  Smith just bleeds talent and charisma with his take on Conley.  Smith’s Conley is a snarky, conniving piece of human garbage whose testimony is crucial to the conviction of Frank, but he just might be hiding secrets of his own.  Smith darn near steals the show with two showstopping numbers:  “That’s What He Said” and “Blues:  Feel the Rain Fall’”.  The latter song allows Smith to hit some searing and awesome falsettos.

Michael Markey gives a multilayered performance as Hugh Dorsey, Atlanta’s D.A. and prosecutor for Frank’s trial.  Markey gives you the sense that he does want to see justice done, but he’s more worried about the political ramifications should he fail to find and convict a killer.  When Frank is served up to him, he has absolutely no qualms about using coached testimony and suborned perjury to doom him.  Markey also has a facile baritone well used in “Twenty Miles from Marietta” and “The Glory”.

Megan Kelly blew me away as Lucille Frank.  Aptly described as “Jewish and southern”, Ms Kelly is every bit the Southern belle, but with a devout faith as well.  She is also very real as her reactions and fears about Frank’s trial and the public’s reactions to her are dead on the mark.  Ms Kelly also gets to show real strength as she overcomes those fears to stand by her husband’s side, best shown with her lovely alto in “You Don’t Know This Man”.  Not only does she overcome her own fears, but she also overcomes Frank’s pigheadedness which she wonderfully describes in “Do It Alone” to give him the help he so desperately needs to obtain his freedom.

And in midst of all of this chaos is Leo Frank, incredibly essayed by James Verderamo.  Verderamo is uncanny as Frank as he walks that line of making him a decent man, but not a likable man.  Verderamo’s Frank is definitely a square peg in a round hole.  He’s unhappy in Atlanta and would rather be back home in Brooklyn, NY.  He’s a workaholic, anal, a bit arrogant, and easily flustered and frustrated.  He is also smart, a gentleman, and well-mannered.

Verderamo depicts Frank’s high strung nature with a perpetual hunch in his shoulders and a constant massaging of his hands.  He also has a scintillating tenor voice best used in “All The Wasted Time” and “Sh’ma”.

Jim Boggess and his orchestra find gold once more with a brilliant rendering of the score, not to mention the clever staging of their being on a balcony over the town to make them a band in the parade.  Tim Burkhart & John Giblisco score with their sounds especially the wavy sound effects of an era microphone.  Lindsay Pape’s costumes evoke the memories of early 1900s southern gear with the long dresses, three piece suits, and old time prison garb.  Jim Othuse has designed a simple town square with lamps, crumbling wall, and balcony.  And his lights suit the play’s emotions down to the ground with sad blues, angry reds, and dark shadows.  Melanie Walters’ choreography shines especially in “Pretty Music” and “That’s What He Said”.

This is what theatre is all about.  When it operates at its pinnacle, theatre is a galvanizing force for action.  In his notes, Jeff Horger called this a historical piece and that is absolutely correct.  For what is history, but a chance to learn from our mistakes so that we don’t repeat them.

Parade plays at the Omaha Playhouse from Feb 9-Mar 11.  Showtimes are Thurs-Sat at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets cost $42 for adults and $25 for students.  Due to mature themes, this show is not recommended for children.  For tickets call 402-553-0800 or visit www.omahaplayhouse.com or www.ticketomaha.com.  The Omaha Community Playhouse is located at 6915 Cass St in Omaha, NE.

You Say You Want a Musical Revolution

Tony and Maria are in love, but their love faces numerous obstacles.  Her brother and his best friend are the leaders of rival gangs that refuse to let them be together.  The world also tries to keep them apart due to its racism as they come from different cultures.  When they try to rise above these problems, they get dragged back down and crash to a hideous reality.  This is West Side Story based on a concept by Jerome Robbins, written by Arthur Laurents, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.  It is currently playing at Springfield Little Theatre.

