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Cole Greenberg


Live play review

How to Kill a Mockingbird performed by The National Players at The Olney Theater was an excellent
show of amazing acting, and exemplary directing. The two hour long play keep the audience on the edges of their
seats as they watched ten actors preform 17 distinct and interesting roles. Outstanding performances by Hannah
McKechnie (scout), Adam Turck (bob Ewell/ Dill), and Jacob Mundell (Atticus) left me with a fulfilled sense of
reality after the play ended. Despite the fact that the actor playing scout (a young tomboy) was a full grown woman I
found myself believing that she was actually a curious tomboy. Adam Turck playing both a large angry and drunken
man, and a sweet innocent child was able to make an astonishing transition between the two characters by only
putting on a jacket but at the same time creating two very distinct and solid characters. Finally Jacob Mundell
playing Atticus the father of Scout and Jem Finch was actually missing his left hand but at the same time by
intermission the audience had forgotten about the physical disability and instead had begun to focus on the elaborate
character that Jacob had created. All of the actors did a splendid job of implementing the classic theme of To Kill a
Mockingbird into this production. The theme being the heart breaking loss of innocence of the children in the small
southern town due to the tragic outcome of the court case.
The directing of Shirley Serotsky and the simplistic set design of John Traub allowed the actors to create
five different scenes with 5 small set pieces in a relatively short amount of time. The use of 3 railings, two crisp
white columns and a couple of chairs created both a court room and an outdoor view of three houses. An interesting
choice of the director in my opinion was to have the actors sing songs while moving the sets as there was no stage
crew. All of the actors spoke loudly and clearly enough for the audience to understand them. The fast working crew
of ten actors set up the scenes in little to no time and at the same time sung pleasing melodies to the audience.
Another interesting choice of the director was to have all ten actors on the stage at all times. When actors were not
preforming they were sitting in the back of the stage in chairs reacting to the current scene in character. Before the
play the actors came out in costume to talk with audience members and stand around on the stage in character.
Personally I love when theatre companies have their actors come talk with the audience and make jokes. I enjoy

seeing the actors have as much a good time as Im having. My only negative comment about the set is how the two
large columns would often upstage an actor which was annoying but otherwise the set design and directing were
The light and costume design of the play were both simple and elegant. The costumes correctly portrayed
the time period and were easily altered when changing characters. Actors were able to portray different characters
by just changing one or two articles of clothing. When changing sets the lights dimmed just enough for the actors to
find their way around the stage and for the audience to see the simple transitions between sets. Also it would have
been a moot point to make such a simple set and not have your actors able to move due to lack of correct lighting.
Although there isnt much fighting in the play, the excellent fight choreography left the audience speechless after the
death of Bob Ewell and his assault on the children of Atticus. The choreographer Casey Kaleba did a great job of
creating both a realistic and frightening fight scene. Every aspect of this play was excellent and awe inspiring and I
truly recommend all readers to go watch this amazing portrayal of To Kill a Mockingbird.