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Next at Bergen County Players 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

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Bergen County Players continues its "From Page to Stage" season with Christopher Sergel's adaptation of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning landmark American classic "To Kill a Mockingbird" beginning Saturday, March 22nd and concluding Saturday, April 12th. This timeless tale of innocence and tolerance follows the journey of a young white girl whose father has been appointed to defend a black man framed for a crime he claims he did not commit. Performed at the Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell, the drama provides a poignant look at justice and the human spirit, as told through the eyes of a young girl learning the mysteries and realities of adulthood.

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm ($20)and Sundays at 2:00 pm ($16). Tickets may be purchased online at www.bcplayers.org, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road during regular box office hours. "To Kill a Mockingbird" contains strong racial language.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" is as resonant today as it was when the play was set in the 1930s. As told with brilliant clarity through the memories of Jean Louise Finch, a grown-up Scout, the play is set in a small Alabama town during the Depression. Ten year old Scout and her brother, Jem, are being raised by their widower father, Atticus Finch, a lawyer, and by a strong-minded black housekeeper, Calpurnia. Scout and Jem's summer neighbor and friend, Dill, an imaginative, confident outsider, can see the community from a different perspective. From the start, there's a rumble of thunder just under the calm surface of life here. Atticus explains that he's defending a young Negro wrongfully accused of a grave crime and when Scout asks why, he replies, "Because if I didn't, I couldn't hold my head up."

Harper Lee first approached a publisher in 1957 with a series of short stories, and he recommended that she re-work the manuscript into a novel. The novel was published in 1960. It quickly garnered acclaim, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961, making Lee the first woman to win the award since 1942. The story was turned into a movie in 1962, starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, winning numerous awards of its own. Dramatized for the stage by Christopher Sergel in 1970, the play is continuously produced throughout the country, including an annual production in Lee's hometown of Monroeville,
Alabama. The dramatization retained more of the original novel's prose than the movie.

"Ultimately it's all a matter of courage," states director Bunny Mateosian, "the notion of finding the balance between following what you think is right and seeing the world from someone else's perspective. Scout realizes that Atticus seeks the balance between these two notions and that he expects her, and indeed the entire community, to respect both. This is a powerful message for any time. The key to adulthood is moving from the egotism of childhood to finding the common ground that allows us to live in a society."

To tell the timeless iconic tale, Director Bunny Mateosian has assembled an extraordinary cast of local talent. Dave Arts takes on the iconic role of Atticus Finch, imparting gentle wisdom to his children Scout (Gabby Marinich) and Jem (Christopher Heffernan). Mara Karg narrates her experiences as Jean Louise, warmly remembering Dill(Matthew Marinich) and Calpurnia (Shernetta Harris) while keeping a watchful eye toward the Radley (James Parent) house.

Miss Maudie (Joanne Misha), Miss Stephanie (Karin Wander), Mrs. Dubose (Iris Weinhouse), Heck Tate (Andrew Whitney), Reverend Sykes (Ennis Williams), and Walter Cunnigham (David Luke) populate the town of Maycomb. Bob Ewell (Howard Kerner) has accused Tom Robinson (Phil Hanna) of attacking his daughter Mayella (Rosemary DeFlorio).

Judge Taylor (Kevern Cameron) presides over the trial as Mr. Gilmer (James Lesko) prosecutes Tom while Helen Robinson (Doria E. Hillsman) watches helplessly from the loft in the courtroom along with the Townspeople
(Janica Carpenter, Caitlin Carpenter, Mariana Marinich, Lisa Dahlborg, Marisa Dolkart, Kelly Heffernan, and Teri Noel).

TICKET AND SCHEDULE INFORMATION

* All performances for "To Kill a Mockingbird" take place at The Little Firehouse Theatre at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County Players since 1949. Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm.
* Tickets for "To Kill a Mockingbird" are $20 for all evening performances, $16 for Sunday matinees, and can be purchased online at www.bcplayers.org, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours. Visa, Master Card, and American Express are accepted.
* Those interested in Group Sales of 20 or more tickets can call (201)261-4200, x6.
* As it has for the past few seasons, BCP will continue to offer a Questions & Artists (Q&A) discussion following select performances. The "To Kill a Mockingbird" Q&A will commence immediately following the March 28th, 2014 performance. Admission to the Q&A is included in the price of the ticket.
* Discount tickets for students age 25 and under with proper ID are available for $14 by phone or walk-up only. Student Rush tickets are also available for $5, beginning 30 minutes before curtain. The Student Rush is dependent upon availability, one ticket per student, payable in cash only.
* Parking is free at the Park Avenue municipal lot, across the street, one-half block north of the theater.

Bergen County Players, Inc. is a non-equity, non-profit community theater company dedicated to presenting quality productions for the enrichment of the community.

Further information can be found at www.bcplayers.org.

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