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Theatre Preview Print

Burning Coal's Mockingbird Flies Again

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Liz Beckham and Samantha Rahn in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

Event  Information

Raleigh -- ( Thu., Mar. 10, 2011 - Sun., Mar. 20, 2011 )

Burning Coal Theatre Company: To Kill a Mockingbird
$20. -- Burning Coal Theatre at the Murphey School , 919-834-4001 , http://www.burningcoal.org/

March 10, 2011 - Raleigh, NC:

This preview has been provided by Burning Coal Theatre Company.

Burning Coal Theatre Company of Raleigh, NC will re-open its production of To Kill A Mockingbird, a stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic novel by Christopher Sergel. The production runs March 10 – 20, 2011. Performances are March 10 – 12 and 17 - 19, 2011 at 7:30 pm and March 13 and 20 at 2 p.m. All performances will be held at Burning Coal Theatre at the Murphey School, 224 Polk Street, Raleigh, NC. All tickets are $20. Further details can be obtained by calling 919-834-4001 or visiting our website at www.burningcoal.org.

ABOUT TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.  2010 marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee’s essential Southern novel about a small town lawyer, Atticus Finch, and his decision to stand and fight bigotry and injustice. It is told from the viewpoint of the widower Atticus’ young daughter, Scout. Mr. Sergel’s stage adaptation is the only authorized stage adaptation of Ms. Lee’s novel. As with a previous American novel, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (who many credit with leading to the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation), Miss Lee’s novel is widely regarded as a significant inspiration for the civil rights movement that took root during the 1960s.

Randolph Curtis Rand will direct a cast of nine. Mr. Rand has directed for Burning Coal The Historie of King Henrie the Fourth and Uncle Tom’s Cabin and written an adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll House.  He has acted at Burning Coal in Love’s Labours Lost, Pentecost, and recently in The Seafarer. Mr. Rand founded The Drama Dept. in New York City with the playwright Douglas Carter Beane (As Bees In Honey Drown, The Little Dog Laughed). He is currently a member of the performance collective Elevator Repair Service. He has performed in New York and abroad with the Wooster Group, the Public Theatre, Arden Party and many others.


Roger Rathburn (Atticus) has performed leads in No, No, Nanette (directed by Busby Berkeley) and Five O'Clock Girl on Broadway; Mame in Las Vegas; a national tour of Your Own Thing; performed roles in the feature films P.S. I Love You and Up Close and Personal; on television in Gossip Girl, Royal Pains, Law and Order SVU; Cupid, Six Degrees, Ed, Late Show with David Letterman (15 appearances), One Life to Live, Somerset, Guiding Light, and As the World Turns

Liz Beckham will play Scout Finch, the young girl through whose eyes the story of Mockingbird is told. She has appeared at Burning Coal in Taming of the Shrew (Tranio: Best Supporting Actress 2005, Independent Weekly), Tartuffe and directed Coal’s touring production of Julius Caesar. Other shows include: The Feigned Courtesans (New York Classical), The Tempest and As You Like It (National Shakespeare Co.), Twelfth Night (New England Shakespeare Festival), LibraryPlay (Faction of Fools), Gun-Shy (Red Herring Theatre Co.). Television: Chappelle's Show, Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn.  Liz holds a BFA in Acting from Otterbein College, and has studied with Earle Gister, Catherine Fitzmaurice, Louis Scheeder, to name a few. Her recent commercials for Vonage were syndicated nationwide.

Calpurnia will be played by Emelia Cowans of Raleigh, NC. Emelia is known as “the Lottery Lady” on WRAL TV. She also works extensively in radio. She has appeared with Burning Coal in the musical Crowns and in Gee’s Bend and 1960.

Jade Arnold will appear as Tom Robinson. Jade has been seen at Burning Coal in 1960, Hair. He recently performed in Fences with Justice Theatre Project. He holds a degree in Theatre from UNC-Wilmington.

Whitney Madren will play Mayella Ewell. Currently a New York City resident, Whitney has appeared at Burning Coal in The Shape of the Table and Hair. She holds a BFA from ECU. She appeared recently in New York in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the American Theatre of Actors and spent last summer at Arkansas Shakespeare.

Fred Corlett will play Bob Ewell. Fred has appeared at Burning Coal in Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet and The Cherry Orchard and at other theatres across the Triangle. He holds a Masters Degree in Theatre from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Adam Patterson of New York City will appear as Jem. He last appeared with Burning Coal in Tartuffe in 2003. Off-off Broadway: The Country Wife (Dorilant), The Little Mermaid (Prince, Witch), King Lear (Albany). Hangar (Ithaca, NY): Lulu (Alwa Schoning), Charlotte’s Web (Gander, Arable), Learning Russian (Man), Leonce and Lena (Valerio). Other Credits: Elephants and Gold (Berkshire Fringe), Titus Andronicus, and The Crucible (Bare Theatre). Adam holds a BFA in acting from Emerson College in Boston, MA.

Samantha Rahn will play Dill and Mrs. Dubose.  For Burning Coal: Way to Heaven. New York City credits include: Way to Heaven (Teatro Circulo; May 2009 and August 2009, and Repertorio Español October 2010) and Blood (Staged Reading; 2009). North Carolina credits include: Annie (Temple Theatre), The Grinning Man (Stillwater Theatre Company at Meredith College), The Miracle Worker (Neuse Little Theatre; Cannon Award Winner), Bad Seed (Neuse Little Theatre), and The Music Man (Orange Community Players).

The cast also includes Jeff Cheek of Raleigh (“Heck Tate”). This is Jeff’s first appearance at Burning Coal. He recently appeared in The Light in the Piazza at Raleigh Little Theatre.


The scenery for To Kill A Mockingbird will be created by Snow. Snow is a New York City-based company that includes theatre artists Marc Bovino and Randolph Curtis Rand. The Lighting will be by Daniel Winters of New York. Daniel last lit Twelfth Night for Burning Coal. He holds an MFA in Lighting from Ohio University. Costumes are by Raleigh’s Kelly Farrow. Kelly designed Hair, 1960, Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night for Burning Coal. Props are by Raleigh’s Jan Morgan, an actor, director and educator in Raleigh with extensive credits throughout the Triangle. Sound will be by recent St. Augustine’s College graduate Elijah Vick. The production stage manager is Susan Reese Cato, a recent graduate of Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, NC. The Assistant Director is Kylie McCormick, a recent graduate of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.

For further information, please contact Burning Coal’s managing director, Simmie Kastner, at 919.834.4001 or visit our website at www.burningcoal.org.

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Burning Coal Theatre Company is Raleigh's small, professional theatre. Burning Coal is an incorporated, non-profit [501 (c) (3)] organization. Burning Coal's mission is to produce literate, visceral, affecting theatre that is experienced, not simply seen. Burning Coal produces explosive reexaminations of overlooked classic and modern plays, as well as new plays, whose themes and issues are of immediate concern to our audience, using the best local, national and international artists available. We work toward a theatre of high-energy performances and minimalist production values. The emphasis is on literate works that are felt and experienced viscerally, unlike more traditional linear plays, at which audiences are most often asked to observe without participating. Race and gender non-specific casting is an integral component of our perspective, as well as an international viewpoint.