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To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird
Peoria Players Theeatre
March 11 - 13 & 17 - 20



Pictured left: Samantha Ryan as Scout
and Charles Brown as Atticus Finch 



Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, passed away last month leaving many to ask the question, “What is Ms. Lee’s legacy?”

Over the course of the past year, Nelle Harper Lee had been in the news with her publisher releasing the highly contentious novel, Go Set a Watchman. But she will forever be remembered as the author of one of the most beloved American novels and her creation of literary hero, Atticus Finch.

Her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel has been in print for over 50 years and is required reading in high schools around the world. Director Laura Garfinkel has been in rehearsal with her actors since January 26th.  She says: “The version we are performing was adapted by Christopher Sergel, and focuses mainly on the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of attacking a white woman, who is defended by Atticus Finch. The play is narrated by Jean Louise Finch, a grown up Scout. She narrates the play and provides commentary on the action.”

When his daughter Scout asks Atticus if they will win the case, he tells her no, but that it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t defend Tom Robinson. Atticus tells Scout: “Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

Laura Garfinkel continues: “This message remains almost dishearteningly relevant to the present day, where a spotlight has been shone on racial injustice, and the Black Lives Matter movement has arisen to shed light on pervasive racial inequality which persists in our country. However, the fact that To Kill a Mockingbird remains as much of a standard bearer in 2016 as it was in 1960, is a testament to Ms. Lee’s powerful writing and message of perseverance against all odds. “

Cast members include Charles Brown as Atticus, DeMario Peyton as Tom Robinson, Amy Sanders as Jean Louise and Samantha Ryan as Scout. “Our cast is working very hard to bring To Kill a Mockingbird to life on stage,” says Laura Garfinkel. “There is such a wealth of talent in the Central Illinois area and I am so lucky to be working with such an amazing cast.”

In an effort to bring in students to attend the play, Peoria Players has reached out to 8th grade and high school students in Central Illinois. “We hope to see a lot of students at the performances since To Kill a Mockingbird is still required reading for many schools in our area,” says the director.

Performances are March 11-12 and 17-19 at 7:30 p.m. There are two matinees at 2 p.m. on March 13 and 20. There will also be post-performance discussions on March 13 and 17. The audience is invited to remain after the show for the discussions.  For reservations call the box office at 309-688-4473 or visit

Posted on February 29, 2016