To Kill a Mockingbird (2018 play)
This article is missing information about a plot summary.(May 2021)
|To Kill a Mockingbird|
|Written by||Aaron Sorkin|
|Date premiered||December 13, 2018|
|Place premiered||Shubert Theatre, New York|
To Kill a Mockingbird is a 2018 play based on the 1960 novel of the same name by Harper Lee, adapted for the stage by Aaron Sorkin. It opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre on December 13, 2018. The play opened in London's West End at the Gielgud Theatre in March 2022. The show follows the story of Atticus Finch, a lawyer in 1930s Alabama, as he defends Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of rape. Varying from the book, the play has Atticus as the protagonist, not his daughter Scout, allowing his character to change throughout the show. During development the show was involved in two legal disputes, the first with the Lee estate over the faithfulness of the play to the original book, and the second was due to exclusivity to the rights with productions using the script by Christopher Sergel. During opening week, the production garnered more than $1.5 million in box office sales and reviews by publications such as the New York Times, LA Times and AMNY were positive but not without criticism.
|Atticus Finch||Jeff Daniels||Rafe Spall||Richard Thomas|
|Scout Finch||Celia Keenan-Bolger||Gwyneth Keyworth||Melanie Moore|
|Jem Finch||Will Pullen||Harry Redding||Justin Mark|
|Dill Harris||Gideon Glick||David Moorst||Steven Lee Johnson|
|Bob Ewell||Fred Weller||Patrick O'Kane||Joey Collins|
|Tom Robinson||Gbenga Akinnagbe||Jude Owusu||Yaegel T. Welch|
|Horace Gilmer||Stark Sands||David Sturzaker||Luke Smith|
|Judge John Taylor||Dakin Matthews||Jim Norton||Richard Poe|
|Mayella Ewell||Erin Wilhelmi||Poppy Lee Friar||Arianna Gayle Stucki|
|Link Deas||Neal Huff||Lloyd Hutchinson||Anthony Natale|
|Boo Radley||Danny Wolohan||Harry Attwell||Travis Johns|
|Calpurnia||LaTanya Richardson||Pamela Nomvete||Jacqueline Williams|
- Atticus Finch – Ed Harris, Greg Kinnear
- Scout Finch – Nina Grollman
- Jem Finch – Nick Robinson, Hunter Parrish
- Dill Harris – Taylor Trensch, Noah Robbins
- Bob Ewell – Neal Huff
- Tom Robinson – Kyle Scatliffe, Michael Braugher
- Horace Gilmer – Manoel Felciano
- Judge John Taylor – Gordon Clapp
- Mayella Ewell – Eliza Scanlen
- Link Deas – Russell Harvard
- Boo Radley – Russell Harvard
- Calpurnia – LisaGay Hamilton, Portia
- Ensemble – Yaegel T. Welch
It was announced in February 2016 that Aaron Sorkin would bring the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel to Broadway, in a new production produced by Scott Rudin and directed by Bartlett Sher. The book had previously been adapted for the stage but Rudin specified that this production would be completely unrelated to the prior pieces. On February 15, 2018, it was announced that Jeff Daniels would star in the production as Atticus Finch. Celia Keenan-Bolger and Will Pullen were also announced to play Scout and Jem Finch, respectively. The production began previews at the Shubert Theatre on November 1, 2018, prior to an official opening on December 13, 2018.
On March 12, 2020, the play suspended production due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The play resumed performances on October 5, 2021 at the Shubert Theatre, with the original cast of Jeff Daniels and Celia Keenan-Bolger returning. A new executive producer, Orin Wolf, took over. On January 12, 2022, it was announced the show would play its final performance at the Shubert Theatre on January 16, and reopen at the Belasco Theatre on June 1. Greg Kinnear was set to resume as Atticus Finch when the production reopened. However, Girl From the North Country's run at the Belasco is slated to run through June 11 and a new opening date for Mockingbird has not been announced. On July 29, 2022, it was reported the Broadway production would not reopen after producer Scott Rudin decided that he did not have confidence in the climate for plays the following winter.
West End (2022)
In 2019 it was announced that the production would transfer to London's West End to the Gielgud Theatre opening in May 2020 with Rhys Ifans as Atticus Finch before being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Legal disputes during production
Sorkin and the Harper Lee estate
Rudin against licensed productions
Before Sorkin adapted To Kill a Mockingbird for the theatre, a different adaptation of the novel by playwright Christopher Sergel had been available for license for over 50 years. Claiming worldwide exclusivity for the professional stage rights to any adaptation of Lee's novel, lawyers acting for the company Scott Rudin formed to produce Sorkin's adaptation, Atticus LLC (ALLC), moved to shut down productions of the Sergel adaption staged within 25 miles of any city that ALLC determined to be a major metropolitan center that might eventually host a production of Sorkin's adaptation, even if that company had already paid the rights holders. Dozens of community and non-profit theaters across the US cancelled productions of Sergel's adaptation, as well as a professional tour planned in the UK. After a public outcry, Scott Rudin offered to "ameliorate the hurt caused" by making Sorkin's adaptation available to regional producers.
While some critics criticized the liberties taken by Sorkin, the Los Angeles Times theater critic Charles McNulty however wrote that Sorkin's adaptation "moves as confidently as it speaks even if it doesn't completely add up dramatically." McNulty disputes those who take issue with the changes Sorkin made to the story by stating that Sorkin "created something impeccably fresh." Jesse Green, a theater critic from the New York Times articulated that Sorkin's choice to start with the trial and provide backstory through scenes going back in time was "very effective" for telling the story on stage. Matt Windman argues that "some of Sorkin's choices are questionable" and that the set design was "too distracting to be effective." Windman also articulates that the show "proves to be an engrossing, provocative, and uniformly well-acted adaptation."
The show opened on December 13, 2018, during the week ending on December 23, the production grossed over $1.5 million, breaking the record for box office grosses for a non-musical play in a theater owned by The Shubert Organization. Prior to opening, $22 million were made in advance ticket sales at the box office.
Awards and nominations
|2019||Tony Awards||Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play||Jeff Daniels||Nominated|
|Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play||Gideon Glick||Nominated|
|Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play||Celia Keenan-Bolger||Won|
|Best Original Score||Adam Guettel||Nominated|
|Best Direction of a Play||Bartlett Sher||Nominated|
|Best Scenic Design of a Play||Miriam Buether||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design of a Play||Ann Roth||Nominated|
|Best Lighting Design of a Play||Jennifer Tipton||Nominated|
|Best Sound Design of a Play||Scott Lehrer||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play||Celia Keenan-Bolger||Won|
|Drama League Awards||Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play||Nominated|
|Distinguished Performance Award||Jeff Daniels||Nominated|
|Outer Critics Circle Awards||Outstanding New Broadway Play||Nominated|
|Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play||Celia Keenan-Bolger||Won|
|Outstanding Director of a Play||Bartlett Sher||Nominated|
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- Ed Harris to Succeed Jeff Daniels in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ on Broadway
- Greg Kinnear Sets Broadway Debut In ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’
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