Guerin Catholic Fine Arts PRESENTS

Dramatized by Christopher Sergal

Produced by special arrangement with

The Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, IL

Harper Lee

In 1960 Harper Lee published To Kill A Mockingbird. It was an immediate success that soon won the Pulitzer Prize and has gone on to become an American classic.

Nelle Harper Lee was born in Monroeville, Alabama. She was the youngest of four children. To Kill A Mockingbird was loosely based on events that happened in her hometown in 1936 when she was 10 years old.

The novel was the only thing that she published until 2015 when Go Set A Watchman was released. At the time of publication most believed it was a sequel, but it was later confirmed that it was actually a first draft of To Kill A Mockingbird.

I never expected any sort of success with Mockingbird. I was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of the reviewers but, at the same time, I sort of hoped someone would like it enough to give me encouragement. Public encouragement. I hoped for a little, as I said, but I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I'd expected.

— Harper Lee, quoted in Newquist, 1964

The book captures the lives of a small community in Alabama during the depression. Atticus Finch, a single parent raising two children, is a local attorney given a case to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman. The story is told from the perspective of his ten-year old daughter, Jean Louise (also known as Scout).

The racially charged events are a mystery to young Scout and she often turns to her father to help make sense of the madness.

In 1962 a movie based on the novel was directed by Robert Mulligan. It starred Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Mary Badham as Scout. The film was a box office success and was nominated for eight Academy Awards. It won three awards including best actor for Peck. It was Robert Duvall's first film.

So long as the film is on this level, the director, Robert Mulligan, achieves a bewitching indication of the excitement and thrill of being a child.

By BOSLEY CROWTHER Special to The New York Times.

Published: February 15, 1963

Notes From the Director

I remember reading To Kill a Mockingbird in seventh grade and it being the first novel that really sparked my imagination. I read it again in college and really fell in love with the characters and the incredible story. When I began teaching English, it was the novel that my Sophomore class read, and I continued to learn and understand more about Harper Lee and her beautiful creation.

Performing the play was something that I was always interested in, and this year we thought it would be a perfect time to tell this amazing story. Directing is always a challenge, and it’s through the many challenges that I learn more about myself and those around me. This show has taught me to seek the counsel of good people, Marcia Murphy to be exact. Her wisdom, patience, and understanding has been such a blessing. I know the show would not be what it is without Marcia’s assistance and guidance the past six weeks.

I would like to thank all the seniors in the show for their commitment and passion for the Guerin Catholic Fine Arts. I will miss each of them and am grateful they have shared their gifts with us these past 3 ½ years. Finally, I’d like to thank my family, especially my wife for her patience and support during rehearsals and the performances. I know without her love, I would not be the person I am today. I hope you all enjoy this wonderful story, and perhaps in the wisdom of Atticus Finch, we will allow ourselves to see the world while walking around in someone else’s shoes.

Thank you,

Mike Panasuk

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

Characters

Rebecca Hunt/JEAN LOUISE "SCOUT"/Jackie Myers

Jean Louise “Scout” Finch - The narrator and protagonist of the story. Scout lives with her father, Atticus, her brother, Jem, and their black cook, Calpurnia, in Maycomb. She is intelligent and, by the standards of her time and place, a tomboy. Scout has a combative streak and a basic faith in the goodness of the people in her community. Her faith is tested by the hatred and prejudice that emerge during Tom Robinson’s trial. Scout eventually develops a more grown-up perspective that enables her to appreciate human goodness without ignoring human evil. (Sparknotes)

ATTICUS FINCH/Drew Cobb

Atticus Finch - Scout and Jem’s father, a lawyer in Maycomb descended from an old local family. A widower with a dry sense of humor, Atticus has instilled in his children his strong sense of morality and justice. He is one of the few residents of Maycomb committed to racial equality. When he agrees to defend Tom Robinson, a black man charged with raping a white woman, he exposes himself and his family to the anger of the white community. With his strongly held convictions, wisdom, and empathy, Atticus functions as the story's moral backbone. (Sparknotes)

