Two Shows Open Friday At Chattanooga Theatre Centre

Monday, May 12, 2014

Two shows open Friday at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. Harper Lee's acclaimed To Kill a Mockingbird will open on the MainStage and the Youth Theatre production Sleeping Beauty on the Circle Stage.

To Kill A Mockingbird  will run May 16-June 1.  

Review for To Kill a Mockingbird:

Harper Lee’s beloved novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic, and was adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel. 

Set in Alabama during the Great Depression, the story embodies the life-long lessons learned in childhood – fairness and the courage to stand up for what is right, no matter the cost. 

Miss Annie Award-winner Jim Kennedy returns to the Chattanooga Theatre Centre stage after a 22-year absence to play the role of Atticus Finch. Claire Holtzclaw of Dalton is Atticus’ daughter, the tomboy, Scout, and Charles Nicely is his son, Jem. CTC Miss Annie Award-winner Shelia Wofford plays their housekeeper, Calpurnia.  

Benjamin Timothy King III, a student at CCA, makes his CTC debut as the accused, Tom Robinson. A. J. Holman as the Rev. Sykes leads Robinson’s supporters, which includes the church choir made up of The Women of Worship at Bethel AME Church (Sarah I. Kidd, Cynthia Robinson, Mary Nell Bonam, Brenda McReynolds,  Quinnetta Norman, Jesse McReynolds, and Dyanna White).

Holly Alexander is Mayella Ewell, the accuser; and noted local actor and retired Baylor drama teacher Schaak Van Deusen plays her father, Bob Ewell.  The cast also features Lamar Bankston (Judge Taylor), Paula Berard (Stephanie Crawford), Steve Darmody (Mr. Cunningham),  Phil Elkins (Heck Tate), Cristine Keefe (Maudie Atkinson), Chase Parker (Horace Gilmer), Anne Roza (Mrs. Dubose) J. T. Veys (Dill) and Z. Curtis Plemons (Arthur “Boo” Radley). 

To Kill A Mockinbird is directed by Chuck Tuttle. Carolyn Fleissner is stage manager.

Performances:

Friday, May 16, 8 p.m.  Opening Night Gala begins at 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 17, 8 p.m.   

Thursday, May 22, 7 p.m. Featuring real-time captioning for deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons

Friday, May 23, 8 p.m.  Ghost Light Session after the performance – talk with the director and cast

Saturday, May 24, 8 p.m.     

Sunday, May 25, 2:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 29, 7 p.m.    

Friday, May 30, 8 p.m. Brewer Media Sponsors Girls’ Night Out

Saturday, May 31, 8 p.m.     

Sunday, June 1,  2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $30 opening night, $25 other performances. $12.50 side section seating available for Thursday and Sunday performances. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling the box office 267-8534 Tuesday-Friday between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. or online at TheatreCentre.com.

Interesting factoids:

More the 18 million copies of the novel To Kill A Mockingbird are in print and translated into 40 languages. 

After writing this novel, Harper Lee helped her childhood friend, Truman Capote, write his novel In Cold Blood, but she never wrote another novel.

To Kill A Mockingbird was performed at the CTC in 1992. 

The Youth Theatre of the Chattanooga Theatre Centre present a new take on a long-time favorite, Sleeping Beauty, May 16–25, on the Circle Stage.

Two casts present the fantasy – the Snore cast, directed by Lizzie Chazen – and the Snooze cast, directed by Scott Dunlap, who also penned the script. 

“The elements of the fairy tale are all there, but they’ve been modernized,” Mr. Dunlap explains. “This Beauty is a moody teen, not the hero of the story.” 

“My cast is really enjoying this version,” says Ms. Chazen. “It’s more relatable.”

Mr. Dunlap took inspiration from adventure films of the 1980s like Goonies, where a group of kids go on a journey to accomplish a task.

"It will be familiar to parents, but new to the young audience members,” Mr. Dunlap says. 

Review for Sleeping Beauty:

As in the original telling, the birth of a princess is cause for all the kingdom to celebrate. Everyone is invited to the festivities, but a simple error in the guest list turns everything upside-down. To rescue the unlucky but beautiful princess who slumbers in a spellbound castle, a fearful but handsome prince along with his fantastic and clever group of friends to overcome harrowing obstacles to outwit the very unhappy fairy with a vendetta. Rest assured that in this fairy tale, too, all will arrive at their proper endings to live happily ever after. 

The Snore Cast (directed by Ms. Chazen) includes Benjamin Brown, Savannah Carroll, Drew Champion, Preston Choyce, Ava Culpepper, Violet Decredico, Chloe DeReuter, Loren Floyd, Aubrey Floyd, Kai’ana Ghassabian, Gracie Gilbert, Claire Gilliland, Dylan Grant, Breanna Ingram, Jamie McConnico, Hannah Meller, Maggie Meller, Emma Presley, Hannah Vaughn, Hayley Vaughn, and Rachel Young. Sarah Cox is stage manager; Christopher Brown is assistant stage manager.

The Snooze Cast (directed by Mr. Dunlap) includes Aaron Slack, Caroline Ring, Anna Derthick, Finny Heck, Dylan Grant, Bri Boyd, Sallie Dean, Hailey White Kate Coffelt, Hannah Lowe, Charlie Clevenger, Emma Maynard, Hannah Carter, Rachel Lowe, Nicole Nori, Heidi Adkins, Matheson Wynnemer, Kendall Berry, Ashley Gilbert, and Jessica Wicker.

The production will appeal to all ages but is especially appropriate for grades K through 5. Tickets are $10 for all performances, all ages, and may be purchased in advance by calling the box office Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. at 267-8534 or online at TheatreCentre.com.

Performances:

Friday, May 16, 7:30 p.m.  Opening night reception following the performance

Saturday, May 17, 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 18, 2:30 p.m.

Friday, May 23, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 24, 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 25, 2:30 p.m.

The Chattanooga Theatre Centre is at 400 River St., next to Coolidge Park on the Tennessee River. The Theatre Centre is now celebrating 90 unbroken years of performances. The Youth Theatre is marking its 30th anniversary.


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