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!

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