Second Street Players staging ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

In a courtroom scene from the Second Street Players’ production of “To Kill a Mockingird,” Atticus Finch, played by Steven Perry, defends Tom Robinson, played by Gary Tucker. In the play, Tom Robinson has been accused of raping a young white woman. The play begins tonight at Milford High School while renovations take place at the Riverfront Theatre. (Delaware State News/Jennifer Antonik)

MILFORD — Second Street Players present the American classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” dramatized by Christopher Sergel, from the book by Harper Lee, starting tonight.

Because of renovations at Second Street’s Riverfront Theatre, all performances will be held at Milford High School, located at 1019 N. Walnut St.

Performances continue Saturday and Sunday and Feb. 8, 9 and 10.

Curtain is at 7 p.m. for the Friday and Saturday shows and 2 p.m. Sundays.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” was first published in 1960. The novel by Harper Lee was immediately successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has since become a classic of modern American literature.

It was voted America’s best-loved novel in PBS’s Great American Read survey.

The plot and characters are loosely based on the author’s observations of her family and neighbors, as well as on an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936, when she was 10 years old.

In the play, as in the book, Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.

Mr. Sergel’s stage adaptation of the novel is widely performed all over the world.

It debuted in 1990 in Monroeville, a town that labels itself “The Literary Capital of Alabama.” The play runs every May on the county courthouse grounds and townspeople make up the cast.

From left, Lily Truitt as Scout, Xander Proseus as Dill Harris, Pamella Taylor as Calpurnia and Justin Truitt as Jem talk to Steven Perry, playing Atticus Finch. (Delaware State News/Jennifer Antonik)

White male audience members are chosen at the intermission to make up the jury. During the courtroom scene the production moves into the Monroe County Courthouse and the audience is racially segregated.

The play, adapted by Aaron Sorkin, is currently on Broadway where it has become the top-grossing American play in Broadway history.

The narrator’s father, Atticus Finch, has served as a moral hero for many readers and as a model of integrity for lawyers. One critic explains its impact by writing, “In the 20th century, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism.”

Directors Diane Counts, Tammy Crawford, and Steven Dow bring this classic story to the Milford High School stage with actors from across the Delmarva Peninsula.

Steven Perry plays Atticus Finch, the character portrayed by Gregory Peck in the classic 1962 film and Jeff Daniels in the current Broadway version.

Lily and Justin Truitt portray his children, Scout and Jem. Tim Free is Boo Radley, the Finches’ reclusive neighbor while Gary Tucker, plays Tom Robinson, the African-American man on trial.

Tickets are $17 and can be purchased at brownpapertickets.com or by calling the box office at 800-838-3006.

For more information, visit www.secondstreetplayers.com.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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