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Burning Coal Opens with ‘Mockingbird’ | Sept 9 – 26

Burning Coal Theatre Company of Raleigh, NC will open its 2010/2011 season with To Kill A Mockingbird, a stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic novel by Christopher Sergel.  The production runs September 9 – 26, 2010.  Performances are September 9 – 11, 16 – 18, 23 – 25, 2010 at 7:30 pm and September 12, 19 and 26th at 2 p.m.  All performances will be held at Burning Coal Theatre at the Murphey School (NOTE VENUE NAME CHANGE), 224 Polk Street, Raleigh, NC.  All tickets are $20 or $15 for students, seniors and active military except Thursday night tickets, which are $10 apiece.  The first Sunday of the run, September 12 at 2 p.m. is our “Pay What You Can” day, and that performance will also be audio-described for the sight-impaired.  Further details can be obtained by calling 919-834-4001 or visiting our website at www.burningcoal.org.

ABOUT TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.  2010 is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee’s essential Southern novel about a small town lawyer, Atticus Finch, and his decision to stand and fight bigotry and injustice.  It is told from the viewpoint of the widower Atticus’ young daughter, Scout.  Mr. Sergel’s stage adaptation is the only authorized stage adaptation of Ms. Lee’s novel.  As with a previous American novel, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (who many credit with leading to the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation), Miss Lee’s novel is widely regarded as a significant inspiration for the civil rights movement that took root during the 1960s.

Randolph Curtis Rand will direct a cast of nine.  Mr. Rand has directed for Burning Coal The Historie of King Henrie the Fourth and Uncle Tom’s Cabin and written an adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll House.  He has acted at Burning Coal in Love’s Labours LostPentecost, and recently in The Seafarer.  Mr. Rand founded The Drama Dept. in New York City with the playwright Douglas Carter Beane (As Bees In Honey DrownThe Little Dog Laughed).  He is currently a member of the performance collective Elevator Repair Service.   He has performed in New York and abroad with the Wooster Group, the Public Theatre, Arden Party and many others.

The Company of the Burning Coal Theatre Company production of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Christopher Sergel, adapted from the novel by Harper Lee (photo by the Right Image Photography, Inc.)

The Company of the Burning Coal Theatre Company production of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Christopher Sergel, adapted from the novel by Harper Lee (photo by the Right Image Photography, Inc.)

ABOUT THE CAST

Roger Rathburn as Atticus and Whitney Madren as Mayella Ewell in the Burning Coal Theatre Company production of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Christopher Sergel, adapted from the novel by Harper Lee (photo by the Right Image Photography, Inc.)

Roger Rathburn as Atticus and Whitney Madren as Mayella Ewell in the Burning Coal Theatre Company production of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Christopher Sergel, adapted from the novel by Harper Lee (photo by the Right Image Photography, Inc.)

Roger Rathburn (Atticus) has performed leads in No, No, Nanette (directed by Busby Berkeley) and Five O’Clock Girl on Broadway; Mame in Las Vegas; a national tour of Your Own Thing; performed roles in the feature films P.S. I Love You and Up Close and Personal; on television in Gossip GirlRoyal PainsLaw and Order SVUCupidSix DegreesEdLate Show with David Letterman (15 appearances), One Life to LiveSomersetGuiding Light, and As the World Turns.  Liz Beckham will play Scout Finch, the young girl through whose eyes the story of Mockingbird is told. She has appeared at Burning Coal in Taming of the Shrew (Tranio: Best Supporting Actress 2005, Independent Weekly), Tartuffe and directed Coal’s touring production of Julius Caesar.  Other shows include: The Feigned Courtesans (New York Classical), The Tempest and As You Like It (National Shakespeare Co.), Twelfth Night (New England Shakespeare Festival), LibraryPlay(Faction of Fools), Gun-Shy (Red Herring Theatre Co.).  Television: Chappelle’s ShowTough Crowd With Colin Quinn.  Liz holds a BFA in Acting from Otterbein College, and has studied with Earle Gister, Catherine Fitzmaurice, Louis Scheeder, to name a few.  Her recent commercials for Vonage were syndicated nationwide.  ‘Calpurnia’ will be played by LeDawna Akins of Raleigh, NC.  LeDawna appeared at Burning Coal in Crowns (2008 and the upcoming revival in December, 2010).  The proud Bronx native/Raleigh resident, holds a BA/Theatre-State University of NY/Albany.  Other work includes Dark of the Moon (REP), Working (JTP), Wiley & The Hairy ManIntimate ApparelBlue (RLT); Midsummer Night’s Dream (Cary Players).  Jade Arnold will appear as ‘Tom Robinson’.  Jade has been seen at Burning Coal in 1960Hair.  He recently performed in Fences with Justice Theatre Project.  He holds a degree in Theatre from UNC-Wilmington. 

