Academy Award Winner Aaron Sorkin’s version of To Kill A Mockingbird has garnered a lot of attention, both good and bad. And now, many will get to see his version live.
Scott Rudin, producer of the show, confirmed that the Broadway show is going on tour this summer. Starting with a debut show at the Eisenhower Theater at the Kennedy Center on August 20th, the show will run there for six weeks before branching out to other cities in the coming months.
Rarely does a Broadway show that is not a musical garner as much attention as To Kill A Mockingbird. When asked about the reception for the show, Sorkin said it was surprising:
“The critical response, the size of the whole thing. But most important to me is the way it is landing with audiences.”
This is one of the many Broadway shows that will be debuting at the Kennedy Center during the 2019-2020 season including Cats, My Fair Lady, and Hamilton. You can read more about the shows here.
Aaron Sorkin’s Broadway version of To Kill A Mockingbird sparked controversy before its release when the Harper Lee estate sued the producers, claiming the script deviated too much from the novel. The dispute was eventually settled before the play debuted, but new legal battles followed soon after.
The producer of the new adaptation, Scott Rudin, hit regional theatrical adaptations of the novel with cease and desist letters to stop production. These versions were using an older script written by Christopher Sergel, and due to a licensing agreement between Rudin and the Lee estate the productions were asked to stop.
The legal action garnered severe backlash, including a #BoycottRudinPlays hashtag on Twitter:
I am appalled that Scott Rudin is forbidding theater companies to present the original, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It’s bad enough that he allowed Aaron Sorkin to mess with this classic story. Now he’s trying to eliminate the original. #BoycottRudinPlays
To AARON SORKIN and JEFF DANIELS: Your silence speaks volumes. For two men whose fictional creations are so concerned about being fair and just, you’re being cowards in the face of straight-up censorship by your own production. #BOYCOTTRUDINPLAYS
Feeling the severity of the backlash, Rudin has offered a compromise: Theater companies can still put on To Kill A Mockingbird, but they must use Sorkin’s script.
“We have been hard at work creating what I hope might be a solution for those theater companies that have been affected by this unfortunate set of circumstances, in which rights that were not available to them were licensed to them by a third party who did not have the right to do so.”
The announcement has garnered mixed reactions from theater companies who had already rehearsed the Sergel script. It is currently unknown if all the theater companies who had productions of To Kill A Mockingbird underway will use Sorkin’s script.
Sometimes, we look to our friends to be better people. Since you probably just rang in the New Year watching all of your friends sing badly and injure themselves while intoxicated, maybe you’re looking for a role model who’s a little more respectable. Here’s a list of ten literary characters who can inspire us to be better people in the year 2019—as long as we emulate only their positive qualities. (Katniss Everdeen did kill dozens of people.)
1. Atticus Finch
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A more inspirational lawyer than most actual lawyers, Harper Lee‘s beloved character Atticus Finch is a role model in the poor Southern town of Maycomb during the Great Depression. He’s empathetic, forgiving, respectful, an excellent parent… and he puts everything on the line to defend a black man in court in the 1930s, even when the racists in town don’t understand why. His rigid commitment to what’s right has served as an inspiration for many practicing lawyers, and his commitment to his beliefs is particularly relevant in times of division, violence, and injustice. (Yes, we’re ignoring the fact that he becomes a crotchety old racist in Go Set a Watchman—as are all of the parents who named their kids after him.)
2. Hermione Granger
Gif Via Huffingtonpost.com
Listen-Harry might be brave and bold, but he’s no Ravenclaw. We all know Hermione is smart and loyal, constantly staying all night in the library to get the goods for her friends. And we would never forget how socially aware she can be, standing up for the rights of house elves and shutting down slurs left and right. But you might’ve forgotten how she deals with snitches and bitches: when Cho Chang’s friend leaks the details of Dumbledore’s Army, Hermoine finds out it was her via the sign-up sheet’s enchanted paper. Anyone who betrays the trust of the group will have the word SNEAK appear across their face in boils—which honestly would leave a pretty gross scar. This 2019, let’s all learn from Hermione not to mess around.
3. Nancy Drew
Image Via Variety.com
Some people never land their dream jobs. Some people do it when they’re sixteen years old. Nancy Drew is big time goals for a number of reasons, not the least of which the fact that she’s a female detective originally from the 1930s—not a time big on respecting girls or children. She also graduated high school at the age of sixteen, meaning she must have remained pretty focused despite catching criminals. She also had more hobbies than books written about her, which is pretty impressive given her multi-decade run. Nancy is hardly the only genius detective out there, but she’s never been accused of blazing it 24/7 (Shaggy from Scooby Doo) or injecting cocaine (Sherlock Holmes).
