Advanced Drama brings a classic to life


Atticus Finch, played by Brett Balicki (11), appeals to the jury. Finch was hired to defend black man Tom Robinson after he is accused of taking advantage of a white girl.

Cat Cearing, Author


Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a familiar story for the English 9 classes, as each freshman is required to read the book as part of the curriculum. One of Mrs. Pam Neth’s, English, Advanced Drama classes, however, took it to the next level and brought the story to the stage.

“I’m pretty glad we got to perform for the freshmen, because I feel like they can actually see the book come to life instead of just reading the book. But when they actually see [the story] and see what it’s about, I feel like I did my job,” Montes Pirtle (12) said.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” tells the story of young Scout Finch as she grows up in the small southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, in the 1930s. Scout’s life is heavily impacted by the job of her father, Atticus, as he is hired to defend black man Tom Robinson after he is accused of taking advantage of a white girl. Even though the story is well-known, some actors had to work in unconventional ways to memorize each crucial line.

“It took a long time [to get my lines down.] Just recently, I had a new set of lines thrown on me, and I had to memorize it to open the show. I also did some recording and redoing my lines. I would take my phone and record the lines before mine or so and practice it that way, so when the recording said the line, I would say my line after that,” Abigail Scherer (12) said.

Because of the acclaim the book, the Advanced Drama students took great care in bringing the classic story to life.

“[Preparing for this role meant] never-ending studying of the lines. I watched the movie a couple of times to get the feel of how Tom Robinson was like and how he acted. There was nonstop studying, like night and day,” Pirtle said.