It isn’t often that I find myself tongue-tied when I start to write a review, but I am still in a state of glorious shock at what I just saw.  Prior to tonight, I had never seen West Side Story in any capacity though I had read that the original mounting of the show revolutionized what could be done with choreography.  While I have no real comment to make on that, I can say that SLT’s take on this show completely revolutionized what I considered possible with musical theatre.  This was, by far, the single best musical I have seen mounted on any community theatre stage.

Lorianne Dunn does double duty as both director and choreographer and excels in both aspects.  As director, she has put together an absolute masterpiece of a production.  Her direction is certain as she expertly maneuvers her actors through the emotional beats of the stories and songs and leads them to sterling performances.  Her staging is impeccable.  It makes full use of the performance space and none of her actors upstaged themselves or others.

Her choreography is genius.  Never have I seen such lavish dance numbers especially standouts such as “America”, the prologue, and “The Rumble”.  Her work is all the more impressive given the youth of her cast who absolutely nail their performances with a polish and poise that experienced veterans would envy.

This cast is just amazing.  Their energy (and fitness levels) was off the charts.  They were clearly having fun and that added further fuel to nearly flawless performances.  The chorus remained in each and every moment adding vital life and reality to this staged world.  Exceptional supporting performances were supplied by Richard Bogue as the racist and thuggish Lt. Schrank; Lysander Abadia as Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks; Robert Hazlette as the always angry Action and he also gets the lead on the night’s funniest number, “Gee, Officer Krupke”; and Miriam Stein as Anita, Bernardo’s girlfriend and Maria’s best friend.  Ms Stein especially shines with a velvet lower soprano in “America” and “A Boy Like That”.

Asa Charles Leininger stuns as Riff, the leader of the Jets.  Leininger makes Riff far more than a brainless brute with his multilayered take on the character.  His Riff started the Jets to have a sense of belonging.  He’s proud of his gang because of the support they provide.  He’s tough.  He’s loyal, remaining friends with Tony despite his walking away from the gang.  His Riff even has a code of honor as he’s willing to settle his issues with the Sharks with one fistfight.  He even has some common sense as he refuses to react to those that call him and his gang hoodlums and prefers to stay cool.  Leininger’s New York accent is spot on and he retains it as his lower tenor entertains us with “Jet Song” and “Cool”.

Tanner Johnson is scary smooth as Tony.  Johnson takes the audience by the hand and gracefully leads it through Tony’s emotional journey.  He’s got the perfect personality for the likable Tony who is trying to escape his former world of violence by holding down a job and finding love.  You will be swept along with him as he experiences the highs of love, the horror at his violent actions when he gets dragged back into the gang world, and his heartbreak when he thinks he has lost Maria.

Johnson also has a gorgeous tenor voice.  More importantly, he knows how to act through the songs, striking each emotional beat with unerring accuracy.  Some of his best moments were his joyous “Maria” and his beautiful take on “Somewhere”.

Genevieve Fulks is a powerhouse of talent and will steal your hearts as Maria.  She has such innocence and sweetness in the role and you can believe she has the power to evolve Tony into a better person.  But she just as easily handles anger and pain when her world begins to fall apart due to the lifestyle of violence lived by her loved ones.  And, my word, what a heavenly voice she has.  Ms Fulks’ operatic soprano gave a performance for the angels with showstopping turns in “I Feel Pretty”, “I Have Love”, and “Tonight”.

Susan Gravatt and her orchestra perfectly play the score of this musical.  John R. “Chuck” Rogers has designed a magnificent set of fences, crumbling tenements, and fire escapes.  Jamie Bowers’ lights and sounds enhance the story.  Kris Haik and Ginny Herfkens are winners with their precise costuming with the t-shirts, jackets, and jeans of the gangs and the elegant dresses for the ladies.

As I said earlier, this is the best community theatre musical I have ever seen staged in nearly a quarter century of theatre involvement. I have seen professional productions that couldn’t hold a stick to this show.  It’s just a blitzkrieg of perfection from the fantastic story to grade A direction to stunning choreography to flawless acting and entrancing singing.  If you love theatre and live in or near the Springfield, MO area, buy a ticket to see this show.  You will be blown away.

