By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
Perhaps the best place to start, as Jean Louise Finch says, is what happens next.
And what happens in Maycomb, Ala., is now a classic story: A white lawyer must defend a wrongly accused black man in the Depression-era South. Next weekend, Tupelo Community Theatre brings Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird” to life at The Lyric.
“It’s such a wonderful story, so there’s some pressure to get it right for everyone who knows it and loves it,” said director Suzye Sheffield.
For John Young, who plays the wrongly accused Tom Robinson, “To Kill A Mockingbird” is an emotional, true-to-life work of fiction.
“I’m actually drawing on family. My family’s from the South, so I grew up hearing stories like this,” he said. “It’s very emotional.”
That isn’t to say there isn’t some humor to be found.
Mary Conlee Wilson stars as the tomboy Scout, whose father, Atticus, is defending Tom, and she’s having fun in the role.
“(Scout) is like a tomboy. She’s not very girly-girl,” said Wilson, 10. “My favorite scene has to be where I wear the ham costume. When I did it earlier I got stuck in it and couldn’t get out.”
Also having fun is Josh Sullivan, who stars as the mean-spirited Bob Ewell. “Mockingbird” is Sullivan’s first play.
“I wanted to (play) someone who is different than me,” he said. “I guess I’m lucky: I don’t get nervous.”
From her veteran actors to first-timers, Sheffield is confident in her cast and in their production.
“We have a fantastic cast,” she said. “This is such an important work, and that’s the appeal. There’s some pressure, but it’s also a lot of fun.”