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Matthew Modine Stars as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird at Hartford Stage

One of the most beloved and influential stories of our time is coming to life at Hartford Stage. Emmy-nominated actor Matthew Modine will make his Hartford Stage debut as Atticus Finch in the eagerly anticipated stage adaptation of Harper Lee's classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Hartford Stage Artistic Director Michael Wilson, celebrating his eleventh season at the Tony Award-winning theatre, directs. Performances of this captivating drama begin February 19 and continue through April 4.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a tender portrait of a southern town, brimming with powerful lessons of tolerance, justice and quiet heroism. Scout and Jem are growing up in the Deep South during the 1930s depression. Their idyllic childhood is jolted with the realization that prejudice and bigotry rule in their small town when their father, a lawyer of principle and integrity, is asked to defend a young black man falsely accused of raping a white woman. Principal production sponsor for To Kill a Mockingbird is United Technologies. Assisting production sponsor is Robinson & Cole. Additional support is provided by the Greater Hartford Arts Council and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. Media sponsor is Comcast.

The company of To Kill a Mockingbird is led by award-winning Matthew Modine, who has worked with many of the most highly regarded film and stage directors, including Oliver Stone, Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman, Alan J. Pakula, Spike Lee, Tom Mike Figgis, Jonathan Demme and John Sayles. A partial list of his films include Birdy, Married to the Mob, Vision Quest, Full Metal Jacket, Gross Anatomy, and Shortcuts. Mr. Modine is the recipient of a Golden Globe Award, Venice Film Festival Volpi Cup and Golden Lion for best actor. He received Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations for What the Deaf Man Heard and the Emmy Award-winning And the Band Played On. Modine last appeared on stage in Arthur Miller's Resurrection Blues, directed by Robert Altman at The Old Vic in London. He also worked with Arthur Miller in Finishing the Picture, directed by Robert Falls at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

Drama Desk award winner Hallie Foote is playing the adult Jean Louise Finch. Her Hartford Stage credits include The Trip to Bountiful, The Death of Papa, and The Carpetbagger's Children. She was recently seen on Broadway in Dividing The Estate, directed by Michael Wilson., and will recreate the role of Mary Jo when the production moves to Hartford Stage in May.

Also featured in the cast are Hartford Stage favorites Devon Abner (The Death of Papa, The Trip to Bountiful), playing Boo Radley and Mr. Gilmer; Jennifer Harmon (Summer and Smoke, 8 by Tenn), who plays Maudie Atkinson, Stephanie Crawford, and Mrs. Dubose; Nafe Katter (Our Town, Summer and Smoke, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) playing Mr. Nathan Radley and Judge Taylor; and Charles Turner (Fences) as Reverend Sykes.

A number of actors are making their Hartford Stage debuts in To Kill a Mockingbird, including Mike Boland (Bob Ewell), Pat Bowie (Calpurnia), James DeMarse (Heck Tate and Walter Cunningham), Daralyn Jay (Helen Robinson, and Douglas Lyons (Tom Robinson). Bowie and DeMarse were also in the Broadway run of Dividing The Estate and will return to Hartford Stage with the production in May.

The pivotal roles of Scout, Jem, and Dill are being played by three talented child actors. Greenwich, CT resident Olivia Scott is playing Scout in her Hartford Stage debut. Broadway veteran Henry Hodges (Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) plays Jem in his first Hartford Stage outing, and Andrew Shipman of Glastonbury, CT returns to Hartford Stage in the role of Dill Harris. He has previously been seen in A Christmas Carol, Our Town, and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Rounding out the large cast are a number of adult and child actors playing various townspeople. They are C. Zakiah Barksdale, Jordan Cyr, Rodney D. Edwards, Jacob Entenman, Connor Fitzgerald, Justin Fuller, Deirdre Garrett, Peter G. Garrity, Joshua J. Jackson, Tom Libonate, Larkin Meehan, Rob Pawlikowski, and William A. Thomas.

