FLINT YOUTH THEATRE’S PRODUCTION OF “TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD”: HARPER LEE’S PULITZER-PRIZE WINNING CLASSIC RESONATES TODAY

FLINT – Flint Youth Theatre’s production of To Kill a Mockingbird is Scout Finch’s
coming-of-age story during a turbulent time in American history. This is the fourth production in the 2010-2011 Signature Series with the season theme of RITES OF PASSAGE: Life Lessons and Stories About Coming of Age and runs April 8 through 23.
To Kill a Mockingbird is based on the novel by Harper Lee and adapted by Christopher Sergel. This production is directed by FYT Executive Artistic Director, William P. Ward, choreographed by FYT Associate Artist, Margaret A. Mead-Finizio and co-designed by Ward and Artistic Director Designate, Jeremy Winchester.

To Kill a Mockingbird performances are Friday, April 8, 15 and 22 and Saturday, April 9, 16 and 23 at 7:30 P.M. with matinees on Saturday, April 16 and 23 at 2:30 P.M. Performances are at Flint Youth Theatre, 1220 East Kearsley Street, on the campus of the Flint Cultural Center. Advance tickets are $12 for children, $14 for teens and seniors citizens and $16 for adults and are available at Flint Youth Theatre, by calling 810.237.1530 or online at flintyouththeatre.org. Day of performance tickets are $14 for children, $16 for teens and seniors citizens and $18 for adults. To Kill a Mockingbird is recommended for ages 10 and up.

A conversation with the creative team will follow the performance on Saturday, April 9 and Friday, April 15 at 7:30 P.M. and Saturday, April 23 at 2:30 P.M.

Set in Alabama in 1935, To Kill a Mockingbird traces Scout’s coming-of-age experiences during a turbulent time in our country’s history. Her father, Atticus, is defending Tom Robinson, a black man on trial for an unspeakable crime. As the trial progresses, Scout witnesses her community in a tense tug-of-war between justice and racism and begins to realize she must form her own conclusions about right and wrong. Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee, this American classic compels audiences to take an honest look at America’s past and people’s moral responsibility to one another today.

To Kill a Mockingbird director, FYT Executive Artistic Director, William P. Ward, reflected on the inspiration for this production, “In this particular slot in the season we originally had scheduled a production of Our Town but when the horrific shootings in Tucson, Arizona occurred in early January, I realized that situation to be one of those pivotal events in our country to which FYT has responded, many times, through the creation of a theatrical production. I knew what happened in Tucson was calling to us to speak out. And then somehow, out of nowhere, the idea of To Kill a Mockingbird popped into my head. This is a play we have wanted to produce for years and when I re-read the script with Tucson in mind, I was bowled over by the nuanced way in which the story responds to what happened in January but also how, at its core, lies a classic coming-of-age story.”

Behind-the-scenes videos for To Kill a Mockingbird are available at flintyouththeatre.org. The videos offer exclusive rehearsal footage and an interview with the director.

Members of the To Kill a Mockingbird production company include FYT Associate Artistic Director, Walter Hill as Atticus Finch, FYT Resident Artists, Andrea M. Anthony, Deirdre S. Baker, Jordan Robert Climie, Rodney Creech and Jean McDaniel, FYT Junior Resident Artist Bary Lehr, FYT Guest Artists, Erv Delsman, Bea Enders, Karla Marie Froehlich, Brian Haggard, Algie Jenkins, Maggie E. Kinney, Gene Oliver, Charlene Pierson, Marwan A. Prince, Tony Snyder and Matt Story, FYT Apprentice, Haleigh Kent-Bryant and 14 elementary, middle and high school students from Flint and Genesee County.

On February 22, To Kill a Mockingbird open auditions and technical interviews were held for area students in grades 5 through 12 from Flint and Genesee County. 14 were selected to be a part of the To Kill a Mockingbird student company. The selected students are a part of a cast and crew totaling 36 artists.

To Kill a Mockingbird is sponsored by Citizens Bank and the View Newspapers. Flint Youth Theatre’s 2010-2011 Signature Series, RITES OF PASSAGE: Life Lessons and Stories About Coming of Age, is generously supported by the Ruth Mott Foundation.

On Monday, April 18 at 5:30 P.M. FYT will host From Page to Stage, a special fundraising event showcasing how a theatrical production goes from printed words in a script to a living, breathing three-dimensional work of art. The evening includes a presentation by members of FYT’s creative team, dinner on the FYT stage catered by Fandangles’ and a private performance of To Kill a Mockingbird. The cost is $75 per person with reservations required by Monday, April 11. More information is available by contacting Flint Institute of Music Development at 810-238-1350 extension 147 or online at flintyouththeatre.org.

To Kill a Mockingbird replaces Our Town in FYT’s 2010-2011 Signature Series. Our Town will be a part of FYT’s 2011-2012 season.

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