“It’s a sin to kill a mockingbird,” uttered Jeff Daniels portraying the iconic To Kill A Mockingbird character Atticus Finch during an abridged version of the adapted play for a performance of the packed Library of Congress theater. Atholton’s theater department, along with a half dozen other schools from the MD/VA region, were invited to watch the performance.
He was joined by a third of the full cast for the show, including Celia Keenan-Bolger (Scout) and Will Pullen (Jem) as they acted out 45 minutes of the production and occasionally glanced at binders with the scripts for the shortened version of the play. The cast was introduced by current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
“There’s something that the arts can teach us that’s very hard to convey [in] other ways,” said Pelosi. “We learn about something that’s so important: decency. In our country, there now is a craving for decency, and this play is about that, and it’s about everything Aaron Sorkin has done.”
Other speakers there included current Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and Executive Director of the Educational Theatre Association Julie Cohen Theobald. Theobald also announced that the cast was giving a $10,000 theater scholarship to Nebraska high schooler Brennan Evans.
Ms. Stackhouse, who went on the trip as a chaperone and fan, was ecstatic about every single second of the event, proclaiming that the acting was what blew her “sky-high expectations” out of the water, elaborating that she thought that while it was weird to have adults playing children characters, it “was a great choice and really worked with the narrative.”
The Atholton students went wild for the play and the speakers before it, with people being unable to resist pointing out that Pelosi was sitting just a few rows in front of them. The cast had a show to perform in New York that night, but still gave it their all in their performance, and the play was a smash hit with the half dozen schools of theater students in attendance. On top of all that… what’s not to love about free t-shirts?