To Kill a Mockingbird hits the stage in a unique way

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“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a literary icon that most have had the pleasure to read. Soon, Theatre Calgary is bringing the words of Harper Lee to life from the stage on Oct. 11 to Nov. 6.

Miranda Brown, Mount Royal University student, remembers the 1960s novel in her high school class.

“It is a real inspiring story and I am excited to see how they adapt the book for theatre,” she said.

Dennis Garnhum, artistic director for Theatre Calgary, has done two past productions of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and has been waiting for his third.

“When I first did it, it had such a strong resonance with the audience that I have been literally waiting for my time to do it again,” he said.

Garnhum’s production takes a traditional approach by stay true to the novel.

“I want it to be the story people will expect. The trial scene is very theatrical and perfect for the stage.”

Nicole Chalupa, 24, was skeptical about how this production will relate to younger audiences.

“I read To Kill a Mockingbird as a teenager, as I am sure many did,” she said. “I am really curious to see how this book will be adapted for a younger audience.”

Garnhum believes that, like “To Kill a Mockingbird”, theatre is all about perspective. As he says through the wwords of character Atticus Finch, “you never really understand somebody until you consider things from their point of view.”

And so, in this production, 30 people will be allowed to view the play from seats directly on the stage to give them a unique perspective.

“One of the things we wanted to do is have the audience be a witness to the play, not just sit outside it,” said Garnum. “By letting the audience see it from a different angle, it really brings that play to life.

“We can surprise people by letting them see something they know so well come to life in a way they have never seen before.”

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