Mill Mountain Theatre in October stages an iconic work of American literature and drama, To Kill a Mockingbird. And in collaboration with Roanoke College will provide unique opportunities for audiences and students to link the play's relevance to contemporary society.
A cast drawn from MMT's New York auditions and Roanoke's experienced actors will deliver a powerful interpretation of the story about justice amid prejudice and courage when human dignity is at risk. The story takes place in 1935 and tests a small Alabama community's values and race relations. The play is based on the 1960 novel by Harper Lee that sold 30 million copies in 40 languages and won a Pulitzer Prize. A 1962 movie version earned an Oscar for Gregory Peck.
The stage version is a reminder that the story still has a challenging message. To help MMT audiences understand and discuss the show's relevance, The Center for Teaching the Rule of Law at Roanoke College will provide three extraordinary events:
- Opening Night's performance will be preceded by a reception and brief talk by G. Michael Pace, president of the Center for Teaching the Rule of Law. This event begins at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 1 at the Harrison Museum of African American Culture in Center in the Square. This event is ticketed separately from admission to the play but tickets to both can be purchased at the Center in the Square box office, call 342-5740.
- Special School Matinee performance for area middle- and high-school students will include a talk-back moderated by Pace and Timothy Isaacs, the Center's vice president. This show is at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 9 at MMT. Discounted tickets are available for students and teachers from the box office.
- Family Performance so that teenagers and their parents can see the show together and engage in a discussion about their own values and reactions to societal issues. A talk-back will be facilitated by Pace and Isaacs following the show at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11.
"The breadth of these special opportunities is indication of Mill Mountain Theatre's strong desire to reconfirm its place in our community," said Ginger Poole, Producing Artistic Director. "The decision to mount this extraordinary drama is based on my belief that live theatre has an unique ability to deliver strong messages. The collaboration with the Center for Teaching the Rule of Law enables us to foster productive discussion about the play's content and engage the audiences we serve."
"I hope patrons who have supported Mill Mountain Theatre so generously over the past seasons will take advance of this opportunity to help us make an important contribution," Poole said.
Mill Mountain Theatre's Trinkle Main Stage production runs October 1-12, 2014 with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays through Saturdays and at 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are available at the Center in the Square box office, by calling 540-342-5740 and on line at www.millmountain.org.
This production of To Kill a Mockingbird at Mill Mountain Theatre is possible thanks to underwriting by these sponsors: Carilion Clinic; Corrugated Container Corporation; Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore; Boxley; Davis H. Elliot Co.; The Glebe; Rutherfoord; Trane; The Center for Teaching the Rule of Law and Roanoke College; Jefferson Surgical Clinic; Davenport & Co.; Dixon, Hubard, Feinour & Brown, Inc.; First Citizens Bank; Mail-It Plus; Roanoke Animal Hospital; The Roanoke Star; The Wadsworth Group at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management; WDBJ7 Television, and Woods Rogers PLC.
Additional support for Mill Mountain Theatre comes from Actors' Equity Association, Center in the Square, City of Roanoke Arts Commission, County of Roanoke, National Endowment for the Arts and Virginia Commission for the Arts.
Mill Mountain Theatre is able to offer free admission to its plays to children and families who are referred to us by area human-service charities. Their tickets are underwritten by Benefit Plan Administrators, Fee-Only Financial Planning, Grainger Industrial Supply, Bill and Clara Nash, Richfield Living, Shenandoah Life Insurance Co., and Union First Market Bank.