Lee would be proud of local performance

Recently, I attended the ACT premiere of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the stage play adapted from Harper Lee’s beloved Pulitzer Prize winning novel.

How sad that we learned this amazing author passed away soon after the premiere.

ACT’s production adds another jewel to its crown of achievements.

Directed by Tara Enedy, the staging was creative, quickly switching between the town residences of Maycomb, Ala., and the courtroom where the dramatic trial of Tom Robinson takes place.

Told from Scout’s viewpoint, a role played energetically by seventh grader Jessie Watters, the story is as relevant today as it was in the 1960s.

The cast was terrific, from Jordan Shumaker’s steady Atticus to the narration and Southern charm of Lydia Dobrowolsky’s Miss Maudie. David Boyer brought dignity and poignancy to the role of Tom Robinson, while Vanessa Ponder and E. Bernhardt Warg as Mayella and Bob Ewell were totally convincing in their roles, even staying in character during their “onstage intermission.”

All of the cast were delightfully proficient, including the young men playing the roles of Jem (newcomer Hunter Gregg) and Dill (fifth grader Austin Lallemande).

The play relived this touching, funny, sad and moving story of racism, redemption and the innocence of childhood.

ACT got it right, and I think Harper Lee would approve.

Congratulations to all the cast and crew. May Harper Lee rest in peace. Her life’s work lives on in our community.

Julia Plummer Schokker

Altoona