Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mockingbird Hits Second Weekend

Larry Savoy as Tom Robinson
Thursday — Tonight we open our second weekend of performances of To Kill a Mockingbird at the Vanity Theater. We'll perform three more shows at 8 p.m. tonight, Friday, and Saturday nights. Friday is nearly sold out and Saturday is likely to sell out by the time we take the stage. Good seats are available for tonight's show.

Last night before our LAST rehearsal, I said to the cast that I wanted them to be sharp — sharp on timing, sharp on lines, focused. Then I looked up and said, "We only get to do this four more times."

Four more times. That's all.

A year ago when I signed on to do this seems so far away. Early February — when I cast the children's roles — seems like a long time ago. Our first rehearsal in early March, well, a long time ago. And yet now we have only three more days as a cast of this remarkable play.

Mahlon Nevitt as Link Deas
And what's really interesting is that this weekend's performances will no doubt be dramatically different than last weekend (pun intended). Larry Savoy carries the role of Tom Robinson this weekend, while DeVan Taylor slips into the role of a spiritual-singing Maycomb citizen.

We're excited to see both men in these new roles. As a director, I'm looking forward to seeing the effects on the rest of the cast and the flow of the courtroom scenes.

I have a hunch that each and every one of the 27 actors still has a "personal best" performance in them. While I thought all three shows last weekend were excellent, this group just seems to get better every time we're together. There is a closeness in this cast that I've not experience before, and they trust each other to perform at a high level every time out. I'm positive that will be the case this weekend.

At auditions way back when, I told the actors that I thought they had an opportunity to do something special with Mockingbird. I also said that I am aware that every director says that at the outset of a production.

But given the historical significance of this story, the town in which our play is being performed, and the way the cast has galvanized — something truly special has happened. And I suspect all of us associated with this production will never forget our time together. We hope our audiences feel the the same.
Reggie Steele, DeVan Taylor, Jerry Bowie, and Bekah Kirts

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Terrific Opening Night!

A packed house at the Vanity Theater gave the cast of the Sugar Creek Players' production of To Kill a Mockingbird a warm reception, and in turn, the cast turned in a terrific opening night performance Friday.

Only a stalled train blocking the tracks in downtown Crawfordsville could slow the start of our show. But even starting a few minutes late, Niki Hutson (Jean Louise), Sammie Amidon (Scout), and the entire cast got off to a fast start and never looked back.

Having rehearsed the show for so long, all of us involved had grown accustomed to the dialogue, and so when the audience laughed or applauded, it caught us a bit off guard. But the energy from the audience was passed directly to the actors and the show was a remarkable success.

For people like Debbie Reed, Alex Livengood, Matt Mayberry, and many other cast members stepping on stage for the first time (in some cases the VERY first time and in others a VERY long time), the butterflies quickly flew off and each delivered memorable performances.

It's hard to single out just a few of the 27 actors in the show; I couldn't be more proud of all of them. I take my hat off for Sammie, Conner Smith, and Trey Rogers — ages 11-13. They're Vanity veterans who have combined for about 20 theatrical roles, but acting in an all-adult play with such serious, heavy themes, they shined brightly. The began rehearsals in the library at Wabash College back in February, and that hard work really paid off.

Sue Rubner — one of the sweetest women I've met in years — transforms herself into Mrs. Dubose, who is one of the angriest, bitter women I've met in years. What a performance!

And while Clayton Mikesell has only one line — "Miss Jean Louise, will you take me home?" — he certain sold the part and was one of the most talked-about actors after the show.

Anchoring it all was Damon Lincourt's incredible performance as Atticus, razor-sharp from start to finish. After the show, he looked positively drained. But I stole a glimpse of him in the lobby after most of the crowd had left. There he was, standing with children Victoria and Ben, smiling. And so were the kids, whose pride in their father was clearly evident.

Tickets are still available for Saturday night's performance, as well as Sunday's matinee and all three shows next weekend. Call 765-362-7077 to reserve your seats now.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hitting the Books and Boards

We're now less than 48 hours away from opening night — and hoping the paint will be dry on the stage of the Vanity Theater for the Sugar Creek Players' production of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Opening night is a virtual sell-out and will be a full house by mid-day Thursday. We're hoping the buzz generated from all the hard work of the cast and crew will lead to packed houses throughout the first weekend.

Before we hit the stage, though, a few of us will hit the books. Thanks to generous grants from the Montgomery County Community Foundation, the Montgomery County Republican Women, the Women's Auxiliary of the American Legion, and Delta Theta Tau, we're engaging in some educational outreach — to promote the play, but more to promote the values of the To Kill a Mockingbird.

On Friday, a few of us will visit the Tuttle Middle School class taught by Tami Haas. Her students are sixth graders and all are advanced (and eager) readers. Many of those same students are Vanity Theater veterans, and we know many will attend the play in support of their classmate Sammie Amidon, who plays Scout.

The following week, we'll visit the classes of Beth Gentry (Northridge Middle School) and Anita Harris (Hoover School).

The grants allow us to offer free tickets to students whose classes are studying the book — or who have studied it. We also know that seeing the play will inspire many of these same students to read or re-read Harper Lee's amazing book.

While we'll have students from fifth grade to seniors in high school scattered throughout our six performances, it looks like Friday, April 22 will be the biggest night for students. Mrs. Gentry is bringing 30 students and two teachers to watch the play!

We're grateful to everyone who has supported us on this amazing journey over the last two months. We're anxious to share our work with you and hope you can appreciate how dedicated the cast has been — to each other and to the production.

Tickets can be purchased or reserved by calling the box office at 765-362-7077 or stop by to see Lois at 122 South Washington Street from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.

In 48 hours, we'll be most of the way through our first performance. I couldn't be more proud — or excited.

Break a leg!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Vanity's Mockingbird Ready to Fly

Early Tuesday Morning — The cast and crew of the Sugar Creek Players' production of To Kill a Mockingbird opens Friday at the Vanity Theater (122 S. Washington Street, Crawfordsville, IN). Through the hard work of two dedicated producers, an incredible lighting designer, an overworked costumer, the theater's managing director, and our 27 actors, this first-time director could not be more proud of the play that makes its Montgomery County premier Friday night.

