To Kill a Mockingbird
adapted by CHRISTOPHER SERGEL
from the novel by HARPER LEE
directed by JANELLE COOPER
ABOUT THE SHOW
Two Act Play | Rated 12+ | Beddington Theatre Arts Centre
Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird opens in a sleepy Alabama town in the midst of the Great Depression, where Scout and her brother, Jem, live with their widowed father, Atticus Finch. Reminiscent of a bygone era, the play immerses us in a simpler time as the children play outside in the summer, act out stories and muse about their mysterious neighbor, Boo Radley. The facade of the seemingly peaceful town begins to crack when a young black man is accused of a terrible crime. Driven by an unshakeable moral conviction, local lawyer Atticus defends the man in a trial that sends violent waves through the community. Timeless and lingering, this hard-hitting work explores prejudice, compassion and the courage to do what is right.
A title known the world over, To Kill a Mockingbird features one of literature’s towering symbols of integrity and righteousness in the character of Atticus Finch, based on Harper Lee’s own father. The character of Scout, based on Lee herself, has come to define youthful innocence—and its inevitable loss—for generation after generation of readers around the world. In a Library of Congress survey on books that have most affected people’s lives, To Kill a Mockingbird was second only to the Bible. In 1999, American librarians named it the “Best Novel of the Twentieth Century.” Harper Lee’s open-hearted dissection of justice and tolerance in the American South will be brought vividly to life on the StoryBook stage.
DIRECTED BY: Janelle Cooper
Season 43's Frog & Toad was meant to be Janelle Cooper's StoryBook debut. We are excited to have her join us for Season 44!
DIRECTING: Once On This Island (Lower Ossington Theatre), UNGANISHA (Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre); A Djembe Love Song, Harvest of Moon’s Belly, Birth of a Queen (Ellipsis Tree Collective). THEATRE: The Canadian Premiere of The Color Purple (Neptune Theatre); Twelfth Night, I Am For You, The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God (National Arts Centre); The World Premiere of Sousatzka The Musical (Teatro Proscenium); Waiting For The Parade, Charlotte’s Web, Penelopiad, Toad of Toad Hall (Alberta Theatre Projects); Speed Dating for Sperm Donors (Lunchbox Theatre); The World Premiere of John Ware Reimagined, The Canadian Premiere of Ruined, The Real McCoy and The Vagina Monologues (Ellipsis Tree Collective). FILM/TV: John Ware Reclaimed (National Film Board of Canada); The Right Kind of Wrong (Serendipity); High Noon (Lifetime); Snow 2: Brain Freeze (ABC Family). Janelle is a 2019 Finalist for the Gina Wilkinson Emerging Directors Prize.
Please review the Rehearsal and Performance Schedule prior to making this commitment. Conflicts may be accommodated and considered during the rehearsal process. YOU MUST BE ABLE TO ATTEND ALL PERFORMANCES.
NOTE: SCHEDULES ARE BASED ON THE MAXIMUM POTENTIAL OF DATES AVAILABLE AND WHILE NOT ALL DATES WILL BE CONFIRMED AVAILABILITY MUST BE MAINTAINED FOR SCHEDULING FLEXIBILITY.
To be held LIVE via Zoom. To be considered, auditioners MUST make themselves be available for the entire callback time. Details will be included in the invitation when sent.
August 17, 2020 – 6:30pm to 10:30pm
January 4 to February 4, 2021
Sundays – 2:30pm to 10pm
Monday to Thursday – 6:30pm to 10:30pm
February 6 to February 11, 2021
Saturday & Sunday – 1pm to 11pm
Tuesday to Thursday - 6pm to 11pm
February 12 to March 13, 2021
Mondays to Fridays
9am CALL - 10am SHOW
Thursdays to Fridays
6pm CALL – 7pm SHOW
6pm CALL – 7pm SHOW
1pm CALL – 2pm SHOW
6pm CALL – 7pm SHOW
Some cast will play more than 1 character
A young girl about to experience the events that will shape the rest of her life, she should, ideally, seem as young as nine. Scout is courageous and forthright. If a question occurs to her, she’ll ask it.