JEM FINCH/Jack Loub

Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch - Scout’s brother and constant playmate at the beginning of the story. Jem is something of a typical American boy, refusing to back down from dares and fantasizing about playing football. Four years older than Scout, he gradually separates himself from her games, but he remains her close companion and protector throughout the story. Jem moves into adolescence during the story, and his ideals are shaken badly by the evil and injustice that he perceives during the trial of Tom Robinson. (Sparknotes)

BOO RADLEY/Casey Spillane

Arthur “Boo” Radley - A recluse who never sets foot outside his house, Boo dominates the imaginations of Jem, Scout, and Dill. He is a powerful symbol of goodness swathed in an initial shroud of creepiness and emerging at an opportune moment to save the children. An intelligent child emotionally damaged by his cruel father, Boo provides an example of the threat that evil poses to innocence and goodness. He is one of the story’s “mockingbirds,” a good person injured by the evil of mankind.

BOB EWELL/Blake Miller

Bob Ewell - A drunken, mostly unemployed member of Maycomb’s poorest family. In his knowingly wrongful accusation that Tom Robinson raped his daughter, Ewell represents the dark side of the South: ignorance, poverty, squalor, and hate-filled racial prejudice. (Sparknotes)

DILL/Anthony Vaiana

Charles Baker “Dill” Harris - Jem and Scout’s summer neighbor and friend. Dill is a diminutive, confident boy with an active imagination. He becomes fascinated with Boo Radley and represents the perspective of childhood innocence throughout the novel. Dill was loosely based on the author Truman Capote. (Sparknotes)

MISS MAUDIE/Madeline Titus

Miss Maudie Atkinson - The Finches’ neighbor, a sharp-tongued widow, and an old friend of the family. Miss Maudie is almost the same age as Atticus’s younger brother, Jack. She shares Atticus’s passion for justice and is the children’s best friend among Maycomb’s adults. (Sparknotes)

CALPURNIA/Tillie Murphy

Calpurnia - The Finches’ black cook. Calpurnia is a stern disciplinarian and the children’s bridge between the white world and her own black community. (Sparknotes)

MAYELLA EWELL/Olivia Nystrom

Mayella Ewell - Bob Ewell’s abused, lonely, unhappy daughter. Though one can pity Mayella because of her overbearing father, one cannot pardon her for her shameful indictment of Tom Robinson. (Sparknotes)

Tom Robinson - The black field hand accused of rape. Tom is one of the novel’s “mockingbirds,” an important symbol of innocence destroyed by evil. (Sparknotes)

MRS. DUBOSE/Mary Ganser

Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose - An elderly, ill-tempered, racist woman who lives near the Finches. Although Jem believes that Mrs. Dubose is a thoroughly bad woman, Atticus admires her for the courage with which she battles her morphine addiction. (Sparknotes)

MISS STEPHANIE/Chloe Kennedy

Miss Stephanie Crawford - The town busybody. She makes it her business to spread gossip, the meaner the better. She's the Finch kids' main source of rumors about Boo Radley, and takes as much delight in the ghoulish details as Jem does.

MR. GILMER/Logan Bedford

Mr. Gilmer - Mr. Gilmer is the prosecutor who faces off against Atticus in court.

JUDGE TAYLOR/Everett Mitchel

Judge Taylor - While he seems fairly even-handed in court, his personal views on the Robinson case come out in more subtle ways. He appoints Atticus as Tom's defense council even when the job should have gone to another, less experienced, man.

NATHAN RADLEY/Casey Spillane

Nathan Radley - Boo Radley’s older brother. Scout thinks that Nathan is similar to the deceased Mr. Radley, Boo and Nathan’s father. (Sparknotes)

Heck Tate - The sheriff of Maycomb and a major witness at Tom Robinson’s trial. Heck is a decent man who tries to protect the innocent from danger. (Sparknotes)

WALTER CUNNINGHAM/Michael Bailey

Mr. Walter Cunningham - A poor farmer and part of the mob that seeks to lynch Tom Robinson at the jail. Mr. Cunningham displays his human goodness when Scout’s politeness compels him to disperse the men at the jail.