Rehearsals have improved with every passing night. Brent Harris's lighting design is taking shape, and his side kick, Henry Swift, are creating a stunning visual environment. Chris Amidon's costume picks take us back to 1935 and rural Alabama. With all of those pieces in place, the cast is breathing life into the words and our audiences will be the beneficiaries of ego-free collaboration among people who just two months ago barely knew one another, but today stand as a galvanized ensemble.

I applaud them all for embracing the play's central theme of walking around in another person's skin; seeing things from someone else's perspective.

I also wish to thank Steve Charles for attending our rehearsals to document our work in photographs. I'll share a stack of them here.

But if you're reading for the first time, as many of you are, please read beyond the photographs; back up and see just how far we've come.

Join us our wonderful journey and plan now to get your tickets through the Vanity Theater Box Office. Call 765-362-7077 at any time or drop by the box office from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays to purchase or reserve tickets. The box office opens one hour before curtain each night. But you ought to reserve your tickets TODAY. Opening night is nearly sold out and tickets are going fast for the first weekend's shows.

Performances are at 8 p.m. April 15-16 and April 21-23; there is a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 17 with a talk-back session immediately following the show (approximately 4:30).

Sammie Amidon as Scout and Heather Olin as Miss Maudie

Trey Rogers as Dill, Sammie Amidon as Scout, Conner Smith as Jem 

Damon Lincourt as Atticus Finch

Damon Lincourt and Sammie Amidon

Damon Lincourt as Atticus, Deb Reed as Calpurnia, Matt Mayberry as Heck Tate

Damon Lincourt as Atticus Finch

Stephen Morillo as Bob Ewell

Alli Aldrich as Mayella Ewell

DeVan Taylor as Tom Robinson

Damon Lincourt and Sammie Amidon
Sue Rubner as Mrs. Dubose

Art Lang as Mr. Gilmer and Stu Weliever as Judge Taylor

Niki Hutson as Jean Louise Finch

Bekah Kirts as Helen Robinson

Jill Rogers as Miss Stephanie

Monday, April 11, 2011

Nearing the End of a Remarkable Journey

When the cast of the Sugar Creek Players’ production of To Kill a Mockingbird hits the stage Friday for opening night, they will be at an important point on a long journey that began for many of them in early February.

The actors and crew will be a part of this community’s first-ever staged production of Mockingbird, which is one of the most-read and most-loved books in American history.

Ranging in age from 11 to 80-something, the actors come from Texas, Mississippi, New Orleans, Illinois, and all parts in between. Some are black, some are white, and some are bi-racial. One is a sixth grader and another is a Rhodes Scholar.

They have come together as a family of sorts. They have become an ensemble that can tackle the difficult issues of racism, sexism, and class differences. They know each other so well — and trust each other so much — that they are capable of using language we’ve tried for generations to purge from our lexicon.

As the play’s director, I’ve watched them struggle and overcome obvious obstacles. And I’m proud that when a particularly nasty, mean-spirited scene ends, the actors remain good friends.

“Well, of course,” you say, “they’re only acting.”

Yes, but imagine being a 19-year-old black man sitting on stage as a dozen white people call you “nigger” in scene after scene, rehearsal after rehearsal, night after night.

Recreating this part of our not-so-distant past has been a difficult and remarkable achievement.

Mockingbird has long been described as one of the great children’s books of all-time. Yet its themes are hardly the stuff of childhood. Scholars have debated and published widely on the book’s themes and characters, and part of author Harper Lee’s genius is that no two people love the book for precisely the same reasons.

For many young men, Atticus Finch is an ideal role model. Indeed, ask a dozen lawyers today what motivated them to pursue a career in law, and I’ll bet you half will reference Atticus Finch or To Kill a Mockingbird.

Young girls are attracted to Scout’s rare combination of innocence and courage. Others feel empathy for Mayella Ewell’s sad existence and pain for the abuse she suffers at the hand of her father.

Some people are drawn to Boo Radley, the most talked-about and scarcely seen character in the book. The legend of Boo is larger than life with the kids imagining a boogey man capable of eating live squirrels and dead cats. Yet after he saves the children’s lives, Scout is inspired to say of Boo, “He’s real nice,” at the conclusion of the play.

Harper Lee throws a lot at the reader, but the real take-away message (at least for me) is the idea of seeing things from a different perspective — the notion of “walking around in another man’s skin.”

The story at first follows normal stereotypes and attitudes of 1935 Alabama. But with every event and through every character, we’re allowed to see that “different perspective.” While we know that Mayella Ewell is lying when she accuses Tom Robinson of raping her, we also see that she is a very young and desperate woman, who fears that her own father will kill her if she doesn’t tell the lie.

We see Jem and Scout’s many frustrations with everything their father, Atticus, can’t do — he isn’t sheriff, he doesn’t play football or drive a dump truck, and he won’t even teach them to shoot their air rifles. But as the story unfolds on the stage, the children begin to walk around in their father’s skin; they begin to see him for what he is rather than what he is not.

Our goal since day one of this journey has been to produce something that does more than stir nostalgic recollections from middle-aged audiences who fondly remember reading the book as a child. While we hope that our play does that, too, our real hope is that this production inspires honest and thoughtful conversation.

The book was written 50 years ago when the KKK still had a pretty active presence around here. Less than a generation ago, the Klan tried to rally at our courthouse, but our Human Right Commission countered with a successful Celebration of Diversity.

What remarkable progress we have made in this community.

How much farther can we go? Can we begin to recognize people for who they are and not what color they are, what gender they are, or how much money they make?

The secret to our success — and the wonderful theme of the play — lies in our ability to walk around in the black man’s skin, the woman’s skin, and the poor farmer’s skin. Once we do that, all of us will have learned what Scout learns by the end of To Kill a Mockingbird — that most people are real nice, once you get to know them.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mockingbird Ready to Sing

Heather Olin steps to the center of the Vanity Theater stage, pauses, then looks closely at the three child actors sitting nearby. She takes a deep breath before she turns to the children and — as Miss Maudie Atkinson — says, “I simply want you to know that there are some men in this world who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father’s one of them.”

The father is Atticus Finch and the unpleasant business is the defense of a young Black man charged with rape. The time is 1935, the place is Maycomb, Alabama, and the story is To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the most-read books in American history.