Whitney Madren as Mayella Ewell in the Burning Coal Theatre Company production of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Christopher Sergel, adapted from the novel by Harper Lee (photo by the Right Image Photography, Inc.)

Whitney Madren as Mayella Ewell in the Burning Coal Theatre Company production of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Christopher Sergel, adapted from the novel by Harper Lee (photo by the Right Image Photography, Inc.)

Whitney Madren will play “Mayella Ewell”.  Currently a New York City resident, Whitney has appeared at Burning Coal in The Shape of the Table and Hair.  She holds a BFA from ECU.  She appeared recently in New York in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the American Theatre of Actors and spent last summer at Arkansas Shakespeare. Paul Paliyenko will play “Bob Ewell”.  Paul has appeared at Burning Coal in Way To HeavenThe Shape of the Table and The Cherry Orchard.  He recently appeared in Barefoot in the Park for Hot Summer Nights.  Adam Patterson of New York City will appear as “Jem”.  He last appeared with Burning Coal in Tartuffe in 2003.  Off-off Broadway: The Country Wife (Dorilant), The Little Mermaid (Prince, Witch), King Lear (Albany). Hangar (Ithaca, NY): Lulu (Alwa Schoning), Charlotte’s Web (Gander, Arable), Learning Russian (Man), Leonce and Lena (Valerio). Other Credits: Elephants and Gold (Berkshire Fringe), Titus Andronicus, and The Crucible (Bare Theatre). Adam holds a BFA in acting from Emerson College in Boston, MA.  Samantha Rahn will play “Dill” and “Mrs. Dubose”.  For Burning Coal: Way to Heaven. New York City credits include: Way to Heaven (Teatro Circulo; May 2009 and August 2009, and Repertorio Español October 2010) and Blood (Staged Reading; 2009). North Carolina credits include: Annie (Temple Theatre), The Grinning Man (Stillwater Theatre Company at Meredith College), The Miracle Worker (Neuse Little Theatre; Cannon Award Winner), Bad Seed (Neuse Little Theatre), and The Music Man (Orange Community Players). The cast also include Jeff Cheek of Raleigh (“Heck Tate”).  This is Jeff’s first appearance at Burning Coal.  He recently appeared in The Light in the Piazza at Raleigh Little Theatre.

Liz Beckham as Scout in the Burning Coal Theatre Company production of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Christopher Sergel, adapted from the novel by Harper Lee (photo by the Right Image Photography, Inc.)

Liz Beckham as Scout in the Burning Coal Theatre Company production of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Christopher Sergel, adapted from the novel by Harper Lee (photo by the Right Image Photography, Inc.)

ABOUT THE DESIGN TEAM.  The scenery for To Kill A Mockingbird will be created by Snow.  Snow is a New York City-based company that includes theatre artists Marc Bovino and Randolph Curtis Rand.  The Lighting will be by Daniel Winters of New York.  Daniel last lit Twelfth Night for Burning Coal.  He holds an MFA in Lighting from Ohio University.  Costumes are by Raleigh’sKelly Farrow.  Kelly designed Hair1960Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night for Burning Coal.  Props are by Raleigh’s Jan Morgan, an actor, director and educator in Raleigh with extensive credits throughout the Triangle.  Sound will be by recent St. Augustine’s College graduate Elijah Vick.  The production stage manager is Melissa Ricketts of Asheville, NC and the Assistant Director is Kylie McCormick, a recent graduate of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.

For further information, please contact Burning Coal’s managing director, Simmie Kastner, at 919.834.4001 or visit our website at www.burningcoal.org.

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1 Response

  1. Allan Gurganus to Speak on ‘Mockingbird’

    Burning Coal Theatre Company of Raleigh, NC will open its 2010/2011 “Lobby Lectures” season with writer Allan Gurganus speaking on the continuing influence of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. The event will take place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 18, 2010 at Burning Coal Theatre at the Murphey School (NOTE VENUE NAME CHANGE), 224 Polk Street, Raleigh, NC. All tickets are available at the door and are $5, or free for anyone holding a ticket for any performance of Burning Coal Theatre Company’s production of To Kill A Mockingbird. Further details can be obtained by calling 919-834-4001 or visiting our website at http://www.burningcoal.org.

    ABOUT ALLAN GURGANUS. Allan Gurganus has written many works of fiction including “White People,” “Plays Well with Others” and “The Practical Heart.” Adaptations of his novels have won four Emmys. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he was a recent Guggenheim Fellow. Gurganus lives in Hillsborough where he is at work on a long novel, “The Erotic History of a Southern Baptist Church.” Burning Coal Theatre Company premiered a stage adaptation of Allan’s “Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All” in 2007 in collaboration with Wilson, NC’s Theatre of the American South, starring Quinn Hawkesworth.

    For further information, please contact Burning Coal’s managing director, Simmie Kastner, at 919.834.4001 or visit our website at http://www.burningcoal.org.