THE TOWNSFOLK

Sullivan Angel
Angelina Bergsma
Maddie Buckner
Shannon Buntin
Chiara Cradick
John Paul Farrell
Jack Geise
Matthew Heilman
Therese Hinkley
John March
Adam Van Atter

CREW

Lights - Caleb Quick

Sound - Logan Gauker

Stage Manager - Ellie Svec

Make-up - Lauren Cobb

"I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free."

"Your father's right. Mockingbirds just make music."

"His name is Arthur, and he's still alive."

"Well, Boo was sitting in the living room, cutting some items from the Maycomb Tribune to paste in his scrapbook."

"Do you think Boo Radley's still alive?"

"How'd you feel if you'd been shut up for a hundred years with nothing but cats to eat."

"Just what were you about to do , Jem?"

"You see you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view."

"Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

"This is for you, Mr. Finch. Turnip greens.

"Much obliged, Mr. Finch."

"You aren't old enough to understand some things yet..."

"...If I didn't defend him, I couldn't hold my head up."

"Inside the house---both of you."

"Back behind the Radley pecan trees."

"Mr. Finch, this is a one-shot job!"

"Dead as a doornail!"

"I saw that, One-shot Finch!"

"Well, now, Miss Jean Louise. Still think your father can't do anything?"

"A lovelier lady than your mother never lived."

"Don't say "hey" to me, you ugly girl!"

"Your father's no better than the trash he works for!"

"Heck, that boy might go to the chair, but he’s not going till the truth’s told."

"They moved Tom Robinson to the county jail this afternoon. I don’t look for trouble, but I can’t guarantee there won’t be any."

"I don’t see why you touched this case. You’ve got everything to lose."

"Because he was a part of a mob. But a mob’s always made up of people, and Mr. Cunningham’s still a man. What you children did -- you made him remember that."

"I go to school with your boy, Walter Jr. Well, he’s your boy, ain’t he? Ain’t he, sir?"

"Get this straight. There will be no audibly obscene speculations on any subject from anybody in this courtroom."

"Objection. Can’t see what witness’s literacy has to do with the case, irrelevant ‘n’ immaterial."

"When I got down offa that chair, she sorta --jumped at me."

"Mr. Finch, I was goin’ home as usual the evenin’, and when I passed the Ewell place, Miss Mayella were on the porch, like she said she were."

"I say where the chillun, an’ she says -- she was laughin’ sort of -- she says, ‘Took me a slap year to save seb’m nickels but I done it, They all gone to town."

"The night of November twenty-first. I was leaving my office to go home when B --Mr. Ewell came in, very excited he was, and said, get to his house quick, some ni -- Negro’d raped his girl."

"Asked her if he took advantage of her and she said, yes, he did."

"I was comin’ in from the woods with a load o’ kindlin and just as I got to the fetch, I hear Mayella screamin’ like a stuck hog inside the house."

"Just ‘fore sundown."

"She was raising this holy racket so I dropped m’ load and run as fast as I could up to the window -- and I seen-- I seen--"

"Judge, I’ve asked this county for fifteen years to clean out that nest down yonder. They’re dangerous to live around."

"He’s left-handed."

"He’s tryin’ to take advantage of me. Tricking lawyers like Atticus Finch take advantage of me all the time with their tricking ways."

"Well -- I was on the porch and --he came along --"

"That’n yonder. Robinson."

"An’ ‘fore I knew it, he was on me. He got me ‘round the neck. I fought, but he hit me agin and agin."

"She’d call me in. Seemed like every time I passed by yonder, she’d have somethin’ for me to do -- choppin’, kindlin’, totin’ water for her."

"She called to me to come over there and help her a minute."

"No, sir she -- she hugged me. She hugged me. She hugged me around the waist."

"She reached up and kissed me ‘side of th’ face."

"Looked like she didn’t have nobody to help her."

"Yes, sir. I felt right sorry for her. She seemed to try more than the rest of ‘em."

"I don’t say she’s lying. Mr. Gilmer. I say she’s mistaken in her mind."

"No, sir. Scared I’d have to face up to what I didn’t do."

"I’m confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you’ve heard, come to a decision, and restore the defendant to his family. In the name of God, do your duty!"

"What happened after that had a dreamlike quality: in a dream I saw the jury return moving like underwater swimmers."