To Kill a Mockingbird is directed by Hartford Stage Artistic Director Michael Wilson, who most recently directed Horton Foote's Dividing The Estate for Lincoln Center Theater on Broadway; the Broadway production will be transferring to Hartford Stage in May. On Broadway, he directed Old Acquaintance (Roundabout Theatre Company), and Enchanted April, for which he received an Outer Critics Circle nomination. Off-Broadway, he directed the premieres of Christopher Shinn's What Didn't Happen (Playwrights Horizons) and Eve Ensler's Necessary Targets, as well as the New York premieres of Jane Anderson's Defying Gravity and Tennessee Williams' The Red Devil Battery Sign. He in his 11th season as artistic director of Hartford Stage, where he has directed the premieres of David Grimm's The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue as well as Tennessee Williams' The Palooka, Now the Cats with Jeweled Claws, and The One Exception as part of the theatre's epic two part production, Eight By Tenn. This fall he will direct the world premiere of Horton Foote's The Orphans' Home Cycle, which will play both Hartford Stage and Signature Theatre in New York. A longtime collaborator with Mr. Foote, he has directed the premieres of his plays The Carpetbagger's Children (Hartford Stage and Lincoln Center Theater) and The Death of Papa (Hartford Stage); the New York premieres of Dividing The Estate and The Day Emily Married (Primary Stages); and the 50th Anniversary revival of The Trip to Bountiful (Hartford Stage and Alley Theatre). For the Venice Biennale and Alley Theatre, he directed both parts of Tony Kushner's Angels in America.

Special Event: Behind the Scenes with Matthew Modine and Michael Wilson

On Monday, March 2, join Artistic Director Michael Wilson for an exclusive conversation with award-winning film and television star Matthew Modine. From his breakthrough role in Vision Quest to his celebrated turn in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, hear Matthew discuss his career as an actor and his upcoming role as Atticus Finch in Hartford Stage's production of To Kill a Mockingbird. The event will take place at Hartford Stage; tickets are free and available online or by calling the box office at 860-527-5151. A $10 donation is suggested for this event.

The design team for To Kill a Mockingbird includes Scenic Designer Jeff Cowie, whose Hartford Stage credits include The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, Our Town, Mahalia - A Gospel Musical, The Good Body, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Bad Dates, Peter and Jerry, The Mystery of Irma Vep, 8 by Tenn, and The Night of The Iguana (2003 Connecticut Critics Circle Award, Outstanding Set Design). Lighting Design is by Rui Rita. Mr. Rita's work at Hartford Stage includes The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, Chick, The Great Osram, Our Town, Nightingale, Summer and Smoke, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Bad Dates, The Mystery of Irma Vep, The Trip to Bountiful, and Enchanted April, which earned him an Outer Critics Circle nomination in its Broadway transfer. David C. Wollard designed the costumes for To Kill a Mockingbird, having previously designed The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, Chick, The Great Osram, Summer and Smoke, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, 8 by Tenn, The Trip to Bountiful, and Suddenly Last Summer at Hartford Stage; among his Broadway credits are Tony-nominated designs for The Rocky Horror Show and The Who's Tommy. Sound Design and original music is by John Gromada, who previously worked at Hartford Stage on productions including The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, Zerline's Tale, Chick, The Great Osram, Our Town, Nightingale, Summer and Smoke, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Bad Dates, Tea At Five, and The Glass Menagerie. He also has composed and/or designed sound for numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.

Tickets for To Kill a Mockingbird start at $23. A limited number of $10 "Ten Spot" tickets are also available for all performances, making Hartford Stage among the most affordable entertainment options in Connecticut. Discounts are available for groups of ten or more by calling 860-520-7244. What a Rush! half-price tickets for To Kill a Mockingbird may be purchased, subject to availability, beginning two hours before each performance in person at the box office only. Patrons must request What a Rush! tickets at the time of purchase to receive this discount. Tickets for children and students are $10 off the full price when purchased in advance. Students of Capital Community College may purchase one $10 ticket for To Kill a Mockingbird upon presentation of their student ID at the Hartford Stage box office. All discount programs are subject to availability and cannot combined with other discount offers. Hartford Stage has wheelchair accessible seating, assistive listening devices and other amenities. For more information, please call the Hartford Stage box office. Hartford Stage is located at 50 Church Street in downtown Hartford with parking located in the MAT Garage, directly adjacent to the theatre, or in the Church Street Garage, behind the Hilton Hotel. The theatre is easilly accessible from I-84 and I-91.


Photo Credit: Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.

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