To Kill a Mockingbird
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Judy Potter

The Willows Theatre in Concord has taken on the subject of courage under fire in its current production. No itís not a war story, but impossible battles are fought. The play To Kill a Mockingbird is based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Harper Lee and itís about people who have the courage to keep fighting even when they know they canít win.

This may sound un-American, but when Tom Robinson (Algin Ford), a black man living in Alabama in 1935, has been accused of raping Mayella Ewell (Ginny Wehrmeister), Atticus Finch (Julian Lopez-Morillas), a lawyer with high moral standards, believes Robinson is falsely accused and defends him. Due to the prejudices of the time, Finch is isolated and threatened because of his convictions. No matter how good his defense, he knows a Southern white jury will never find Robinson innocent.

Yet innocence plays a major role in this drama. Atticusí two children, Scout and Jem and their friend Dill, are the epitome of reason, calm and balance. All three children are convinced of Robinsonís innocence after listening to all the evidence presented in the trial, because their minds havenít been clouded by prejudice. And when a mob threatens Atticus and Robinson at the town jail, Scout speaks to the men and her innocence dissolves the hate bred by their mob mentality.

Not only do the children gain a new respect for Atticus, but also they begin to form their own courage in the face of adversity and exhibit it in many ways during the course of the drama. They are the hope for a prejudice free society where righteous battles can be fought and won.

Even if youíre familiar with the novel, the play, or the film starring Gregory Peck, youíll enjoy bringing the entire family to this fine production directed by Richard Elliott. With a cast of over 20 excellent actors and a dynamite set design, Willowsí production of To Kill a Mockingbird is not to be missed.

For tickets or more information call (925) 798-1300 or visit www.willowstheatre.org.

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