It is a sin to kill a mockingbird
To Kill A Mockingbird
American River College Theatre4700 College Oak Dr.
Sacramento, CA 95841
Atticus Finch is considered one of the greatest heroes in American literature. The story of Jean Louise “Scout” Finch and her childhood living under Jim Crow laws in 1930s has become a classic tale of lost childhood innocence.
College theater productions are notorious for having many actors with varied levels of experience. This is why theaters like these exist: to teach—and it’s a good reason to select a show like To Kill A Mockingbird for a college season. Luckily for everyone, this production has some fresh faces that manage to keep the show hard-hitting and emotional.
The adaptation by Christopher Sergel of Harper Lee’s novel is directed by Sam William. He makes a bold statement with striking tableaux and a vivid cast and set.
Emily Botnan plays a young Scout, and Wendy Wiedmeier plays the narrator, a middle-aged Scout. Both do well, but it’s a little hard throughout the play to believe they are the same person, since the two look nothing alike. However, it doesn’t distract from the story.
Brandon Lancaster takes on the role of Atticus and does him justice.
The production qualities are stellar, with Kathy Burleson on set and lights and Kirt Shearer on sound. The large and diligent crew makes the fictional town of Maycomb, Ala., and its residents come alive, and the proscenium theatre features excellent sets that fly in and out for changes. The music, also, was a fantastic blend of Delta blues and jazz from the 1930s.
The biggest issue with the production is pace. The dialogue needs to move along much faster than it does, and some scenes seem to drag on due only to the space in between the actors’ lines. Also, a handful of players need to practice projecting their voices into the back row.