The Sugar Creek Players’ production of To Kill a Mockingbird opens April 15 and runs for consecutive weekends. Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. April 15-16 and April 21-23, and there is a 2 p.m. matinee on April 17. Tickets go on sale Monday, April 11.

“The cast feels honored to bring this classic story to the stage of the Vanity Theater — the first time the play has been performed in Montgomery County,” said the play’s director, Jim Amidon. “While the story deals with unpleasant issues like racism, sexism, and class differences, it also celebrates the integrity of Atticus Finch and the lessons he imparts on his children. The central theme of ‘walking around in another man’s skin’ is as pertinent today as it was when Harper Lee wrote the book 50 years ago.”

The play condenses the book’s two years into a couple of hours, but the powerful themes remain, Amidon said.

“Much like the book, the play is narrated throughout by Jean Louise Finch,” he said. “Our Jean Louise, played by Niki Hutson, returns in memory to her small town home and recalls the people and events that changed her life. And only by recalling these events does she gain a full and real understanding of the motivations of her father. It’s a wonderful script that does justice to the book.”

Some members of the 27-person cast have rehearsed since early February.

Damon Lincourt, who last appeared in Sugar at the Vanity, is a poised and proper Atticus Finch, who with the help of his housemaid Calpurnia (played by newcomer Debbie Reed) raises two precocious and curious children, Scout (played by Sammie Amidon) and Jem (played by Conner Smith). The role of the children’s friend, Dill, is played by Trey Rogers.

The play tells the story of Finch’s defense of Tom Robinson, who has been accused of raping Mayella Ewell — though Finch claims Mayella was beaten by her father and that the rape never occurred. 

“I feel blessed to have such talented actors in these key roles,” Amidon said. “Two Wabash students, DeVan Taylor and Larry Savoy, will share the role of Tom Robinson. Both are experienced actors and both delivered stirring auditions.”

Taylor will have the role in the first weekend and Savoy will play Tom in the second weekend.

Alli Aldrich appears in her third Vanity production as Mayella, while Stephen Morillo, a history professor and author at Wabash College, makes his Vanity debut as the bigoted Bob Ewell.

“This is a tough play,” Amidon said. “Its themes, its language, the treatment of African Americans and women — these are difficult issues. But in spite of these crucial themes, it is Atticus Finch’s goodness, the innocence of Scout, the power of one man standing up for what is right — those are the lessons that have made this one of the most-loved stories of all-time.”

Local attorney Stu Weliver, who appeared in the first Sugar Creek Players production at the Vanity Theater years ago, makes his return as Judge Taylor. SCP newcomer Matt Mayberry plays the rough-edged, but sensitive sheriff, Heck Tate. And Art Lang makes a return to the stage as the prosecuting attorney, Mr. Gilmer.

Heather Olin delivers some of the most meaningful speeches in the play in the role of Miss Maudie, while her gossipy neighbor, Stephanie Crawford, is played by Jill Rogers. Sue Rubner makes a fine Vanity debut as the angry, sickly Mrs. Dubose.

Other cast members include Barbara Walden and Sharyn Adams as Maycomb citizens; Rick James as the court clerk; Alex Livengood as Nathan Radley; Clayton Mikesell as Boo Radley; Jerry Bowie as Reverend Sykes; Rebekah Kirts as Helen Robinson; Bill Hepburn as Walter Cunningham; Mahlon Nevitt as Link Deas; Matt Clark as the angry boy; and Reggie Steele as a citizen of Maycomb.

Hoosier Heartland State Bank is the play’s sponsor. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. Tickets can be reserved by phone at 765-362-7077, or purchased at the box office Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and one hour before curtain each night.

The production has also garnered grants from the Montgomery County Community Foundation, Republican Women of Montgomery County, Delta Theta Tau, and the Women’s Auxiliary of the American Legion. The grants will be used to purchase tickets for students and teachers studying or discussing the book as part of classroom activities. Teachers interested in bringing students to the play — or offering extra credit to those who do — should contact Amidon at 361-6364.

A “talk back” session with selected members of the cast and production team will be held following the performance on Sunday, April 17. Audience members are welcome to converse with cast members and ask questions about the play.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pictures and Grants

The cast of the Sugar Creek Players' production of To Kill a Mockingbird is coming together and our rehearsals are getting better with each passing evening. On Sunday, we came together for our usual cast meeting — though missing a few spring breakers — and worked through the entire play for only the second time. There were a few bumps here and there, but our actors have worked hard to learn their lines and blocking, and it looked really good last night.

Great news: Our production was selected as a grant winner by the Montgomery County Community Foundation! The MCCF is celebrating 20 years of grant-making and is doing so by drawing at random 20 grants each worth $1000 in the 20 weeks leading up to the anniversary of the founding.

Our production of Mockingbird was selected on March 28. Our hope was to use grant money to purchase tickets for students at the local middle and high schools who are studying Harper Lee's book. We didn't want ticket prices to get in the way of an important learning opportunity for those students, and so we wrote a grant application with hopes of being drawn.

Cheryl Keim, the MCCF director of development, called last week to tell us we had been selected, and on Wednesday she surprised the cast by showing up with a check for $1000. Not only that, but Cheryl made a few phone calls to other local agencies, and we've now received four grants totaling $1800 for our educational outreach efforts. Big thanks to the Republican Women of Montgomery County for a $500 grant; the Delta Theta Tau sorority for a $200 donation; and the Women's Auxiliary of the American Legion for their $100 grant.

We love this play, this story, and all that it stands for. We're excited that so many local people have shared our vision and our desire to bring students into our theater to experience the story on stage.

Finally, Steve Charles of Wabash College dropped by last night and took photos of our rehearsal. Steve will be back to take "official" photos once we're in dress rehearsals, but he shared a few of his better shots with us. Many, many thanks, Steve!

Mockingbird Rehearsal Photo Album 1

Mockingbird Rehearsal Photo Album 2

Mockingbird Rehearsal Photo Album 3

Mockingbird Rehearsal Photo Album 4

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rehearsing without Principals!

