Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Walden's TKAM: The Perfect Play for Imperfect Times

You know I love me some Walden Theater.  So I'm super excited to see their production of the play version of one of my favorite books ever (probably one of yours too).

To Kill a Mockingbird had such an impact on me when I was a 7th grader that for more than a decade whenever a friend or family member was pregnant, I lobbied passionately that they name any boychild "Atticus." When I first met Roommate and we started dating, I found out that he hadn't read TKAM, I freaked out, bought him the book, and hovered over him til he read every last word.  (He loved it.)

It's the perfect book for imperfect times.

Times where we're publishing revisions of classic novels and sanitizing history.  (I'm told that the Walden production does not excise the n-word.)  Atticus says: "When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness' sake. But don't make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion quicker than adults, an evasion simply muddles 'em."

Times when our government officials seem to care more about being "right" and getting their way than they do about doing what's right and finding common ground.  Atticus says:  "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view--until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

Times when we're talking an awful lot about "civility," but not necessarily practicing it.  Again, the font of wisdom says, "It's never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn't hurt you."

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Walden Theater, it's one of the premier young adult theaters in the country and an absolute treasure for this city.  Read more about it at their website.  And we live in a time (honestly, was there ever NOT a time?) when young people seem to get way more bad press than they do good press. As someone who has devoted her life to working with young people, I rise up like an angry mama lion when I hear people patently shit-talking the kids.  So if you find yourself in the "goddamned kids these days" camp or worrying about the future of America, Walden is a good place to put your concerns to rest.  These are talented, creative, imaginative, devoted young people who will inspire your faith in "kids these days."  Once you see how hard they work, you'll quit your worrying.  (100% of Walden kids graduate from high school.  They go to school all day and devote hours and hours of their after school time to classes and rehearsals-- and still have to do their homework.  88% go on to higher education.)

I'll get off my soapbox now.  Support Walden.  Go see To Kill a Mockingbird.  Renew your faith in humanity.  

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Christopher Sergel, adapted from the book by Harper Lee
directed by Charlie Sexton 

After a black man is accused of a terrible crime, lawyer Atticus Finch and his intrepid daughter Scout have to navigate the color lines drawn in a sleepy Alabama town to defend the accused and protect the townspeople from themselves. The book, a sensitive, bold look into a small town during the civil rights era, just celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Dates: 2011

January 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 @ 7:30pm
January 22, 29 @ 2:00pm

Walden Theatre, 1123 Payne Street

Ticket Information
Walden Theatre: (502) 589-0084 

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