West Side Story plays at Springfield Little Theatre through Feb 4.  Showtimes are Thurs-Sat at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets range from $16-$36.  For tickets visit http://www.springfieldlittletheatre.org or call the Box Office at 417-869-1334.  Parental discretion is advised for coarse language and gestures and some scenes of violence.  Springfield Little Theatre is located at 311 E Walnut St in Springfield, MO.

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’Opens OCP Season

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To Kill a Mockingbird

Opens Aug. 19, 2016 at the Omaha Community Playhouse

Omaha, Neb. – To Kill a Mockingbird will open the 2016-17 Omaha Community Playhouse season with an August 19 – September 18, 2016 run in the Howard Drew Theatre. Based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most beloved stories of all time. In this moving and heartfelt tale, a quiet Southern town is rocked by a crisis of morality. Despite threats to himself and his family, lawyer Atticus Finch defends a black man wrongly accused of a grave crime. Contains language and situations related to racial tension and mob violence.

Production:        To Kill a Mockingbird

Credits:                By Christopher Sergel

Director:              Ablan Roblin

Cast

Thomas Becker as Atticus Finch

Chloe Irwin as Scout Finch

Daniel Denenberg as Jem Finch

Kian Roblin as Dill Harris

Rusheaa Smith-Turner as Calpurnia

Julie Fitzgerald Ryan as Maudie Atkinson

Connie Lee as Stephanie Crawford

Ruth Rath as Mrs. Dubose

Tony Schick as Boo Radley

Raydell Cordell III as Tom Robinson

Alyson Malone as Mayella Ewell

John Hatcher as Bob Ewell

Rob Baker as Heck Tate

Kevin Barratt as Horace Gilmer

Don Keelan-White as Judge John Taylor

Christopher Scott as Walter Cunningham

Jude Glaser and Mackenzie Reidy as Youth Ensemble

L. James Wright as Reverend Sykes 

Show Dates:       Aug. 19-Sept. 18, 2016 (Thursday – Sat at 7:30pm.  Sun at 2pm)

Tickets:   At the OCP Box Office, by calling (402) 553-0800 or online at www.OmahaPlayhouse.org or www.TicketOmaha.com. Single tickets are $40 for adults and $22 for students. Tickets for groups of 12 or more are $24 for adults and $16 for students.

Discounts:  Twilight Tickets – A limited number of tickets are available at half price after noon the day of the performance at the Box Office. Cash or check only. Subject to availability.

Sponsored by:   Heider Family Foundation, Valmont and KETV (media sponsor)

Location:  Howard Drew Theatre | Omaha Community Playhouse (6915 Cass Street) Omaha, NE

 

 

 

BLT’s “Mockingbird” is Powerful & Profound

Let me tell you what real strength is.  Real strength is fighting for a hopeless cause without a chance of victory simply because it is the right thing to do.  Atticus Finch is the epitome of this type of strength when he defends a black man accused of beating and raping a white woman in To Kill a Mockingbird adapted by Christopher Sergel from Harper Lee’s novel and currently playing at the Bellevue Little Theatre.

The difficulty in adapting Harper Lee’s classic novel to the stage is that it is so perfectly written that it is practically impossible to edit or alter anything without losing something vital to the story.  Sergel does what he can with the script, but the end result is a bit of a mixed bag.  Many important moments from the story are edited out or glossed over through exposition from the children or the play’s narrator, Maudie Atkinson.  Instead, Sergel focuses the bulk of the attention on the play’s crucial climax:  the trial of Tom Robinson and its aftermath.

Director Lorie Obradovich makes the most out of this story as she presents a solidly staged production with gripping performances from the primary cast.  Most impressive was the wonderful sense of tension she creates with the play’s climactic trial, especially with the testimony of Tom Robinson.