Tuesday night — The cast of the Sugar Creek Players' production of To Kill a Mockingbird has been the dictionary definition of flexible. Take Tuesday night: I had scheduled the courtroom scene to run all the way through twice. Problem was, we were missing our defense attorney, prosecuting attorney, and our defendant!

No worries. Jerry Bowie and Matt Clark took over as Atticus Finch, the former in yet another slightly ironic performance! Alex Livengood stepped in as Mr. Gilmer and was terrific as he guided his witnesses through their testimony.

With spring break on the horizon, we're gearing up to do a lot of pinch-hitting for one another. Fortunately, we are — if anything — a flexible bunch.
The Ewells: Mayella (Alli Aldrich) and Bob (Stephen Morillo)

Sheriff Heck Tate (Matt Mayberry) listens to Mayella Ewell (Alli Aldrich)

Building Momentum

Tuesday morning — Sunday night's rehearsal was by far the best we've had to date, and our vision for the Sugar Creek Players' production of To Kill a Mockingbird is starting to come together.

On Sunday, we ran the entire first act with virtually no interruption. Considering it was the first time we had put the 10 scenes together, I was thrilled with the pace and performance.

Now that the set pieces are largely complete, we're focusing our attention on getting actors off-book. Many already know their lines, many are close, and a few who have lines in almost every scene are within a few days of having their lines down.

Our production has received two grants with the hope of at least one more. (News on these coming later in the week.) We'll use grant money to further our educational outreach efforts with local schools. Our hope is to go into local middle and high schools to talk about the play, how it differs from the book, and how we as a cast have worked through issues like racism, sexism, class differences, not to mention the language. Grant money will allow us to either provide free or greatly discounted tickets to students whose classes have studied the book. We sent out a mass invitation to more than 20 local teachers of English, literature, social studies, and drama. Spread the word — if you know teachers who might be interested in bringing classes to our play and/or having us come into their classes to talk about it, have them contact the director.

A quick note on some of our symbols. Our show's logo makes use of a large, silhouetted tree with a lone mockingbird flying off. For us, the dying tree symbolizes the old attitudes of Maycomb. Scout says to Miss Maudie, "Maycomb is an old town, isn't it?" We like to think that the racism and sexism that for so long defined the town are beginning to die, and that people like Atticus, Scout, and Miss Maudie represent the town's future.

For us, that lone mockingbird could be Atticus, for he alone has been chosen to "do our unpleasant" business, as Maudie says. Perhaps the mockingbird is Tom Robinson, who sits alone in a jail cell waiting for a trial he knows he will lose. Maybe the mockingbird is sad, old, Mrs. Dubose who suffers her addiction alone. Dill feels very much alone, "I'm little, but I'm old," he says of himself, while telling his friends that his parents aren't mean, but they don't have much interest in him. The obvious mockingbird is Boo Radley, shut up in his house and kept largely in solitude. And as Harper Lee tells us, "It's a sin to kill a mockingbird."

Our production will also incorporate the state flag of Alabama, with its large red X running through its length. The basic structure is the same as the flag of the Confederacy. The flag will be larger and far more prominent than even the American flag in our Maycomb courtroom, signifying Alabama's independence. And while not fully intentional, we think that large red X works like a target on Tom Robinson's back — as he gets shot from behind 17 times.

Eighteen days until opening night!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Anybody See This?

We're in good company in this photo of a library, the facade of which features the great books of all time — including To Kill a Mockingbird!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pictures from March 22

It occurred to me early this morning that when our cast is all together again this Sunday, we'll be exactly 20 days away from opening night. We're making progress, but we've got a long way to go. Some actors are off book and others are close. The set continues to come together and by Sunday, we should be pretty close to having all of the pieces assembled -- if not finished!

Plan now to get tickets for the Sugar Creek Players' production of To Kill a Mockingbird. Tickets go on sale Monday, April 11 and the play runs consecutive weekends — April 15-17 and April 21-23.

Damon Lincourt and Matt Mayberry

Jill Rogers and Heather Olin

Sammie Amidon, Damon Lincourt, Trey Rogers

Niki Hutson

Sammie Amidon and Conner Smith

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Meet the Cast: Part 4

As we wrap up our first full week of rehearsals — and blocking the play — I'm pleased to wrap up cast introductions for the Sugar Creek Players' production of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Reverend Sykes: The good Reverend Sykes is played by Jerry Bowie, who will make his stage debut in Mockingbird. Jerry has served on the Board of Directors of the Sugar Creek Players for the last three years, and a year ago co-produced the Vanity Theater's amazing production of The Women. By day, Jerry works at Wabash College, where he wears many hats as the coordinator of activities for the Center of Academic Enrichment. He also has a strange habit of wearing a new hat every time he visits the Vanity Theater's costume or prop rooms, but that's a whole other story. In addition to playing Reverend Sykes, Jerry is co-producing Mockingbird with Nancy Rodenbeck.

Helen Robinson: The young woman playing Helen Robinson in our production is Crawfordsville High School student Rebekah Kirts. She's very busy as a member of the award-winning Blue Illusions Dance Team, and has appeared in Peter Pan and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. We're very excited to welcome her to our cast, fresh off a national dance competition.

Calpurnia: This important role in Mockingbird will be played by Debbie Reed, who will make her acting debut in the show. Recently married, she answered the call to come read for the part, and we immediately liked what she brought to the stage. Her poise, posture, and pace under the lights were all impressive, especially considering that when she read for the part, she was literally standing on a stage for the very first time. We're excited to watch her develop throughout our production.

Court Clerk and "Big Man": It was a no-brainer to cast mighty Rick James in the part of the "Big Man' in the lynch mob, which tries to storm past Atticus Finch to lynch Tom Robinson on the eve of his trial. In addition to that role, Rick will also swear in all of the witnesses in the riveting courtroom scene. Rick has a fine acting background and tells us that he was in the second play ever performed at the Vanity back in the late 1980s, and returned last month for The Wizard of Oz. While living in Jackson County, he was also involved in community theater, including roles in Dracula, Rainmaker, Spirit, Our Town, and a few others. Rick brings a warm heart and kind spirit to our cast.

Lynch Mob Member and Taunting Boy: Matthew Clark might just have the most Vanity acting credits of any actor in our cast of Mockingbird. While only 16, Matthew has been a part of 14 Vanity productions and acted in seven. Normally, he works backstage, in the light booth, or where ever he might be needed. This director would love to have a dozen actors like Matthew — willing to do anything to make a show successful. 

