Real courage: Iberville Community Theatre presents “To Kill a Mockingbird”

PETER SILAS PASQUA ppasqua@postsouth.com
Jacob Brown, Nathaniel Jude Clause, Isabella Maria LoBue and Chad Brown exit the courtroom in a scene from Iberville Community Theatre’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” on Thursday night.
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

PLAQUEMINE – We Are The Difference, Inc.’s Iberville Community Theatre recently presented the play “To Kill a Mockingbird” nightly with weekend matinees in the courtroom on the second floor of City Hall.

“We had talked about doing the play for about two years and tossed around the idea of using this venue,” We Are The Difference Inc. president Rhonda Harrell said. “Everybody has been so convenient and helpful. The stories that come from the old courtroom here are parallel to the story we are going to tell tonight.”

To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It won a Pulitzer Prize and was loosely based on an event that occurred in her hometown.

“As a community theater, we rely on local talent and are excited to include some new faces in this production,” director Gary Burns said. “The actors and crew have worked tirelessly on making this production a truly unique experience.”

The novel was adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 1962 and a play in 1990. It is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality.

The role of Jean Louise “Scout” Finch is narrated by Gina LoBue and played by her daughter Isabella Maria LoBue.

“It is my mom’s favorite book,” Isabella LoBue said. “She is reading me parts of it. We studied every single day. I like old stuff.”

The main story takes place during three years of the Great Depression in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama. It focuses on six-year-old Scout Finch, who lives with her older brother Jem and their widowed father Atticus, a middle-aged lawyer.

Jem and Scout befriend a boy named Dill and the three children are terrified of their reclusive neighbor "Boo" Radley.

Atticus is appointed by the court to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who has been accused of raping a young white woman, Mayella Ewell. Because Atticus does not want them to be present at the trial, Scout, Jem and Dill watch in secret from the colored balcony. Atticus establishes that the accusers - Mayella and her father, Bob Ewell, the town drunk - are lying.

It also becomes clear that the friendless Mayella was making sexual advances towards Tom and her father caught her and beat her. Despite significant evidence of innocence, the jury convicts him and a hopeless Tom is shot and killed while trying to escape from prison.

Despite winning the case, Bob Ewell's reputation is ruined, and he vows revenge. Finally, he attacks the defenseless Jem and Scout as they walk home on a dark night from the school Halloween pageant. The mysterious Radley comes to their rescue and Atticus eventually accepts the sheriff's story that Ewell, who was killed in the struggle, simply fell on his own knife.

Atticus Finch is played by Chad M. Brown and Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch is portrayed by Nathaniel Jude Clause. Charles Baker “Dill” Harris is played by Jacob Brown and Arthur “Boo” Radley is played by Stephen Orcino.

Indya C. Pierre plays Calpurnia “Cal,” while Peggy Allen Allain plays Miss Maude “Maudie” Atkinson, Melissa Seidule plays Stephanie Crawford and Michelle Fraternali plays Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose.

John “Plug” Barlow plays Judge John Taylor and Charles “Skeeta” Jenkins plays Tom Robinson. Robert E. Lee “Bob” Ewell is played by Felipe Martinez II and Mayella Violet Ewell is played by Constance Naomi Clause.

Other performers include Vernon Clark as Heck Tate, Willie Page Jr. at Reverend Sykes, Michael “Mike” Watts as Walter Cunningham Jr., Gary Burns as Horace Gilmer, Shaddreka Jones-Jackson as Helen Robinson and Robert Brown as Link Deas.