A T.A.G. nomination for Best Actor may be knocking on John Carlson’s door with his beautifully simple and quietly strong performance as Atticus Finch.  Harper Lee would be proud of Carlson’s take on her iconic character as he perfectly grasps Finch’s decency, integrity, intelligence, and character.  As Finch, Carlson is utterly unflappable even when facing the derision and insults of most of the citizenry of his hometown for defending Robinson.  Without question, he always knows what is right and he will compromise his principles for no-one.

Zoey Dittmer and Aidan Schmidtke give performances that belie their youth as Finch’s two children, Scout and Jem.  Schmidtke was especially impressive as he has a deceptively strong presence and projection abilities many experienced and older actors lack.  Schmidtke did a tremendous job of showing a young man riding the line between childhood and maturity.  At one moment, he could be the son of Atticus Finch, staunchly standing by his father with their shared principles.  In the next, he could be very much the child such as when he destroys the plants of a rude neighbor for insulting Atticus.

Ms Dittmer imbues Scout with a delightful playfulness.  I just utterly enjoyed watching her when she wasn’t speaking just to see the “kid” things she would do such as swinging from the porch railing.  Ms Dittmer nailed Scout’s tomboyish nature as she wouldn’t hesitate getting into a fistfight to defend Finch’s honor and I also liked her zest for adventure as she readily joined Jem in following Atticus to the courthouse and county jail.  Her understanding of what it meant to kill a mockingbird also provided a very tender and sweet moment at the play’s end.

As good as the performances from the two children were, they do need to watch their accents.  During Act I their accents were flawless.  But the accents weakened and vanished during Act II.

Tym Livers gets a lot of things right with his portrayal of Bob Ewell, the white trash father of the alleged rape victim.  He is coarse, vulgar, and not overly bright.  However, Livers’ performance was missing the vital element of danger.  Ewell is a mean man with a brutal temper who does not hesitate to resort to violence.  Without the danger element, Livers’ Ewell actually came off a bit humorous which is not good since he needs to pose a genuine threat to the Finch family.

Jarell Roach’s portrayal of Tom Robinson will make you cry.  He is a haunted and tragic soul.  Roach’s body language is absolutely beautiful as he tries to hide within himself at the trial.  He also does an excellent job of bringing the audience’s attention to his useless left arm, subtly demonstrating his character’s innocence.  Despite the fact that Robinson is at the mercy of a society that will gleefully convict him based on his skin color, he still possesses a great strength exemplified by his testimony at the trial.  Roach expertly shows this strength with a shy, but determined delivery as Robinson does have the truth on his side.  I also admired the decency Roach gave to Robinson as he was reluctant to share the full truth to protect his accuser who crossed the ultimate barrier in the eyes of this society.

There were also some strong performances in the supporting cast.  Standouts included Wes Clowers’ take on Heck Tate, the moral and decent sheriff of Maycomb County.  Deb Kelly keeps the energy going as the show’s narrator, Maudie Atkinson.  Larry Wroten is kindly and just as Judge Taylor.  Phyllis Mitchell-Butler makes for a wonderful surrogate mother in the role of Finch’s cook and housekeeper, Calpurnia.

Wes Clowers’ simple set will transport you to a 1930s Southern neighborhood and Tom Reardon’s lighting was truly exceptional as it shifted with the story as it weaved its way from narration to action and back again.  The only missteps in the evening’s performance was a little uneven acting in the supporting cast and some of the actors needed to be louder, especially since it seemed as if the floor mikes were either turned off or turned very low.  A scene of violence also needs some fixing up to be more believable and cues and pace needed to be picked up.

The message of Harper Lee’s novel is still as powerful and profound as when it was originally written.  It is a story of strength, character, and dignity.  It also proves that, as Atticus Finch said, you can’t really understand another person until you consider things from his viewpoint.  And in doing so, we often find  we’re really not all that different from one another.

