MONROEVILLE, AL - This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Monroeville native daughter Harper Lee. It's also the 20th year that citizens of Monroeville have presented a two-act play based on the story.
The second act takes place in the old courthouse that inspired Lee's famous description of the trial of Tom Robinson.
Townspeople calling themselves "amateur actors" began rehearsals in February for the April and May performances.
"The Mockingbird Players" wrote in the play guidebook, "Performing the dramatization of this famous novel in Harper Lee's hometown is always a thrill. The book is part of our heritage, and the universal messages about justice, compassion and human dignity still touch us and our audiences."
Act one takes place in an outdoor set behind the courthouse. After intermission, the audience moves inside to the second floor of the old courthouse. Twelve audience members are selected to be jurors during the trial scene.
An officiate at the old courthouse museum said that in the event of rain, the entire play is moved inside the courthouse. "But so far, we've dodged the bullet!" she noted.
The old courthouse museum and gift shop is located on the first floor of the building, and is open before and after each performance. The gift shop features books, DVDs and clothing inspired by the play as well as local delicacies and crafts.
The play is scheduled for two more weeks. Tickets are $35.
More information is available from the city of Monroeville website, www.Monroecountyal.com or by calling 251-575-7433.