Students immersed in theater for ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’
schedule of three weeks of rehearsals before the play opens and work the same kind of regular hours as the A bunch of local actors professionals do.” and creative theater minds While trying to figure out get together to put on a prothe message and perfect their duction of “To Kill a Mockvision, students take part in ingbird” for a one-night-only candid meetings. In the case summer showing. of “To Kill a Mockingbird,”
Sounds like a pretty simstudents discussed race relaple plan, right? Put together tions and how things have a set. Learn some lines. It is and haven’t changed since summer, after all, time to 1930 in Alabama where the relax a bit. book is set.
You obvi ously have n’t “We try to choose a play heard about the Maltz Jupithat will challenge us and help ter Theatre’s Youth Artist’s us grow. ‘To Kill a MockingChair. bird’ is certainly that oppor
T h i s p r o g r a m, wh i c h tunity,” Rowe said. “It allows began at the theater in 2011, the students to share insights immerses students from as in what they see in their comyoung as fifth grade all the munity, what the story means way up to their late 20s in the to them and how the story production of a well-known can make the world a better work. Performances have place. It was a very frank disincluded “The Diary of Anne cussion about race relations — Frank,” “Rhinoceros,” “The and what we see in our comGlass Menagerie,” “The Crumunity and how we can be cible” and “Hamlet,” among an agent of change.” others. One of the student roles is
It begins with an interthat of dramaturge, filled by view and selection process, 16-year-old Brielle Cohen, who which led to 35 filled roles put together a casebook filled (both onstage and behind with historical references the scenes) . Each role — and to help with those converthis includes everything from sations and add a little peracting to directing to costume spective when planning the design and props — is paired performance. with a mentor from the JupiIn order to make sure that ter Theatre professional staff. not only the message is right,
The summer is spent prebut the delivery is correct and paring for the performance, gets their point across, the which is set to take place students recently traveled to Aug. 11. “Preparing” is the a local courtroom to witness key word. court activities. This kind of
“We spend the month of research is important when June in weekly creative meetit comes to things such as ings, going over the process, the pivotal courtroom scene talking about the play, brainin the book and production, storming the message we want Rowe said. to convey and the visions we One of the people working have for the story,” said Julie with them on the play is a diaRowe, Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s lect expert, who is helping a director of education, who is bunch of Palm Beach County overseeing the program. “We teenagers perfect the 1930s have guest speakers come in Alabama accent. and talk to them. Then, in “Theater is a team sport July, we begin rehearsals. We that takes so many people to operate on the professional make the story come to life,” Rowe said. “This program helps the student understand the real team effort it takes to make this story happen. It’s not just about the person down front in the light. There are so many people involved.”
Cast members Alexander Goodwin-Elam (standing, from left), Luca Riley and Melanie McDonald (foreground), and Assistant Stage Manager Mitchell Hockenson (seated, from left), Assistant Stage Manager Maya Arias, Stage Manager Gabriella Smith, Assistant...
Melanie McDonald, 12, plays Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Students at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre have been taking part in a free summer mentorship program to produce the drama onstage.