“To Kill a Mockingbird” Review

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“To Kill a Mockingbird” Review

Mr. Finch and Tom Robinson during court scene.

Mr. Finch and Tom Robinson during court scene.

Gabe Bednarczyk

Mr. Finch and Tom Robinson during court scene.

Gabe Bednarczyk

Gabe Bednarczyk

Mr. Finch and Tom Robinson during court scene.

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Clear Springs continues to teach students to look past prejudice, to refrain from becoming a bystander and to think more critically than what you see at first glance, and the Theatre Department continues to not just contribute to these goals, but to entertain us with every move they make.

To Kill a Mockingbird, a classic novel written by Harper Lee, is the 2017-18 fall show of Clear Springs. Opening night was Thursday night, and the audience’s overwhelming response to the play was a clear indicator of the success of the cast and crew of the show. “I was so surprised by the audience’s reaction when they came to their feet,” Mrs. Rozanne Curtis, director of the show, said after Thursday night’s performance.

One of those audience members was assistant principal, Mr. Troy Scott, who was very much pleased with the outcome of the show. “You could tell the kids worked hard, nice set, great acting,” Scott said. He was also not surprised by the caliber of the students’ performances and mature subject matter of the show. “The fall shows tend to be more serious,” he said.

Never shying away from the messages of the show, Curtis was excited to put on a production that, even though the subject matter is mature (involves a trial of domestic assault, shows racism in the ‘30s and the prejudicial societies during that time), its “subject matter is completely timely due to the climate in our country,” Curtis said.

The students’ ability to successfully act out a classic play and bring attention to problems many face in our world is a feat that the members of the production feel very proud of. “The kids really embraced it [Mockingbird], so maybe we’re in the right climate to finally make a change,” Curtis said.

Dane Wyble, the show’s lead, proves he is a Jack-of-all-trades by stepping out of his comedy comfort zone and portraying Atticus Finch, an intelligent and reserved father whom also serves as Tom Robinson’s attorney. His maturity and growth as an actor very present from those who are familiar with his other work in the Theatre Department. Dane, excited about the shows this weekend, said he had every intention of playing Atticus Finch since he knew that the fall show would be Mockingbird.  “I want that part. I want Atticus Finch,” Dane said backstage before going back on.

Curtis has kept the cast on a tight leash, working long hours during the dreaded, yet exciting, “Tech Week.” It takes a director with a keen eye to be able to recognize where an already incredible show needs work, and Curtis has not stopped improving the cast’s performances yet. Even the ensemble members do their best to never break character, perfecting the ability to never break the “fourth wall.”

Hard work and effort into the production doesn’t stop with the performers though, the technical theatre department has been putting in the hours as well. Mr. Ethan Crapser, the new Tech Theatre teacher, said he gives most of the credit to the students, “I like to have the students do as much as possible; with theatre, you can’t work alone anyways.” Under the help and guidance of Crapser, the scene designer, lighting designer and even costuming assistant are all students at our high school.

Another important part of putting on the play was the stage manager, Emma Yehle (11). Although a lot of work comes with stage managing (light and sound cues, helping run rehearsals, managing casts’ schedules), Emma was just as excited to have a show that will leave an impact on people. “The show is very relevant to today because things like this are still going on,” Yehle said, commenting on the prejudice and racism prevalent in our world. “I think it’s important we do this on a high school level.”

With all the behind the scenes work, rehearsals and a successful opening night out of the way, tickets are sure to go fast! The tickets will cost $5 for students and $8 for adults. There will be shows Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 2:30. This is a great chance for students to not only watch an entertaining play, but to think “big picture” on problems our world, and country, faces.