Link Deas and Lynch Mob Member: Mahlon Nevitt is a 17-year-old, North Montgomery High School junior who appears to have gotten the acting bug in the super-successful production of The Wizard of Oz. In Mockingbird, Mahlon will play a dual role — as Link Deas in our courtroom scene and as another of the angry lynch mob members. We're excited to have him in the show.

Maycomb Citizens: Two lovely women agreed to join our production as citizens of Maycomb, Alabama, who stroll on stage and appear in our courtroom scenes — Barbara Walden and Sharyn Adams. We love having Barb in the cast because of her good humor. At some point well into her senior years, Barb decided to begin acting with the Sugar Creek Players. Her credits include Music Man, The Women, Arsenic and Old Lace, It's a Wonderful Life, and — as a swinging grandma — The Wedding Singer. Also starring is Sharyn Adams, a nurse in real life, who has an impressive acting resume that includes It's a Wonderful Life, Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, and Music Man.

Reggie Steele, a Wabash College student, was simply thrilled to be a part of To Kill a Mockingbird. He will play a Negro citizen of Maycomb, but throughout rehearsals, he's stepped up to do what ever we've asked him to do. And that comes as no surprise because he's one of the most active students on the Wabash campus, and is the chairman of the College's Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies. He last appeared on the Vanity Theater stage in The Wedding Singer. He's also a talented musician and singer, and has agreed to work with us on music for our show.

Stage Manager and Co-Producer: I would be remiss if I didn't also introduce co-producer Nancy Rodenbeck, who brings a wealth of experience to this production. Nancy has impressive Vanity Theater directing credits, which include excellent productions of Tom Sawyer, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood, as well as scores of church and home-school productions. She's been acting since she could walk, but I especially enjoyed her in last year's SCP production of The Women. As the former Managing Director of the Vanity Theater, she answers most of my questions before I can ask them. Nancy will also serve as our Stage Manager.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Meet the Cast: Part 3

Greetings from Crawfordsville as we march forward toward the opening night of the Sugar Creek Players' production of To Kill a Mockingbird. We spent most of last weekend working on various set pieces and stage elements, which is a slow process in a large building with limited stage space and an even smaller budget. But the pieces are coming together and we've had good rehearsals on Sunday and Monday.

Tonight, we'll work through the scene involving "Tim" — the rabid dog who ambles through Maycomb until "Dead Eye"Atticus takes him out.

Continuing in our effort to meet the cast of our production, I'm pleased to introduce a few more of our talented actors:

Walter Cunningham: This poor farmer is indebted to Atticus for doing some legal work for him, and has no money to pay him. He resorts to sharing nuts, kindling wood, and even turnip greens to cover his debt. I like this character very much because he's upright in that he takes no "relief checks" from the government and he works hard. Later, though, he's part of a mob ready to lynch Tom Robinson — until young Scout reminds him how human he really is and convinces to walk around in Tom's skin. When Bill Hepburn, a long-time SCP Board member and dedicated volunteer, stepped on stage, it was hard for me to picture him as anyone other than Walter. Bill is physically a big man with strong hands, broad shoulders, a good back, and a nice voice. He graciously accepted the part and will return to the stage where he's previously had roles in Deadwood Dick, State Fair, and Love Thy Neighbor. Bill's family is connected to the Vanity Theater in every way possible, and all of Lois and Bill's kids have been raised on local theater stages.

Bob Ewell: We had many good actors read for this role and I liked several of them for very different reasons. When Stephen Morillo, a Wabash College History Professor, took the stage, we saw something behind the goatee that caught our attention. How cool would it be, we thought, to have a Rhodes Scholar and Oxford-educated man play the perfectly disreputable Bob Ewell? Well, very cool, actually. Stephen is a prolific textbook writer, international expert on military history, a musician, artist, father, and a very fine teacher. He tells us he acted in "stuff last century," but we remember him in the Wabash production of the very creepy, haunting play, Pillowman, a couple of years ago. And we figure that as a teacher of bright and talented Wabash guys, he probably has to do a good bit of acting in class every day. We're glad to have Stephen in our show.

Mayella Ewell: This was the second toughest choice I made when casting the play. The character of Mayella is complicated. She's the oldest in a large and motherless family, and she is abused by her father. Her home is near a dump and Harper Lee describes it in stirring detail in the book (early in courtroom section). Lee tells us the only bright light in Mayella's life is the gleaming red of her potted geraniums that surround the Ewell home. So desperate is she that Mayella saves nickels for an entire year to get her siblings out of the house so that she might share her first kiss — with Tom Robinson. We wanted an actress with a strong appearance — to have managed the heavy labor of her daily life — but with the mind of a child being manipulated by her father. We're pleased that Alli Aldrich accepted the role, for we think she brings all of those qualities to the stage. She has appeared in the last two plays produced by the Sugar Creek Players — as the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future in A Christmas Carol and as an Ozian in The Wizard of Oz. A student at Ivy Tech, she performed extensively at Southmont High School and was a five-year member of Southmont's show choir, Panache.

Nathan Radley: The elder Radley, Nathan, is played by Alex Livengood. While Alex has a pretty small role in our play, no person has been more eager or excited to be a part of the cast than Alex — almost always the first or second person to rehearsal and always fun to be around. Alex's acting credits come almost exclusively from high school, when he performed in six plays in addition to skits as a 4-H member. Alex will also play in our lynch mob scene.

Arthur "Boo" Radley: The role made famous by Robert Duvall, Boo Radley has only a couple of lines, but he is clearly near the center of the story — from the children trying to coax him out his house to the final scenes when he rescues Scout and Jem from murderous Bob Ewell. While Harper Lee gives us plenty of examples to highlight her theme of "walking around in someone else's skin" — Dubose, Cunningham, Robinson, even Ewell — Boo is the mockingbird we shall not kill. Our Boo is played by Clayton Mikesell, a freshman at Wabash College. He's a member of the College's Glee Club, and previously appeared in Arsenic and Old Lace. He was also in high school musicals ranging from The Sound of Music to Jesus Christ Superstar.

