New Jersey Stage

Saturday, September 24, 2011

MARY BADHAM, GREGORY PECK'S CO-STAR IN TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD TO SPEAK AT THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE OF NEW JERSEY

(MADISON, NJ) -- Academy Award-nominated actress Mary Badham who played Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the most poignant films in cinematic history, will appear at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey on Monday, November 7 and Tuesday, November 8 at 7:30 p.m.  In Looking Back with Scout: A Conversation with Mary Badham, the actress will recall her memories on the set of the 1962 blockbuster film and discuss the book's themes of tolerance, justice, and compassion.  Each evening will feature an extensive question-and-answer session with the audience.  Looking Back with Scout: A Conversation with Mary Badham coincides with The Shakespeare Theatre's production of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel, which begins performances on October 12 and runs through November 20.  Tickets to the event are $40 and $50 and can be purchased by calling The Shakespeare Theatre box office at 973-408-5600 or visiting www.ShakespeareNJ.org.   The event will take place at The Shakespeare Theatre's F. M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Ave. in Madison.

Looking Back with Scout: A Conversation with Mary Badham is sponsored, in part, by the Morristown law firm of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter.  "We are honored to support this unique and exciting event at The Shakespeare Theatre," said Edward B. Deutsch, Managing Partner.  "As a diverse law practice with spirit and dynamism and lawyers who place the client first, we can think of no better program to sponsor than one that celebrates the integrity, civility and character of Atticus Finch – one of the most famous lawyers in American literature." 

The 1962 classic film To Kill a Mockingbird is based on Harper Lee's timeless novel which celebrated its 50th anniversary of publication in 2010.  The story takes place during three years of the Great Depression in the fictional county of Maycomb, Alabama and follows the lives of six year-old Scout Finch, her brother Jem, and their father Atticus Finch, a lawyer appointed by the county court to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused a of raping a white woman.  For their roles in the film adaptation directed by Paul Mulligan, Gregory Peck, who played Atticus Finch won an Academy Award for Best Actor and Mary Badham, at the age of ten, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress – at the time, the youngest actress ever to receive that recognition

Over the years following the release of the film, Badham maintained close contact with Gregory Peck and occasionally accompanied him on his one-man-show lecture tours and to award ceremonies.   Besides To Kill A Mockingbird, Badham is also known for her role as Sport Sharewood in The Bewitchin' Pool, the final episode of the original Twilight Zone series. She also appeared in the films  Let's Kill Uncle and This Property Is Condemned with Robert Redford and Natalie Wood before retiring as an actress. In 2005, she was brought out of retirement to appear in the film Our Very Own with Allison Janney, Keith Carradine, and Jason Ritter and directed by Shakespeare Theatre company member Cameron Watson.  Badham is keenly interested in expanding knowledge about the message of social injustice in To Kill A Mockingbird and in ensuring that each generation experiences the film's impact.  Currently, Badham works as an art restorer and a college testing coordinator, and is both a wife and a mother of two.

For tickets to Looking Back with Scout: A Conversation with Mary Badham or for more information, call The Shakespeare Theatre box office at 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org. 

The Shakespeare Theatre's production of To Kill a Mockingbird features an extended six-week run.  The characters of Atticus Finch, Scout, and Boo Radley have become iconic figures in the American consciousness and conscience.  Harper Lee's Pulitzer-prize winning novel is considered one of the most important works of the 20th century, and it is a must for every new generation.  The story's enduring spell stems in part from the juxtaposition of the simple, yet astute innocence of a child's point of view in the face of terrible and terribly complex adult problems and biases.  The fundamental lessons about compassion, integrity, and courage are breath-taking and life-changing.  To Kill A Mockingbird will run from October 12 through November 15.   To Kill a Mockingbird is made possible in part by a generous grant from The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation.

Following To Kill a Mockingbird, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol adapted for the stage by Neil Bartlett.  Bartlett's unique and inventive adaption is ingenious in its approach to this timeless holiday tale, and profoundly captures the true essence of the original novel.  With a cast of nine actors playing more than 50 roles, this production features a new visual landscape which conjures up this delightful, funny, haunted and haunting morality tale that, in the end is always beautifully touching.   A Christmas Carol begins performances on December 1 and continues through January 1.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Main Stage, the 308-seat F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, is conveniently located in Madison at 36 Madison Avenue (Route 124) at Lancaster Road (on the Drew University campus), just minutes from routes 287, 78 and 10. Parking is free.

The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is barrier free with access into the Theatre via a ramp and elevator access to all floors.   Wheelchair seating and transfer seating is available.  Braille and large print programs are available.   Infrared listening devices are available free of charge.  Some performances are audio described.  Contact the theatre for more information.   For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.

The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. One of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, serving 100,000 adults and children annually, it is New Jersey's only professional theatre company dedicated solely to Shakespeare's canon and other world classics. Through its distinguished productions and education programs, the company strives to illuminate the universal and lasting relevance of the classics for contemporary audiences.