This fall, Shubert Theatre will be opening “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a new play written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Bartlett Sher. Since its publication in 1960, the Harper Lee classic has won the Pulitzer Prize, been made into a classic film, and has sold more than 45 million copies and even as half a century has passed since its first publication, the book has never been out of print.
As a matter of fact it is the second best-selling book in the world after the Bible and has been translated into 40 languages and remains to be one of the most influential and favorite books of modern American literature. Yet the story has never come to Broadway – but finally it is. Aaron Sorkin, the gifted writer who has won the Academy Award for The Social Network and multiple Emmy Awards for “The West Wing”, has adapted the book into a new play, working in tandem with Tony-winning director, Bartlett Sher.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” narrates an enduring story of racial injustice and childhood innocence centering on one of the most beloved and admired characters in American literature, Attis Finch, the small-town lawyer played by Jeff Daniels. The ensemble cast of the play includes Atticus’s daughter Scout (Celia Keenan-Bolger), her brother Jem (Will Pullen), their visiting friend Dill (Gideon Glick), and their mysterious neighbor, the reclusive Arthur “Boo” Radley. The other important residents of Maycomb, Alabama will be brought to life on stage by LaTanya Richardson Jackson (as the Finch’s housekeeper, Calpurnia), Dakin Matthews (as Judge Taylor), Stark Sands (playing prosecutor Horace Gilmer), Fred Weller and Erin Wilhelmi (as Bob Ewell and his daughter Mayella Ewell), and Gbenga Akinnagbe (playing Tom Robinson).
Lee wrote the book during the early stages of the Civil Rights Movement. It was a time when Jim Crow laws were still in effect in many Southern states of the USA. “To Kill a Mockingbird” holds up candid mirror of the deep rooted culture of racism in the Deep South. Almost six decades later this is one story that continues to resonate deeply.
The plot and characters are loosely based on Lee's own observations of her family, her neighbors and a particular event that occurred in 1936 near her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Lee was just 10 years old then but the event remained vivid in her memory throughout her life. The novel is recalled for its humor and warmth, despite dealing with the serious issues like rape and racial inequality.
The play opens on December 13, 2018 at Shubert Theatre, Lincoln Center Theater, 150 West 65th Street, New York.
For details, visit http://www.lct.org
Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the play.