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So maybe Eloise is just a wildly overprivileged six-year-old who roller-skates down the hallways of the Plaza Hotel. Eloise is at once extremely wealthy and a child, meaning she doesn’t have to pay for anything and has no responsibilities. While it’s unlikely we’ll shirk off all debt in the year 2019 and eat solely hotel room service, there’s nothing wrong with childlike enthusiasm in adult circumstances. (But there is something wrong with pouring champagne down mail chutes.)
5. Lady Macbeth
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2019 should definitely not be the year you kill someone. (2018 also should not have been the year you killed someone, though we’d understand if you considered it.) But this is a year for going after your dreams will all the wrath of this Shakespearean heroine. Want a better job? Get one! Want a healthier relationship? You go! Want the King of Scotland dead? You know what to do.
6. Jay Gatsby
Gif Via Gfycat.com
Maybe he does end up dead in a swimming pool. But listen—have you ever wanted something so badly you moved across the country, changed your name, broke the law, and became a mysterious billionaire celebrity to almost get it? This year, go after your goals with all the obsession and straight-up panache of Jay Gatsby. Just do your best not to be an accomplice to a hit-and-run.
7. Samwise Gamgee
Gif Via Giphy.com
Following a year of political unpleasantness (and likely entering another year of political unpleasantness), let’s all take inspiration from a loyal friend who has never done anything wrong. If Lord of the Rings‘ Samwise Gamgee can become the only person to ever willingly give up the Ring, you can probably, like, eat a salad every now and then.
8. Janie Crawford
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Zora Neale Hurston‘s Their Eyes Were Watching Goddetails the life story of Janie Crawford, who escapes abusive and unsatisfying relationships to find love, respect, freedom, and financial independence. (Goals!) Janie Crawford rejects her role as the trophy wife of a violent husband to run far away with a kindhearted drifter. (Oh, and when her abusive husband dies, she gets all his money.) Enduring onslaughts of both nature and man, Janie survives a hurricane to become a stronger person and returns to her hometown in possession of a fascinating, well-lived life. While it would be best not to almost drown, be put on trial for murder, and have multiple of your loved ones die this 2019, we can (probably) become better versions of ourselves without the terrible bits.
Image Via Blogspot.com
In Alice Walker‘s The Color Purple, Sofia defies gender roles and existing power struggles with her physical and mental strength. Is your goal for 2019 to work out? Maybe you’ll get so jacked you can punch abusers. Sofia’s physical strength allows her to take over as the head of the household, performing labor traditionally reserved for men, and negate her husband’s attempts at physical control. Not only can Sofia defy those in her life who want to hurt her, but she can also leave them. It’s never too early in the year to cut toxic people from your life—just don’t get arrested while doing it.
10. Katniss Everdeen
Image Via Giphy.com
If you’ve ever wanted to change the world, then guess what? Real life is a dystopia, and what you do in your day-to-day existence is probably exactly what you’d do as a fictional character. If you’d rather be a hero, try considering the ways in which you can better the world without killing dozens of children.
Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird has rightfully claimed the top spot in the PBS Great American Read. The 1960 novel features one of the greatest characters in literary history, Jim Crow-era lawyer Atticus Finch and is told from the point of view of Atticus’s young daughter Scout. A true testament to justice, morality, and basic human dignity, the book was adapted into an Oscar winning 1962 film and has sold over forty million copies worldwide.
Image Via novemberschild.com
All in all, four million votes were cast for the hundred books on the list. Mockingbird held an early lead in the voting and never lost its top spot. It’s the sort of book that resonates just as much today as it did nearly sixty years ago. A well deserved win that was never in doubt.
Other top winners are fairly unsurprising with the Harry Potter series as a whole nabbing third place, Lord of the Rings coming in at number seven, and Chronicles of Narnia in ninth. The Outlander series about a time travelling nurse came in second place.
It’s the 58th anniversary of Harper Lee’s beloved novel To Kill a Mockingbird, which would win the Pulitzer Prize. The story is set in Depression-era Alabama, but its messages resonate even today. Here are a few great (and relevant) quotes to celebrate the birthday of this enduring tale.
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”
“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
“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.”
“Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.”
“Are you proud of yourself tonight that you have insulted a total stranger whose circumstances you know nothing about?”
“‘How could they do it, how could they?’
“I don’t know, but they did it. They’ve done it before & they did it tonight & they’ll do it again & when they do it – seems that only children weep.'”
“A mob’s always made up of people, no matter what. Mr. Cunningham was part of a mob last night, but he was still a man. Every mob in every little Southern town is always made up of people you know–doesn’t say much for them, does it?”
“Just remember that sometimes, the way you think about a person isn’t the way they actually are.”