We, the Jury

With To Kill a Mockingbird, Dallas Children's Theater stages a trial with few errors

The power of To Kill a Mockingbird still comes through, even in a stage script that sometimes sounds like Cliffs Notes read aloud. Credit for that goes to Harper Lee, not the adapter Sergel, who has chosen to emphasize some parts of the story at the expense of others.

DCT's production probably isn't appropriate fare for younger children. But if they're old enough to read the book, they're certainly old enough to see it acted out. Reading the book first is a good idea for any theatergoer just to become acquainted with the nuances of Lee's characters.

This Mockingbird soars: from left, Evelyn Roberts, Bill Jenkins and Guinea Bennett-Price.
This Mockingbird soars: from left, Evelyn Roberts, Bill Jenkins and Guinea Bennett-Price.

Details

continues through October 17 at Dallas Children's Theater. Call 214-740-0051.

Scenic designer Zak Herring provides mere suggestions of specific locations for the Mockingbird set. A tangle of wooden slats doubles for a forest of trees. Bare front porches sit in for houses. Linda Blase's lighting is appropriately unfancy. Leila Heise's costume designs hint at the 1930s, in a day and time when everyone looked a bit wilted and down at the heels. Atticus Finch, in his spotless three-piece ice cream suit, stands in stark contrast to every other character. He is the mythic giant in white, pure inside and out.

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