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To Kill a Mockingbird: a play based on the book by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird: a play based on the book by Harper Lee
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Biz Bestseller!
Author: Christopher Sergel & Harper Lee
Publisher: Dramatic Publishing (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 104
Pub. Date: 1970
Edition: Revised
ISBN-10: 0871290863
ISBN-13: 9780871290861
Cast Size: 6 female, 11 male, plus extras if desired (alternate casting 6 female, 9 male with doubling)

About the Play:

To Kill a Mockingbird has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Male Monologues.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a full-length drama adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel from the novel of the same name by Harper Lee. This authorized stage adaptation of Harper Lee's haunting, Pulitzer Prize-winning 1960 novel and the nearly flawless 1962 movie based on it, tells an important story. Set in Alabama during the Great Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows the journey of Jem and Scout Finch, whose father has been appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man framed for a crime he didn't commit. As the trial progresses, Jem and Scout witness their community in a tense tug of war between justice and racism.

To Kill a Mockingbird is an acknowledged classic of American literature. Scout, a young girl in a quiet southern town, is about to experience the dramatic events that will affect the rest of her life. She and her brother, Jem, are being raised by their widowed father, Atticus, and by a strongminded black housekeeper, Calpurnia. Wide-eyed Scout is fascinated with the sensitively revealed people of her small town, but, from the start, there's a rumble of thunder just under the calm surface of the life here. The black people of the community have a special feeling about Scout's father and she doesn't know why. A few of her white friends are inexplicably hostile and Scout doesn't understand this either. Unpleasant things are shouted and the bewildered girl turns to her father. Atticus, a layer, explains that he's defending a young black man wrongfully accused of a grave crime. Since this is causing such an upset, Scout wants to know why he's doing it. "Because if I didn't," her father replies, "I couldn't hold my head up." When she asks why take on such a hopeless fight – the time of the play is 1935 – he tells her, "Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason not to try." He goes on to prepare Scout for the trouble to come. "We're fighting our friends. But remember this, no matter how bitter things get, they're still our friends." Things do get bitter – to the point where Atticus props himself in a chair against the cell door of the man he's defending and confronts an angry mob. Horrified Scout projects herself into this confrontation, and her inconvenient presence helps bring back a little sanity. Atticus fights his legal battle with a result that is part defeat, part triumph. As Atticus comes out of the courthouse, the deeply moved town minister tells Scout, "Stand up. Your father's passing!" This hard-hitting work explores prejudice, compassion and the courage to do what is right.

To Kill a Mockingbird premiered in 1991 at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey. Since then the play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and has reached beyond high school and middle audiences and become a popular favourite of regional and community theatres, including one production that toured regional theatres in the United Kingdom for nine months and then played seven months at the Mermaid Theatre in London.

Cast: 6 female, 11 male, plus extras if desired (alternate casting 6 female, 9 male with doubling)

What people say:

"Christopher Sergel's fine adaptation contains ... many moments when the depth of emotion becomes overwhelming, as you find yourself swept along by the power of this account of young children growing up in the American Southlands amid virulent racial prejudice." — The Independent (London)

"...beautifully crafted adaptation ...." — The Manchester Guardian

"When Hollywood filmed Harper Lee's novel, it was Oscar nominated. This stage version richly deserves the theatrical equivalent." — The Daily Post (UK)

About the Playwright:

Harper Lee (1926-2016) was an American author who found instant fame after To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960. The novel was showered with literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961. After To Kill a Mockingbird, she collaborated with childhood friend Truman Capote on his nonfiction masterpiece In Cold Blood. A prequel Go Set a Watchman, was published in 2015. To Kill a Mockingbird sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007.

Christopher Sergel (1918-1993) was the president of the Dramatic Publishing Co. for over twenty years and a Broadway playwright. A graduate of the University of Chicago, he was an adventurer and sportsman who spent two years as the captain of a schooner in the South Pacific and during World War II served as a lieutenant commander in the Merchant Marine. His primary interests, however, were writing plays and managing the play-publishing company his great-uncle Charles Sergel founded in 1885. He wrote more than a dozen plays, is known for his adaptation of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, which was seen on Broadway.

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