Stage preview: Prime Stage season opens with 'To Kill a Mockingbird'
November 3, 2016 12:00 AM
Grace Vensel portrays Scout and Brian Ceponis is Atticus Finch in the Prime Stage Theatre production of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
By Sharon Eberson / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
When we think of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” we think of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee and stirring 1962 movie starring Gregory Peck. It's been adapted as a play, too, which makes it the perfect opener for Prime Stage Theatre's 20th season of breathing life into literary works.
Starring as stalwart lawyer Atticus Finch is Pittsburgh native and Central Catholic graduate Brian Ceponis, whose television credits include “Breaking Point” and “NCIS,” and who had a role in the big-screen “Flags of Our Fathers.” Directing the stage adaptation by Christopher Sergel is Scott P. Calhoon.
The season opens Friday and continues the celebration of its 20th year on Nov. 12, when Oscar-nominated actress Mary Badham will take part in the private reception “An Evening With Scout,” which begins at 5:30 p.m. at the New Hazlett Theater before the evening's performance.
'To Kill a Mockingbird’
Where: Prime Stage Theatre at New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square E., North Side.
When: Friday through Nov. 13. 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays.
Tickets: $10-$25; Nov. 12 reception “An Evening With Scout" $50, including performance. www.primestage.com.
Ms. Badham, who played Atticus Finch's daughter, Scout, in the movie, will share her experiences making the film and her friendship with author Harper Lee and take audience questions. She also will spotlight Prime Stage's commitment to fostering literacy in Western Pennsylvania and its participation in the 2016 Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” tells the story of the Finch family and single father Atticus' role championing justice in the face of racial prejudice in 1930s Alabama. The film version won three Oscars and and is included on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 Greatest American Films of All Time; the book is high on most list of the top novels of all time.
“We are thrilled to present this timeless story and important literary work as part of our 20th anniversary season,” said Prime Stage co-founder Wayne Brinda. “Its themes and messages are as relevant today as they were half a century ago.”
Prime Stage's season continues with George Orwell's “1984” and the first Pittsburgh stage production of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” based on the best-seller and movie by Upper St. Clair native Stephen Chbosky.
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