Tom Robinson: Brock Peters put a mighty big stamp on this role when he played the part of Tom Robinson in the Academy Award-winning film. His is one of the finest screen performances I've seen from that era. We had three very good actors audition for this part, and two were so good I decided to double cast the part, which is not something I had planned to do going into auditions. So two young men, both Wabash College students, will share the part — each playing Tom for one weekend run of the show, and on the opposite weekends, the actors will play another part. DeVan Taylor is a Wabash sophomore from Indianapolis, who previously worked with the College's production of The Bacchae. At Brebeuf Jesuit High School, DeVan appeared in Teach Me How to Cry, Murder's in the Air, High School Musical, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, among others. Our other Tom Robinson is Wabash freshman Larry Savoy, who hails from Missouri City, Texas. Larry is a member of the Wabash Glee Club and is fresh off a spring tour — and performing three concerts this week! In high school, he was in the cast of Grease, The Shadow Box, and Chicago, to name a few.

That's it for now. We'll introduce the remainder of our cast in the next few days.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Meet the Cast: Part 2

We want to continue to introduce various members of the cast of the Sugar Creek Players' production of To Kill a Mockingbird. Yesterday, we spent a little time introducing the Finch family — and sidekick Dill. Today, we're pleased to introduce some of the "movers and shakers" of Maycomb, Alabama, circa 1935.

Mr. Gilmer: Our Maycomb prosecuting attorney is Art Lang, who brings a wealth of experience to the stage. Over the last decade, he's been an actor, director, and stage manager for the Sugar Creek Players, Lafayette Civic Theater, and the Purdue Experimental Theater. He's the only member of our cast who has appeared in an earlier production of To Kill a Mockingbird. He played Walter Cunningham and Judge Taylor in the Lafayette Civic Theater production in the mid-1990s. During Monday's read-through, he gave the director chills when he cross examined Tom Robinson.

Heck Tate: If you've never seen the movie or can block it out of your mind, when you read the script for To Kill a Mockingbird, you begin to imagine the perfect Maycomb sheriff. Maybe he's a strong, rugged southerner, or maybe he's a slightly built guy who leads with his badge and gun. But we knew we had the perfect Heck Tate moments after Matt Mayberry read for the part. We read him for a number of roles after that, but we kept coming back to his take on Heck Tate. Matt has no Vanity Theater credits on his resume, other than shuttling his children to and and from the theater. All of us behind the scenes had hoped we would discover some new talent when we staged Mockingbird, and Matt is a picture-perfect example.

Judge Taylor: Crawfordsville natives who have been around the Sugar Creek Players for a few decades will be pleased to know that Stu Weliever has come out of retirement and will return to the Vanity Theater stage as Judge Taylor. Stu is one of the few members of our cast and crew who can recall when the Sugar Creek Players staged productions at Wabash College — back before the historic building at 122 South Washington Street was gifted to the theater company. Stu knows that he was type cast — but not from his previous roles. We type cast him because by day he is a practicing attorney in Crawfordsville and serves on a number of volunteer boards in town. After Stu read for the first time, our Scout Finch piped up and said, "He sounds like a lawyer." Well, that's because he is a lawyer, and he's also going to be a very fine Judge Taylor come April 15.

Miss Maudie Atkinson: This was another role for which we had three or four actresses step up with excellent auditions. We tried several combinations of women in the various roles, and we believe we got every role just right. Heather Jo Olin will appear in her third (straight) Vanity Theater production as the Finch's closest neighbor, Miss Maudie. Heather played (at least) three roles in December's A Christmas Carol, then donned plenty of green as an Ozian in the wildly successful production of The Wizard of Oz. Heather has obviously been bitten by the acting bug, and we're excited to have her in our cast. While there are so many amazing roles in this play, we think Miss Maudie has some of the most important and enduring lines.

Mrs. Dubose: Atticus Finch teaches his son, Jem, a number of important lessons when he "punishes" Jem by making him read to old Mrs. Dubose. Harper Lee and Christopher Sergel imagine an old, cranky lady for us. But we chose a delightful, funny, lively, and humane woman to play the part — Susan "Sue" Rubner. Sue and her husband are not from this area, but have been hard-working, participatory human rights activists in all the cities in which they have lived. Sue has done commercial work in the past, but we're most excited to have her insight when discussing the racial themes so dominant in our script. Sue and her husband have volunteered to help us in our educational outreach efforts, too, so we look forward to that. Sue will get really tired of us saying, "Crankier, Sue. Crankier!

Stephanie Crawford: We had cast 13-year-old veteran Trey Rogers as Dill for our production back in late January or early February. While his mom was shuttling him to and from early pre-rehearsals, she must have gotten excited about the play. Jill Rogers surprised us when she said she planned to audition, but was not at all surprising once she took the stage. She said she'd take any part, but we kept seeing her as Stephanie Crawford, the Maycomb County gossip who knows everything about everyone in town. Jill and Dan's children, Trey and Lanie, have appeared in many local theatrical productions, so Jill is no stranger to the Vanity Theater. She did lots of work in high school, took a break, then returned to the stage one year ago in Beth Swift's amazing production of The Women

JAN Productions Hard at Work

So the producers of To Kill a Mockingbird at the Vanity Theater are Jerry Bowie and Nancy Rodenbeck, who came up with the clever title of JAN Productions (Jerry And Nancy). Well, the director wants a little of the action, but will settle for the A in Amidon to round it off — Jerry-Amidon-Nancy Productions. Not quite as clever, but I write the blog, so...

All three of us were hard at work on Thursday and made big progress on the set. Jerry created a broken down fence for the Radley place, then a very nice fence for Mrs. Dubose's house (and put up with me dropping boards and chairs and desks and benches...)

Nan carried 30-some chairs off the stage, made a Home Depot run (our third in three days), and painted coat after coat of dark brown paint on some benches we'll use in court. 

By light's out Wednesday, we had what suddenly had begun to look like a set. Well, we had the front porch decks for the Finch home, and some flats that will serve as the Finch house. There's a lot still to be done, but we're increasingly excited about our prospects. And we believe that by Sunday when our actors return, we'll have the makings of a courtroom. Now, if we can just enlist some creative set painters...
Mid-afternoon Thursday
Check out Jerry's red hat...
Jerry's gonna kill me...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Meet the Cast: Part 1

Someone wrote me today to suggest that we start to announce and publicize the talented cast we have for the Sugar Creek Players' production of To Kill a Mockingbird.

