LETTER TO THE EDITOR: David Wood Responds to Susie Potter’s TAE Review of “To Kill a Mockingbird”

TIP executive and artistic director Ira David Wood III stars as heroic smalltown attorney Atticus Finch and directs "To Kill a Mockingbird"
Ira David Wood III stars as heroic small-town attorney Atticus Finch and directs “To Kill a Mockingbird” at TIP

Dear Susie,

Thank you so much for your kind words about our current production of To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s an honor to share the stage with such a talented cast, backed up by such an incredible production crew.

I couldn’t help but smile, though, at your reference to the eyeglasses slipping as being accidental. It’s an “accident” that happens during every performance!

When I did the role several years ago in Texas, a friend said, “I hope you’re going to do the business with the eyeglasses. It’s classic!” — and I knew exactly what he meant. In the movie version, Gregory Peck (as Atticus Finch) slides his glasses up on his forehead before trying to shoot the mad dog. When he tries to aim the rifle, the glasses slip down on his nose. He completes the business by simply tossing the glasses to the ground. What you saw was taken straight from the movie … and it happens during each performance. I shall take your remark as a compliment in that it all appeared to seem accidental — which was the

Thank you again for coming. I’m glad you liked the show. It is indeed a joy to step into that role and onto that stage.

Ira David Wood III
Director and “Atticus Finch”
To Kill a Mockingbird

By Robert W. McDowell

Robert W. McDowell is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer, editor, and critic. He has written theater, film, book, and music previews and reviews for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, and Classical Voice of North Carolina, all based in Raleigh. In 1980-91, he covered business, industry, government, and education for (We the People of) North Carolina magazine, published monthly by N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry. In April 2001, McDowell started Robert's Reviews, a FREE weekly e-mail newsletter that provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of the performing arts in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, which includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Triangle Review is the latest-and-greatest version of McDowell's original newsletter. (To start your FREE subscription, e-mail robertm748[at]aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) From December 1980 until September 2017, McDowell served on the board of directors of The Cinema, Inc., a Raleigh-based nonprofit film society formed in 1966. He currently publishes a weekly list of FREE advance screenings of movies in the Triangle area. (To have your e-mail address added to this FREE list, e-mail robertm748[at]aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.) McDowell also co-edited and supervised the production of Jim Valvano's Guide to Great Eating (JTV Enterprises, 1984), a 224-page sports celebrity cookbook; and he served as a fact checker for Valvano: They Gave Me a Lifetime Contract, and Then They Declared Me Dead (Pocket Books, 1991).