To Kill a Mockingbird runs through Nov 22 at the Bellevue Little Theatre.  Performances are Fri-Sat at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets cost $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $10 for students with proper ID.  Reservations can be made by calling 402-291-1554 between the hours of 10am-4:30pm Mon-Sat.  A little discretion is advised as the show does include racial epithets.  Bellevue Little Theatre is located at 203 E Mission Ave in Bellevue, NE.

Harper Lee’s Classic Novel Takes the Stage at Bellevue Little Theatre

Bellevue Little Theatre ( 203 W. Mission Ave in Bellevue, NE) will present the classic the classic and timely  play To Kill a Mockingbird the weekends of Nov. 6-22. Performances are scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM.

Reservations are strongly recommended and may be made by calling the theatre at 402-291-1554 between the hours of 10 am and 4:30 PM Monday thru Saturday.  Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $10 for students with proper id.

Lorie Obradovich is directing this classic, with Robin Klusmire and Pam Matney serving as producers. Tony White is stage manager.  Nancy Ross is in charge of costumes and Wes Clowers is the set builder.  Lighting design will be done by Tom Reardon, and sound design by Dan Baye.  Baye will also be sound technician and Wayne Matney will be lighting technician.

Featured in the cast are Jodi Bagley, Mayella Ewell; Dan Baye, Nathan Radley; Phyllis Bonds, Miss Stephanie; John Carlson, Atticus Finch; Karen Codes, Mrs. Dubose; Zoey Dittmer, Scout Finch; Will Jones, Dill Harris; Deb Kelly, Miss Maudie;Paul Kelly, Mr. Gilmore; Fred Kracke, Boo Radley; Tim Livers, Bob Ewell; Manuel Marquez, Clerk; Jarell Roach, Tom Robinson; Phyllis Mitchell-Butler, Calpurnia; Gary Planck, Mr. Cunningham; Carl Brooks, Rev. Sykes; Wes Clowers, Heck Tate; Aidan Schmidtke, Jem Finch; Larry Wroten, Judge Taylor.

Please note that the original language from the novel will be used, and that may be offensive to some.

This drama, based on the acclaimed Pulitzer Award winning novel by Harper Lee, is set in Alabama during the 1930’s.  The play follows Atticus Finch and his crusade to bring justice to a black man accused of raping a white woman.  The ensuing drama brings racial prejudice to the spotlight in the small town.  Atticus struggles to explain his defense of the man to his family, especially to his young daughter, Scout, as she and her brother, Jem, try to understand the problems of injustice which her father is trying to overcome. In addition the children are exposed to a neighbor who is ‘different’, and learn through his actions that ‘different’ doesn’t mean evil or threatening.

Auditions for ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at Bellevue Little Theatre

Bellevue Little Theatre, 203 W. Mission Ave., in Bellevue, will hold auditions for the classic play ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ on Sunday and Monday, Sept. 13 and 14 at 7 pm. Auditions will be held at the theatre, 203 W. Mission Ave., in Bellevue, Callbacks, if needed, will be held on Tues. Sept. 15 Rehearsals are tentatively scheduled to begin on Sept 16.

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is scheduled to open on Friday Nov. 6 and run for 3 week-ends, with performances on Fri. and Sat. evenings and Sun. afternoons. The production will close on Sunday Nov. 22.

Lorie Obradovich is directing this classic, with Robin Klusmire serving as producer. For information call the director at 402-991-9155

Cast requirements for this play are:
10 men of various ages, including 2 African Americans
5 women of various ages, including 1 African American
1 girl approximately 9 years old
1 boy approximately 12 years old.

Since the play takes place in Alabama, Southern accents will be required.

Please note that the original language from the novel will be used, and that may be offensive to some.

This drama, based on the acclaimed novel by Harper Lee, is set in Alabama during the 1930’s . The play follows Atticus Finch and his crusade to bring justice to a black man accused of raping a white woman. The ensuing drama brings racial prejudice to the spotlight in the small town. Atticus struggles to explain his defense of the man to his family, especially to his young daughter ‘Scout’ as she and brother Jem, try to understand the problems of injustice which her father is trying to overcome.