As classic books go, "To Kill a Mockingbird" has long been an American favorite. The story, which deals with tolerance, racism and poverty, is all the more poignant because it unfolds through the innocent eyes of a child.
The Indiana Repertory Theatre is currently producing the play on its main stage. The set, designed by Robert M. Koharchik, transports the audience to the quiet street where the Finch family lives. The depth of the set, complete with peeling paint on the walls and a red dirt road, transforms the theatre so completely that it's easy to forget you aren't actually down south.
Lynne Perkins plays Miss Maudie and acts as the narrator for the show. Her constant asides to the audience keep scenes flowing with minimal explanation. Mark Goetzinger's Atticus Finch is patient, but stern. His portrayal of the iconic figure is wonderful in its simplicity. Atticus Finch is one of the most revered literary figures, but Goetzinger captures his humble nature and sterling morality.
Though much of the book must be abridged to fit the play's format, the courtroom scene is produced almost verbatim. It's even more enthralling to watch the action unfold, than to read it. The courtroom's cast, including Bob and Mayella Ewell and Tom Robinson, all give heart-wrenching performances. Each actor highlights their characters' loneliness, ignorance, spite or frustration as though they have truly slipped into the skin of that individual.
If "Mockingbird" is any example of the shows in store for audiences this year, IRT is definitely a theater to watch.
For more information about IRT's upcoming season visit irtlive.com.
Don't Miss the Show
Performances: The show runs until Saturday, Feb. 21 on IRT's Mainstage. Times for performances can be found at www.irtlive.com or by calling the IRT box office at (317) 635-5252.
Tickets: To purchase tickets call (317) 635-5252 or order online at www.irtlive.com Prices begin at $39.
The Indiana Repertory Theatre is located at 140 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, one-half block west of the Circle Center Mall between northbound Illinois Street and southbound Capitol Avenue.