At 50, ‘Mockingbird’ soars on stage in Nevada City
It’s been 50 years since Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” was first published.
Marking this milestone, LeGacy Productions is presenting this classic on stage beginning Oct. 8 at the historic Nevada Theatre in downtown Nevada City.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” explores racism and civil rights in the segregated southern United States of the 1930s. The story is told by Scout Finch, whose lawyer father, Atticus Finch, strives to prove the innocence of a black man unjustly accused of rape, and about Boo Radley, a mysterious neighbor who saves Scout and her brother Jem from death.
Gregory Peck played the role of Atticus Finch in the 1962 film version, winning an Academy Award.
LeGacy Productions has cast the show with “very talented people” said director Tim O’ Connor, who directed shows for the now-defunct Foothill Theatre Company, also in Nevada City.
This is the first time he is directing “To Kill A Mockingbird.”
O’Connor has acted in television and film, including a role in the popular 1960s soap opera, “Peyton Place.”
“It was a play of the book, which was one of those ‘under the mattress books,'” said O’Connor. “It was a big success. It only stopped because costs of things began to get higher and higher … It only ran for three years. It could have run for a lot longer.”
O’Connor studied acting at the Goodman Memorial Theatre in Chicago on scholarship. The theater is part of the Art Institute of Chicago.
“I began work early in radio,” he said. Later, O’Connor had a lead role in the play “The Corn is Green,” which helped catapult his career.
“It turned me around and got me a job in this very, very good stock company in Chicago when I came out of drama school,” he said.
LeGacy’s Sue LeGate, who recently finished a run of “Summer of Love” at Off Broadsteet in Nevada City, asked O’ Connor to direct “Mockingbird.”
“She is a great talent,” said O’ Connor.
And a pleasure to work with, he added. Everyone is looking forward to the production. “It’s definitely going to be a good show,” O’Connor said.
To contact Prospector Editor Carol Guild, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4219.
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