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To Kill a Mockingbird Constructed Response 'MOCKINGBIRD' RISES LIKE A PHOENIX "The play is taken from a beloved novel with a known title," says Charles Morin of Salt Lake's Pioneer Theatre There it sits on American Theatre's top-ten list of the Company, a theatre looking forward to producing the season's most popular plays, nestled amidst very work later this spring. "And yet people have never seen contemporary dramatic studies of abortion, sexual it on stage. That's an unbeatable combination at the harassment and talkative hostages; beating out the box office." crooning of men in checked jackets and the autobiographical musings of Broadway's most The piece also still appears on many middle- and high- commercial comic playwright. To the surprise of many, school curricula, making it a big seller for educational To Kill a Mockingbird, Christopher Sergel's groups. In short, Mockingbird allows resident adaptation of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, companies to address issues of diversity and, as it rams is the third most-produced play in America's regional out, to make a little money: "It's a play with literary theatres this season. merit that makes a strong statement," affirms M. Christopher Boyer, director of the A.D. Players' On the surface, the sudden popularity of such a production. "And it sells like hot-cakes." venerable classic appears perplexing. After all, Lee's novel was first published in 1960 and Sergel's faithful, More than 15 million copies of Lee's novel have been workmanlike dramatization had little professional printed, meaning that the work has considerable impact when it first appeared, even though it has been resonance for the millions of people who read it as a a staple of high school and some college seasons for child. And that includes those kids that grew up to be the past 25 years. Produce this play and you must artistic directors. "I have a special place in my heart for compete with the audience's memory of the impressive the play because I read it in eighth grade," says New 1962 Academy Award-winning film. As well as a Stage's Steven David Martin. "And as trite as it may distinguished screenplay by Horton Foote, Robert sound, it really did change the way I looked at things." Mulligan's often-broadcast movie features a much- celebrated performance by Gregory Peck in the central …Many directors say that they feel that the themes and role of Atticus Finch, the white lawyer who defends an characters of the play are still, sadly, very relevant and African American from trumped-up rape charges in the familiar -the Barter's Richard Rose says that "you could small-town Alabama of the 1930s. literally do an environmental production right here and now in Abingdon, Virginia." The recent political debates …Audiences are showing up in huge numbers. From over so-called family values have obviously set many California to Mississippi and Cleveland to Phoenix, theatres thinking about their role as a shaper of theatres have been making a killing at the box office. community morality. And that may well be one of the At the New Stage Theatre in Jackson, Miss., reasons why Harper Lee's ideas are suddenly so Mockingbird was the best-attended production in popular. years, selling out most performances and obliging the theatre to add extra school matinees. The piece …"This is an emotional play, not a political one," grossed some $80,000 during a seven-week run at asserts Towers. "But at the same time, there are ugly Houston's A.D. Players, well exceeding projections and events that take place in the play that should never be selling at over 70 percent of capacity. There was such forgotten." If the current spate of well-attended interest at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Va. that no revivals continues, the theatrical trial of Tom Robinson tickets were available for any performance after in Maycomb, Ala. is destined to be very much opening day in October--to meet the demand, 10 remembered. shows were scheduled during the last week of the five- week run. On average, 150 people per day were turned away. ~~~~~~~~ …So what are the reasons for the play's sudden By Chris Jones popularity? High profile (and lucrative) recent productions at major resident theatres like the Denver Chris Jones reviews midwestern regional theatre for Center Theatre Company and the Actors Theatre of Variety. Louisville have spawned interest elsewhere for this season, but there is more to this piece's popularity than that. To Kill a Mockingbird has recently revived in popularity on the stage. Thoroughly describe two reasons from the reading that explain this phenomenon. Use details from the reading to support your response. Scoring Guide SCORE DESCRIPTION 4 Answer correctly and thoroughly describes two reasons that To Kill a Mockingbird has revived in popularity on the stage and uses many details from the text. 3 Answer correctly and briefly describes two reasons that To Kill a Mockingbird has revived in popularity on the stage and uses a few details from the text. 2 Answer states two reasons, or thoroughly describes one reason that To Kill a Mockingbird has revived in popularity on the stage. Few details are used. 1 Answer alludes to a reason that To Kill a Mockingbird has revived in popularity on the stage. No details are provided. 0 Student’s response is totally incorrect or irrelevant. Blank No student response.
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