BY SHEENA BARNETT
CORINTH – One of literature’s most beloved tales comes to life at Corinth Theatre-Arts this weekend, kicking off its “Tales from the American South” season.
CT-A will present Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the story of a small-town Southern lawyer, Atticus (Sam McDonald), during the Depression Era who defends a young black man who’s been accused of a crime he didn’t commit.
It’s a story that still needs to be told, said director Cristina Skinner.
“With the (George) Zimmerman trial just ending, this is something we still struggle with,” Skinner said.
Lee Ann Story Sikora, who plays Miss Maudie, agreed.
“So many ideas are still prevalent. Every generation struggles with its own hates and prejudices,” she said. “And the humor still stands. The things that were funny then are funny now.”
In this version of the play, Maudie serves many roles, not just as the matronly neighbor to the Finch family. She’s also the story’s narrator.
“She represents a new attitude, a change that needs to come,” she said.
At the heart of “Mockingbird” is Scout, Atticus’ daughter.
“She’s smart for her age,” said Lorien Gray, 9, who plays Scout. “She’s very curious, and I’m very curious. Sometimes she’s a little bit naughty. I like how she busts up into people’s business.”
Another character who’s a little too curious is Stephanie Crawford, the town gossip, played by Emily Sewell.
She likens her character to the mythical mischief-maker Loki, most recently featured in the “Thor” and “The Avengers” movies.
“She wants what’s best for the town – or so she thinks,” she said. “She represents the prejudices of the town. I’ve associated her with Loki: I want to control everybody.”
It’s with that reference in mind that Sewell said “Mockingbird” is a timeless tale.
“It’s really relevant to the times in society,” she said, “and it throws you for a loop at the end.”
WHAT: Corinth Theatre-Arts presents “To Kill a Mockingbird”
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight-Friday and Aug. 15-17, 2 p.m. Sunday and Aug. 18
WHERE: Crossroads Playhouse, Corinth
COST: $12/adults, $6/students
INFO: (662) 287-2995, corinththeatrearts.com