Brewton holding “Mockingbird” auditions
Brewton’s Stephen Billy has been tapped to lead the upcoming production of Monroeville’s “To Kill A Mockingbird,” and for the first time, will hold local auditions for the classic performance.
Billy, who is the son of Beth and Steve Billy, has dreamed of leading the production.
“I was working as a theater company manager in Maine, and my contract was coming to an end,” Billy said. “Monroeville called and asked if I was interested, and it was like a dream come true.”
Billy, who also starred in the production of the Harper Lee classic, said he doesn’t plan to change the performance.
“The foundation is there, and the cast members involved and show successful,” Billy said. “I want to build on what’s there. I want to enhance it and find new ways to bring show to life, and keep it fresh. “
To do that, Billy is hosting a set of local auditions on Wed., Feb. 1, and Thurs., Feb. 2, at Brewton City Hall from 6-9 p.m. Interested actors need only attend one audition.
“The audition process does not require participants to prepare any materials in advance,” Billy said. “Each person auditioning will be given a select scene from the script to look over and read for the director.”
Acting experience is not required, Billy said.
“We encourage anyone interested, no matter your level of experience, to attend the audition,” he said. “Each role in the production is double cast and shared between two to three actors. With many returning cast members, we currently have certain roles filled at this time.”
Along with the notable roles of Scout, Jem, Dill, Boo Radley and Atticus, there are other opportunities, Billy said.
“We even had a need for extras, so I encourage anyone interested to come out and try,” he said.
Rehearsals will be held in Monroeville and will begin on Mon., Feb. 13. Cast members are required to attend two rehearsals each week. The first public performance will be on April 21 at the Monroe County Heritage Museum with continued performances each weekend through Sat., May 27.
Those with questions regarding the audition process should contact Billy via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roles open for audition:
SCOUT: A young girl about to experience the events that will shape the rest of her life; she should, ideally, seem as young as nine. Scout is courageous and forthright. If a question occurs to her, she’ll ask it. Age is 8-12.
JEM: He is a few years older than his sister Scout, and like his sister, perhaps even more than his sister, he’s reaching out to understand their unusual and thus not conventionally admirable father. Probably the strongest undercurrent in Jem is his desire to communicate with his father. Age is 9-14.
CALPURNIA: Calpurnia is black, proud, and capable; she has raised the motherless Scout and Jem. She’s a self-educated woman, and she’s made quite a good job of it. Her standards are high and her discipline as applied to Scout and Jem is uncompromising. Age is 30-60.
DILL: Dill is small, thin, and wise beyond his years; he is between the ages of Jem and Scout. Dill is neater and better dressed than his friends. There’s an undercurrent of sophistication to him, but his laugh is sudden and happy. Obviously there is a lack in Dill’s own home life, and he senses something in Atticus that’s missing from his own family relationship. Age is 8-12.
MAUDIE ATKINSON: Maudie is younger than Atticus, but of his generation, she’s a lovely sensitive woman. Though belonging to the time and place of this play, she has a wisdom and compassion that suggests the best instincts of the South of that period. Age is approximately 40-60.
WALTER CUMMINGHAM: Cunningham is a hard-up farmer who shares the prejudices of this time and place but who is nevertheless a man who can be reached as a human being. He also has seeds of leadership, for when his attitude is changed during the confrontations with Atticus, he takes the others with him. Age is 40-50.
REVEREND SYKES: Rev. Sykes is the black minister of the Flint Purchase Church, called that because it was paid for with the first money earned by the freed slaves. He’s an imposing man with a strong stage presence. He should have a strong “minister’s” voice. Age is 45-60.
HECK TATE: Heck is the town sheriff and a complex man. He does his duty as he sees it, and enforces the law without favor. The key to this man’s actual feelings is revealed in his final speeches to Atticus, and this attitude should be an undercurrent to his earlier actions. Age is 40-50.
BOO RADLEY: Arthur Radley is a pale recluse who hasn’t been outside his house in fifteen years. It takes an extraordinary emergency to bring him out, and once out he’s uncertain about how to deal with people, and with his mission accomplished, he’s eager to return to his sanctuary. Age is 40-45.
MRS. DUBOSE: She is an old woman that is ill, walking with difficulty, her pain making her biting, bitter, and angry. However, she’s fighting a secret battle within herself, a battle about which few people are aware, and her existence has in it a point of importance for Jem and Scout . Age is 70-80.
TOM ROBINSON: Robinson is black, handsome and vital, but with a left hand crippled by a childhood accident and held against his chest. He’s married to Helen and they have young children. He faces up to a false charge with quiet dignity. There’s an undercurrent in him of kindness, sensitivity and consideration. Age is 25-40.
JUDGE TAYLOR: The judge is a wintry man of the South, who does what he can within the context of his time to see justice done in his court. While he tries to run his court impartially, his sympathy is with Tom. Age is 40-70.
GILMER: He is a public prosecutor who is doing his job in trying to convict Tom. In many ways his manner is cruel and hurtful. And yet under all this, he too has unexpressed doubts as to Tom’s guilt, and his heart isn’t really in this conviction. Still, he goes after it, and it’s a hard thing. Age is 30-50.
BOB EWELL: Ewell is a little bantam-cock of a man who lives with his large family by the town dump. Bob thinks this trial will make him an important man, and when Atticus destroys his credibility, Bob’s rage and frustration border on paranoia. Age is 40-60.
MAYELLA: Mayella is the oldest daughter of Bob Ewell; she’s a desperately lonely and overworked young woman whose need for companionship, any companionship, has overwhelmed every other emotion. However, when her effort to reach out explodes in her face, she fights just as desperately for what she thinks is survival. Age is 18-22.
EXTRAS: Mob members, males ages 20-60.
The rehearsal process will begin on Monday, Feb. 13 and will require cast members to attend two rehearsals each week in Monroeville. The first public performance is scheduled for Friday, April 21st at the Monroe County Heritage Museum, with continued performances each weekend through Sat., May 27th.