• 70°

‘Teachable moments’ part of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

SALISBURY — Stuart Jonap has always wanted to play the role of literary hero Atticus Finch. He’ll get his wish next week when “To Kill a Mockingbird” opens at the Meroney Theater.
“Just know I’m not Gregory Peck,” Jonap said. “This is my own interpretation of Atticus Finch.”
Jonap said it’s an honor to play the well-known attorney in the Piedmont Players Theatre production.
“He’s genuinely a nice man, but he’s very pragmatic,” he said. “I’m always thinking about how much passion to show because he’s got passion, but it’s not always written that way, he says things very matter-of-fact-like. That makes Atticus much more fun to play.”
The play is set in Maycomb, Ala. in 1935, as Finch defends Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman named Mayella. Defending Robinson makes the attorney and his family unpopular in town.
During the trial, Finch teaches his children, Scout and Jem, about prejudice.
An eighth-grade English teacher at North Stanly Middle School, Natasha Tyson Wall, said “To Kill a Mockingbird” provides a good lesson in social justice.
“There are a lot of teachable moments,” she said. “Atticus Finch is standing up for a man he knows is innocent because he knows it’s the right thing to do.”
Wall is playing the family housekeeper, Calpurnia, for the second time in five years. Her first performance was in Albermarle.
“This role was very close to me when I played it in 2008,” she said. “I really wanted to see what it was like with a new director and a new set.”
Piedmont Players Director Reid Leonard said although the racial tensions present when the book was written in 1960 aren’t an issue now, the story continues to be relevant.
“Man’s inhumanity to man is still an issue,” he said.
Leonard said at times the play has been painful to direct.
“I remember segregated restaurants, I remember segregated classrooms,” he said. “A lot of this is my history, which is one of the reasons why through the years I haven’t wanted to do the show. It really is hard to do, but at the same time it’s such a spectacular story.
“How do you know what’s right and wrong when you’re in the middle of it?”
Leonard said the play provides the opportunity to cast people from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
The play is written by Christopher Sergel, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Harper Lee.

Comments

Comments closed.

BREAKING NEWS

One killed, two others shot on South Jackson Street in Salisbury

Crime

State examining Davidson County emergency alert received in Rowan, other counties

Local

Cleveland Rodeo packs house for 10th year

News

Salisbury’s Jacques Belliveau talks mental health, filming during premiere of ‘Reggie: A Millennial Depression Comedy’

News

Sen. Ford backs new set of election-related bills

Business

Downtown Salisbury bullish on potential for more residential space

Business

Biz Roundup: Wine about Winter set for June 18

Business

Local artists draw in adventurous travelers with eclectic Airbnb rental downtown

Education

Commissioners discussing reviving joint capital project committee with school board

Business

Beech-Nut Stage One cereal recalled

Lifestyle

‘All Critters Big and Small’ program coming to library

Kannapolis

Area Sports Briefs: Former A.L. Brown standout Cambrea Sturgis wins two sprint events

Education

RSS administration to recommend return to five-day school week

College

Baseball notebook: Wingate wins national championship; high schools set sights on playoffs

Local

Gene Seaford gets fifth career ace at age 90

Education

Livingstone seeking nominees for inaugural ‘Forty Under 40’ Society

Business

‘Stopping that cycle’: Edman named director of Prevent Child Abuse Rowan

Nation/World

Biden urges G-7 leaders to call out and compete with China

Nation/World

Rash of mass shootings stirs US fears heading into summer

Landis

Landis town staff, Duke Energy work through the night to fix major power outage

College

College baseball: Top-seeded Arkansas routs NC State 21-2

Crime

Teacher accused of assaulting at-risk teen at New London military-style school

Education

NC court: Students can use constitution to fight bullying

Coronavirus

Vaccine surplus grows as expiration dates loom