“Mockingbird” at Amelia Musical Playhouse – April 12 – 21

Amelia Musical Playhouse
Press Release
Submitted by Robert Weintraub
April 10, 2018 2:00 p.m.

Tom Robinson (played by Barry Mack Jr.), is cross examined by Prosecutor Gilmer (Michael Miller) while Judge Taylor (Walker Davis) looks on during a scene from To Kill A Mockingbird at Amelia Musical Playhouse.

The play, To Kill A Mockingbird, adapted from Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Christopher Sergel, will be presented by Amelia Musical Playhouse opens tomorrow (Thursday) for a two-weekend run. The story is both a coming of age story as three young children experience traumatic events that will affect them the rest of their lives and is also a moment in the long history of American racism frozen in time.

Set in 1935, Harper Lee conveyed the realities of 1930s rural Alabama in blunt detail. To Kill a Mockingbird was written in the 1950s as the South was going through significant and conflict-ridden social change.

This play can be rough and shocking, according to the play’s director, Bob Weintraub. The racial slurs and frank discussion of rape have led people to challenge its appropriateness in libraries and classrooms across the United States, he said.

“In order to rise above our past racism, we must acknowledge it,” he said.

Scout Finch (played by Olivia Rogers) is consoled by her father, Atticus (Frank O’Donnell) in a scene from To Kill A Mockingbird at AMP.

The cast is led by Frank O’Donnell who plays attorney Atticus Finch who must defend a black man accused of raping a white woman. The play’s three children are Olivia Rogers as Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, Sam Gibson as Jeremy “Jem” Finch and Levi Smelser as Charles Baker “Dill” Harris.

Also in the cast are: Maudie Atkinson — Buffy Wells; Calpurnia — Ruth Charlene Davis; Sheriff Heck Tate — Kip Brown; Tom Robinson — Barry Mack Jr.; Bob Ewell — Rich Smelser; Mayella Ewell — Hannah James; Miss Stephanie — Carol Davis; Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose — Pat Chiarelli; Prosecutor Mr. Gilmer — Michael Miller; Judge Taylor — Walker Davis; Farmer Cunningham — Richard Smith; Arthur “Boo” Radley — Ron Araya.

Rev. Sykes is portrayed by the Rev. Godfrey V. Taylor, currently associate pastor of the Macedonia A. M. E. Church in Fernandina Beach. His choir is composed of Nanette Autry, founder-director of the Peck Community Ensemble, Fredricka Taylor, minister of music at Macedonia A.M.E. Church, and Shalene Raysor with the First Missionary Baptist Church choirs.

Productions at AMP will be April 12, 13, 14, 19, 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 15 at 2:30. Tickets are now available through the Playhouse Web site — www.ameliamusicalplayhouse.com/mockingbird. General admission is $15; students: $10.