JEAN LOUISE FINCH (F) (Scout as an adult)
He is a few years older than his sister Scout, and like his sister – perhaps even more than his sister – he’s reaching out to understand their unusual and thus not conventionally-admirable father. Probably the strongest undercurrent in Jem is his desire to communicate with his father.
He’s tall, quietly impressive, reserved, civilized and nearly fifty. He wears glasses and because of the poor sight in his left eye, looks with his right eye when he wants to see something well. It’s typical of Atticus that when he found out he was an extraordinary shot with a rifle, he gave up shooting – because he considered it gave him an unfair advantage over the animals. He’s quietly courageous and without heroics, he does what he considers just. As someone comments about him – “we trust him to do right.”
Age: late 30’s-mid 50’s
Black, proud and capable, she has raised the motherless Scout and Jem. She’s a self-educated woman and she’s made quite a good job of it. Her standards are high and her discipline as applied to Scout and Jem is uncompromising.
Small, blond and wise beyond his years, he is about the same age as Jem. Dill is neater and better dressed than his friends. There’s an undercurrent of sophistication to him, but his laugh is sudden and happy. Obviously there is a lack in Dill’s own home life, and he senses something in Atticus that’s missing from his own family relationship.
Younger than Atticus, but of his generation, she’s a lovely sensitive woman. Though belonging to the time and place of this play, she has a wisdom and compassion that suggests the best instincts of the South of that period.
Cunningham is a hard-up farmer who shares the prejudices of this time and place but who is nevertheless a man who can be reached as a human being. He also has seeds of leadership, for when his attitude is changed during the confrontations with Atticus, he takes the others with him.
Rev. Sykes is the black minister of the Flint Purchase Church, called that because it was paid for with the first money earned by the freed slaves. He’s an imposing man with a strong stage presence. He should have a strong “minister’s” voice.
Heck is the town sheriff and a complex man. He does his duty as he sees it, and enforces the law without favor. The key to this man’s actual feelings is revealed in his final speeches to Atticus, and this attitude should be an undercurrent to his earlier actions.
She’s a neighborhood gossip, and she enjoys it to the hilt. There’s an enthusiasm in her talking over the people of her town that makes it almost humorous. Sometimes she says things that are petty, but partly it’s because she simply can’t keep herself from stirring things up.
ARTHUR (BOO) RADLEY(M)
Arthur Radley is a pale recluse who hasn’t been outside his house in fifteen years. It takes an extraordinary emergency to bring him out, and once out he’s uncertain about how to deal with people, and with his mission accomplished, he’s eager to return to his sanctuary.
She is an old woman – ill, walking with difficulty, her pain making her biting, bitter, and angry. However, she’s fighting a secret battle within herself, a battle about which few people are aware, and her existence has in it a point of importance for Jem and Scout.
Robinson is black, handsome and vital, but with a left hand crippled by a childhood accident and held against his chest. He’s married to Helen and they have young children. He faces up to a false charge with quiet dignity. There’s an undercurrent in him of kindness, sensitivity and consideration.
The judge is a wintry man of the South, who does what he can within the context of his time to see justice done in his court. While he tries to run his court impartially, his sympathy is with Tom.
He is a public prosecutor who is doing his job in trying to convict Tom. In many ways his manner is cruel and hurtful. And yet under all this, he too has unexpressed doubts as to Tom’s guilt, and his heart isn’t really in this conviction. Still – he goes after it, and it’s a hard thing.
Ewell is a little bantam-cock of a man who lives with his large family by the town dump. As Harper Lee describes their situation – “The town gave them Christmas baskets, welfare money, and the back of their hand.” Bob thinks this trial will make him an important man, and when Atticus destroys his credibility, Bob’s rage and frustration border on paranoia.
The oldest daughter of Bob Ewell, she’s a desperately lonely and overworked young woman whose need for companionship – any companionship – has overwhelmed every other emotion. However, when her effort to reach out explodes in her face, she fights just as desperately for what she thinks is survival.