First, let me again point out that we will have six performances — April 15-16 and 21-23 at 8 p.m. and April 17 at 2:00 p.m. at the Vanity Theater in downtown Crawfordsville. Ticket information will be available soon.

Now, on to the cast (we'll profile everyone over the next week or so):

Jean Louise Finch: The version of Christopher Sergel's stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird that we're using features a big role for Jean Louise — or as I've been saying — Scout, all grown up. This character is essentially the narrator in Harper Lee's amazing book. We're excited to have cast Vanity Theater veteran Niki Hutson in this role. Niki has played literally dozens of roles in Crawfordsville, and we're glad she auditioned for our show. Most recently, Niki has appeared in the Sugar Creek Players' productions of The Women ("Hello, Pet"), Noises Off, Female Odd Couple, Miracle on 34th Street, and Arsenic and Old Lace. While she normally gets "type-cast" as the life of the party, we'll see a different side of Niki Hutson as Jean Louise Finch.

Atticus Finch: This was, by far, the toughest casting decision we had to make. We had four talented actors audition, called back three, and eventually made our choice. We are excited that Damon Lincourt has returned to the Vanity Stage to tackle such a challenging role. Damon majored in theater at Northwestern University, bounced around the Chicago theater scene, did some commercial work, and eventually ended up in Crawfordsville with R.R. Donnelley and Sons. He has appeared on the Vanity Stage only once, but his work in Sugar (Some Like It Hot) was remarkable. While he won't wear a dress in Mockingbird, he'll bring exactly the right touch to Atticus Finch. Both of Damon's children (Victoria and Ben) have appeared in Vanity shows, and his wife, Elizabeth, serves on the theater's board, has created amazing sets, and worked with make-up in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Alice in Wonderland. A very talented family!

Scout Finch: Christopher Sergel suggests that this role should be played by an older actress than the movie version. We've chosen Sammie Amidon to tackle the part. She's a high-energy sixth-grader who, at age 11, already has appeared in seven Sugar Creek Players' productions and played Iago in the Tuttle Middle School production of Aladdin. Her favorite roles at the Vanity include the Town's Gal in The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood, Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, Widder Douglas in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Elf in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. She's also active in choir and Circle the State with Song.

Jem Finch: Conner Smith has been cast as Atticus Finch's son, Jem. Conner has an impressive acting resume at the Vanity Theater, including roles as Huck Finn in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Aslan in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and young Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. Conner is a home-schooled eighth grader, and his parents are the proud owners of This Old Farm near Colfax.

Charles Baker Harris, a.k.a. Dill: While technically not a part of the Finch family, Dill comes pretty close — especially after all of that camel-washing when he moves in and sleeps on a cot in the Finch home. The first time I read the play, one actor popped immediately into my brain to play the role of Dill. I tried mightily to get this thought out of my mind — a director can't pick one actor for a role after the first read. So I read the play again... and again... and again. And the actor who kept coming to mind was Trey Rogers. It was a no-brainer, then, to cast Trey for the part of Scout's "childhood fiance." Trey seems to have been in everything — on stage, in the choir, and in band. He was a very busy White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, had a leading role in Tuttle Middle School's Aladdin, and has too many music and acting credits to list here. Sufficed to say — we're glad he said "yes" when offered the part.

More actor biographies soon!

Setting the Stage

The set continues to come together for the Sugar Creek Players' production of To Kill a Mockingbird. The concept for the set — using platforms and flats that can serve as the Finch house and the courtroom — came from Bill Amidon of Anchorage, Alaska, who sketched out the basic idea that we've put into place. He's never seen the Vanity Theater, but came up with some  interchangeable parts that will help us transition from the Finch neighborhood to the courtroom and back again.

Given the theater's size, we've had to scale back some of the ideas, but we believe we have the right elements in place to help our audience imagine Maycomb, Alabama circa 1935. Photos forthcoming — nothing fun to photograph at this point, other than platform and flat frames.

A big shout-out to Wabash College for loaning us a truck and to Home Depot for custom cutting a lot of our lumber (a credit for the program; not here). An hour at Home Depot saved us about six hours in the upstairs wood room of the Vanity Theater. Imagine hauling 4x8 sheets of plywood up and down lots of stairs. Well, we didn't have to do that. Thanks to producer Jerry Bowie for his efforts with the truck and the wood.

Our other talented producer, Nancy Rodenbeck, gets a special kudos — along with Neal Tire — for securing Scout's tire swing. Now we just have to figure out how to hang it in a 100-year-old theater...

Tomorrow, we finish the flats and platforms, and ready the courthouse for Sunday's rehearsal!

We'll soon be looking for talented and creative set painters, who can bring our plywood and luan lumber to life!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Been There, Done That, Got the T-Shirt

T-shirts for the Sugar Creek Players' production of To Kill a Mockingbird are now on sale. Shirts are $10 for sizes S-XL and $12 for sizes 2X-6X.

You don't have to be a part of the cast or crew to wear a piece of Vanity Theater history. Comment to this blog or contact the director if you're interested in helping us promote the show via wearable art!

Getting Started, Gaining Momentum

Our first cast meeting and read-through was tremendous — very clearly we have a terrifically talented cast and crew. And even though we were missing a handful of our actors last night, we're on our way to creating a great production of To Kill a Mockingbird.

(You know you have a good cast when after the first full — and cold — reading of the play, our actors picked up on a couple of historical inaccuracies. They'll keep the director on his toes!)

Rehearsal schedules are coming together. We have another read-through with everyone in attendance, and then it's time to focus on set design and construction. We will begin blocking the show next Sunday, March 13.

Over the course of the next week, we will be using this space to introduce people to our cast members. Each day, we'll run a few biographies of the actors — but not any of the embarrassing audition night photos!

Safe travels to our cast members singing their way to Washington, D.C., and partying their way back from Mardi Gras!