"They’ve done it before, and they did it today, and they’ll do it again. And when they do it -- seem like only children weep."

A Nation Divided
I do my best to love everybody.

Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird

The story of To Kill A Mockingbird describes a time of racial tension. The book was published during a time that most associate with racial tension. As these students from Guerin Catholic High School prepare to perform this play many would say we are still steeped in a time of racial tension. Have times not really changed? Are there similar sentiments in each period of time? What is our personal role in helping to diminish these tensions?

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.

Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird

Like Atticus Finch, the Church, speaks to the dignity which flows from the reality that each and every human being is made in the "image and likeness of God." (Gen. 1:27) As we encounter others who are different from us, whether it is because of race, gender, disability, culture, language or religion we must seek to understand rather than to judge. This powerful message is relevant to our lives today and tomorrow. The news and social media are filled with examples of hatred and lack of understanding in the world. "Respect for the human person proceeds by way of respect for the principle that "everyone should look upon his neighbor (without any exception) as 'another self', above all bearing in mind his life and the means necessary for living it with dignity." (CCC 1931) The message of the Gospel affirms our need to reach out to others and love them. Indeed it commands us, "Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another." (John 13:34)

In recent years the character of Atticus Finch has come under fire. He is criticized for not taking his own advice to "climb into the skin" of Tom Robinson. Atticus never seeks to find out more about Tom. Atticus is flawed, and so are we.

People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.

Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird

During the course of the production you will hear the "N" word 10 times! Often, it is said in great anger. As you watch the play think about how hearing the word in this context makes you feel. According to the American Library Association To Kill A Mockingbird is ranked 40th on its list of most challenged books between 1990 and 1999. In 2009 it was ranked 4th!

The history of the word comes from the Latin word negre, black. This was used to describe a negro. English substitutes such as negar, neegar, neger, and niggor soon emerged. By the early 1800's the word was clearly established as a derogatory word. The word has become not just a word to describe the color of someone's skin color, but a racial slur that is filled with a sense of hate.

In more modern times the "word" or variations of the "word" are commonly used in rap and hip-hop. In fact just this year at the White House President Obama was addressed by Larry Wilmore, comedian and host of Comedy Central as "My Nigga". There was an immediate uproar. Whites were uncomfortable and offended and Blacks were at odds on it's appropriateness. Nevertheless it brought to light some of the mixed messages around the use of the word.

Many have suggested the removal of the word in texts such as To Kill A Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn. But we must keep in mind that these representations give us a glimpse into our dark past and to remove the word would in effect "white-wash" our past. It is important that you hear the word and connect to how it makes you feel and if you are not a person of color imagine the even deeper pain. Allow yourself to climb into the skin of someone else.

This story reminds us to open our eyes to the poor, and persecuted in our midst and try to understand things from their point of view. "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

1. Turn Off Your Cell Phone

Somehow the most obvious rule of good Broadway theatre etiquette is still the most often disregarded. Turn it off, people. Turn. It. Off. And, no, putting your cell phone on vibrate isn't good enough - the people next to you can hear that weird buzzing sound, too.

2. Don't Send Text Messages During the Show

You may think you're being all incognito, but in a darkened theater, the light from your cell phone screen is incredibly distracting to those around you. And why do you still have your phone on anyway? We just told you to turn it off!

3. Don't Talk During the Show

A quick whisper to your neighbor, or an audible reaction to something interesting that happens on stage is fine (this is the live theater, not the morgue), but keep conversations to the intermission and after the show. Nobody needs to hear your theories on what the next plot twist will be, and please refrain from asking your companion to explain to you what was just said onstage. By the time he or she explains it to you, you'll have both missed something else important.

St. Genesius

Prayer for Actors

Dear Saint Genesius, according to a very ancient story, when you were still a pagan you once ridiculed Christ while acting on the stage. But, like Saul on the road to Damascus, you were overwhelmed by Christ's powerful grace. You rose bearing witness to Jesus and died a great martyr's death. Intercede for your fellow actors before God, that they may faithfully and honestly perform their roles and so help others to understand their role in life thus enabling them to attain their end in heaven.

Amen.

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

Miss Maudie, To Kill A Mockingbird

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