“To Kill A Mockingbird” Comes to Life
February 13, 2023
In the 2021-2022 school year, Ms. Martin’s 9th English honors class read a very intense yet interesting book, To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. This year, those same students, who are now 10th graders, had the amazing opportunity to visit the Buell Theatre (Denver Center for Performing Arts) to watch the play adaptation of this book.
Seeing this play was a very meaningful field trip for this group of students because of the experience they had last year studying the book. Ms. Martin shared, “Teaching that novel to that group of students was the highlight of my career, and I would not trade that time or experience for anything.”
She commended the dedication and brilliance of her students, stating, “Their commitment to the novel, investigation of the world of Maycomb, deep empathy for the characters and the many intersections that compromised who they were was inspiring and invigorating, as both a reader and an educator. They enabled me to see the book in ways I never had before.”
She continued, “Being given the opportunity to revisit that journey with them in seeing the play was such a gift.”
Here is what some of the people who attended the play had to say!
“I found the field trip to be a great experience overall. It made our experience studying the book from last year come to life. The actors were really invested into their roles as I was initially shocked by the usage of racial slurs by the white actors. However, considering how they went for accuracy, the actors went all out and made their scenes dramatic, emphasizing theatrical elements. I felt swayed by the emotional themes of the story, especially concerning attitudes towards racial injustice and black struggle as in the case of Tom Robinson. Another key aspect I appreciated was that the play rearranged scenes from the book to make it more exciting. I love how this play ensured to encapsulate the tensions of realistic events in this way. “
“I thought that the play was a worthwhile experience. I really enjoyed reading the book and wanted to see a movie or something like that. I’m glad that a play was made in the creator’s style symbolizing what he thought the story should have been while keeping the same flow of energy as the book. I really liked the play because I got to see what the creator thought the book was like and I got to see the actors putting their heart and soul into their performance.”
“To Kill A Mockingbird is a book that looks at the consequences as well as roots of racism that was evident during the time in which the book takes place in. It had vivid details that made you feel the emotions of the characters. Our experience at the arts and performance center did not disappoint when it came to transitioning from the book to the play. The performers were very talented and they played the characters exactly how Imagined them to be.”
“I found the play to be powerful and thought-provoking. I was squirming in my seat during most of the performance, uncomfortable with the dialogue. Yet as much as I wanted to dismiss the narrative, I realized even more how much of a reality that was and still is for many people of color, and uncomfortable or not, it was/is the truth. Lastly, the show offers a different perspective to that which is depicted in the novel, so it was interesting to see how the actors portrayed each character.”