'To Kill a Mockingbird'
SRO Theatre Co. to present American classic
SRO Theatre Co. starting this weekend will stage several performances of To Kill a Mockingbird, the iconic story that confronts fear of outsiders, small-town relationships and racial bigotry in 1930s Alabama.
The story, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee, was adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel.
The play will be narrated by an adult Jean Louise "Scout" Finch (played by German Village resident Josie Merkle), the daughter of Atticus Finch.
Westerville resident Ron Nocks plays Mr. Gilmer in the cast.
Director Mark Mann said the play appeals to most audiences because many people are familiar with the book -- or the 1962 movie starring Gregory Peck --and its enduring message.
"It's something that is shared among most everyone in American, if you look at it in the arts context," said Mann, a Grove City resident.
"Most people somewhere in their school career had to study this book," Mann said.
"And, it's timeless because it speaks to the American character. And, in my mind, the American character is constantly improving and growing."
The shows will be staged at the Shedd Theater, Columbus Performing Arts Center, 549 Franklin Ave. in Olde Towne East.
Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2 and Nov. 3; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4; 10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Nov. 9; 8 p.m. Nov. 10, and 2 p.m. Nov. 11.
Tickets are $10 for students, $20 for adults, $17 for seniors 55 and older, $15 for SRO members, and $15 for adults for the Friday, 10:30 a.m., Nov. 9 performance.
Tickets are available at srotheatre.org or by calling 614-258-9495.
John S. Kuhn, artistic director for Actors' Theatre of Columbus, will play the role of Atticus Finch, the compassionate father and lawyer who represents Tom Robinson, a black man who is accused of raping a white woman.
Kuhn said it's an attractive and daunting character, given Finch's sturdy moral fiber in the face of adversity.
"He risks a lot, but he has such a noble, honest view of the world," Kuhn said. "We don't often see that type of selfless behavior anymore in the world."