(This blog has already had 595 page views in just over a week! Keep spreading the word!)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Announcing the Mockingbird Cast

I'm thrilled with how many people turned out for auditions for the Sugar Creek Players production of To Kill a Mockingbird. We're blessed with so much talent, which is good for community theater in Crawfordsville and rough on directors and producers. We feel very good about the cast we have chosen and look forward to our first cast meeting and read-through on Sunday, March 6 at 5:30 p.m. at the Vanity Theater.

Cast List

Sugar Creek Players’ production of To Kill a Mockingbird

Jean Louise Finch -- Niki Hutson                                   

Atticus Finch -- Damon Lincourt

Scout Finch -- Sammie Amidon

Jem Finch -- Conner Smith

Charles Baker “Dill” Harris  -- Trey Rogers

Calpurnia -- TBD

Maudie Atkinson -- Heather Olin

Walter Cunningham -- Bill Hepburn

Bob Ewell -- Stephen Morillo

Mayella Ewell -- Allison Aldrich

Mr. Gilmer --  Art Lang                      

Judge Taylor -- Stu Weliever

Reverend Sykes -- Jerry Bowie

Sheriff Heck Tate -- Matt Mayberry

Stephanie Crawford -- Jill Rogers

Nathan Radley -- Alex Livengood

Arthur “Boo” Radley  -- Clayton Mikesell

Mrs. Dubose --  Susan Rubner

Tom Robinson -- Larry Savoy & DeVan Taylor (double cast, alternate weekends)

Helen Robinson -- Rebekah Kirts

Courtroom Clerk -- Rick James

Mob Members --  Rick James, Alex Livengood, Mahlon Nevitt, and Matt Clark.

Maycomb Citizens/Courtroom -- Sharyn Adams, Rick James, Alex Livengood, Mahlon Nevitt, Matt Clark, Barbara Walden, and Reggie Steele.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Thanks for Great Auditions!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Vanity Theater Monday and Tuesday nights to audition for the Sugar Creek Players' production of To Kill a Mockingbird.

After going through the dreaded anxiety every director has hours before the first night of auditions — "Will anyone show up?" — everyone who took the stage to do cold readings turned that anxiety into excitement and energy.

If this was a sports team and not a theater production, I'd say "we're two deep at every position," which means we had at least (at least) two great auditions for every party. That's great for our production, but tough on the production team to make difficult casting decisions.

Some actors have been notified about call backs. If you were not asked to come back, don't freak out — that doesn't mean you won't be offered a part. It means that we saw enough of you, liked you a lot for a specific part, etc.

A cast list will be posted here at some point on Thursday. I'll send it to the website manager of the Sugar Creek Players, and when I get a chance, I'll post a hard copy on the front door of the theater. By Thursday night, I will email everyone who will be offered a part. You will need to reply to that email to accept the part.

Our first rehearsal will be Sunday evening, March 6 at the Vanity Theater. Doors will open no later than 5:30 and we'll begin our meeting at 5:45 p.m. Please be on time. We'll do some paperwork and announcements, read through at least the first half of the play, take a break for pizza, and finish reading the play (or if things go quickly, re-read a part of the play).

I will have a pretty solid rehearsal schedule for you Sunday night. Right now, I'd like for everyone in the cast to plan to attend on Sunday and on Monday (at 6:30 p.m.). We probably will not rehearse for the remainder of next week.

Again, thanks to everyone who came last night and thanks in advance to those returning tonight for call backs!

   — Jim

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Great First Night of Auditions

I just want to thank everyone who took the time to come to the first night of auditions for the Sugar Creek Players' production of To Kill a Mockingbird.

It was a great first night and all of the actors exceeded my expectations. I appreciate that all of you were flexible and willing to read for a variety of parts — including Stephen's unforgettable (in every way) reading of Dill!

Looking forward to see who auditions tonight as we begin to bring this magical story to life on the Vanity Theater stage!

A reminder to those who auditioned Monday night — you are free to come back tonight if you wish, it is not necessary. Call backs will be Wednesday night and a cast list will be posted here on Thursday.

Thanks again!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mockingbird Auditions Monday Night!

Auditions for the Sugar Creek Players Production of To Kill a Mockingbird will be Monday, February 28 and Tuesday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m. The theater will be open at around 6:15 p.m. We'll fill out some forms and get started on stage around 6:45 p.m.

Audition Dates: Monday, February 28 and Tuesday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m. 
Location: The Vanity Theater, 122 South Washington Street, Crawfordsville, IN.
Production Dates: April 15-17 and April 21-23
Directed by Jim Amidon

Auditioners do not need to prepare in advance; we will read speeches from the play. There are adult roles for at least seven women and ten men:

Jean Louise Finch — Scout all grown up and the play’s narrator. (This is a very large role.)
Atticus Finch — A reserved, civilized southern lawyer; Scout and Jem’s single father. 
Calpurnia — The Finches’ housemaid; a proud, disciplined Black woman; surrogate mother.
Maudie Atkinson — A lovely, sensitive southern woman about the same age as Atticus.
Walter Cunningham — A hard-working, poor farmer who demonstrates both prejudice and sensitivity.
Reverend Sykes — The Black minister of First Purchase Church; strong-voiced.
Heck Tate — The town sheriff who does his duty without favor.
Stephanie Crawford — The enthusiastic neighborhood gossip.
Bob Ewell — A poor little man who thinks he’ll become famous after Tom’s conviction; he’s a man filled with rage.
Mayella Ewell — The oldest daughter of Bob Ewell who is desperate and lonely.
Nathan Radley — The thin, leathery neighbor of the Finches.
Arthur “Boo” Radley — A mysterious recluse who hasn’t been seen in years.
Mrs. Dubose — A bitter, old, ill woman who is a neighbor of the Finches.
Tom Robinson — Tom is a strong Black man with a crippled left hand; kind and sensitive.
Helen Robinson — Tom’s wife and the mother of young children; numb from shock.
Mr. Gilmer — The public prosecutor who pursue’s Tom Robinson’s conviction.
Judge Taylor — A good, honest judge who, like many, struggles to overcome the prejudice of the day.
Mob & Courtroom Crowd — There are several non-speaking or limited roles for people watching the trial and men in a mob.


Children's roles have been cast.  We're excited to have been working for the last month with:

Conner Smith as Jem Finch
Sammie Amidon as Scout Finch
Trey Rogers as Dill