Driftwood Players to stage diverse ‘Mockingbird’

Director: “I hope it makes us examine everything we know or think we know about compassion.”
By Brian Soergel | Feb 02, 2018
Courtesy of: Driftwood Players Helen and Tom Robinson are played by Lillian Afful-Straton and Ronnie Hill in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The producer of the Edmonds Driftwood Players’ upcoming production hopes it will spark conversation, understanding and compassion.

It certainly has in the past, as Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” has been a favorite book and movie for many years.

“A noteworthy fact is that this is the first time in 59 years that Driftwood Players has produced this type of play,” Anabel Hovig said.

“A play that examines racial inequity and injustice. We have a very diverse cast and crew, and we are looking forward to this fresh look at innocence lost and redemption found for a Southern town torn apart by racism.”

The play is based on the long-running dramatization by Christopher Sergel and is directed by Elizabeth Herbert.

“It manages to capture all the important parts of the book without making you feel like you are missing out on the other details it provides,” Hovig said.

“The fact that it is condensed makes the story more intense. It goes straight to the heart of the conflict: A black man (Tom Robinson) pleads his innocence on allegations of raping a white woman in 1935 Alabama – a recipe for tragedy and disaster for any black man in the South.”

Director Herbert said she wants to make clear that “To Kill a Mockingbird” is not just about a heroic white man who goes against the grain of his community to defend Robinson, but instead how an entire town was complicit in the injustice of his trial.

“There is no outrage,” Herbert said. “A community of so-called ‘good people’ convicted him before he went to trial because of the color of his skin. It is my hope that this play provokes all kinds of emotions. I hope it makes us examine everything we know or think we know about compassion.”

Hovig said the story has many poignant moments, including watching how young Scout grapples with her community's complicit behavior.

“It is very difficult to watch this play and say times have changed,” Hovig said. “After the Civil Rights movement, there were some concrete policy changes with regards to change. But unfortunately, racism is alive and well.

“We don't need to look at Charlottesville. Right here in our quiet village by the sea two contractors found a noose hanging in their work site. This is a very important play at a very important time.”

The cast includes Jalyn Green as Atticus Finch; Hanna Destiny Lynn as Jean Louise, the adult Scout; Ronnie Hill as Tom Robinson; Alicia Jones as Calpurnia; Nava Rutherfield as Scout; Teddy Shipley as Jem; and Hersh Powers as Dill.

Also in the play are John Ruoff, Phil Hodges, Adelaide St. John, Gabriel Bryan, Fiona Bryan, Tim Platt, Lillian Afful-Straton, David Selvig, Nicola Amos, Elliot Sherin, Scott Mullet, Janice Hastings, Brian Burroughs, Raymond Miller, Laura Crouch, James Burrows and Dustin Trabert.

Julie Bryan is the stage manager.

"To Kill a Mockingbird"
Where: Wade James Theater, 950 Main St., Edmonds
When: Feb. 9-25, 2018. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; Saturday matinee 2 p.m. Feb. 24. ASL-interpreted performance 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17.
Tickets: $28, $25 senior, juniors, military. Group rates are available for 10 or more tickets purchased in a single transaction. School discount code is available for teachers and students.
Information: www.edmondsdriftwoodplayers.org, 425-774-9600, option 1
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