Drama rubs elbows with fame at Library of Congress: Photo of the Day 4/3/19


Emily Webb

Jeff Daniels and Dakin Matthews perform a scene between Atticus Finch and Judge Taylor.

by Emily Webb, Managing Editor

“The most effective vessel to spread information is through a story,” said director of the Broadway production To Kill A Mockingbird, Aaron Sorkin.  Unlike most who must see this famous director on television or YouTube, drama students heard this wisdom from Sorkin directly.

On April 2, the advanced theatre classes and International Thespian Society officers were invited to view a reader’s theater performance of the new Broadway production of To Kill A Mockingbird. 

The performance, held in honor of Theatre In Our Schools month, took place in the Coolidge Auditorium in the Library of Congress. To open, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden welcomed students and teachers from all over the D.C. area. She expressed her appreciation for the arts saying, “This library and everything in it is yours.”

Following Hayden’s introduction, current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi then gave a few opening remarks expressing the importance of theatre and the arts.

“It was so cool to be able to witness the Speaker of the House in person. Her opening speech was super encouraging and very inspiring, especially to theatre students like myself,” said ITS officer Jacob Blue.

Emily Webb
Angela Smithhisler and Presley Dougherty pose with the cast of “To Kill A Mockingbird”.

Sorkin was then joined by eight of the Broadway cast members on the stage to read a portion of the play. The cast included Jeff Daniels (Atticus Finch), Celia Keenan-Bolger (Scout), Will Pullen (Jem), Gideon Glick (Dill), Gbenga Akinnagbe (Tom Robinson), Dakin Matthews (Judge Taylor), and LaTanya Richardson Jackson (Calpurnia). In addition to the Broadway cast, Brannon Evans, a member of a Nebraska ITS troupe and winner of the Thespian Democracyworks essay scholarship, performed with the cast in a minor role.

Although they spent hours on the bus, participants agreed it was worth the drive.  They saw cherry blossoms in bloom, received a free t-shirt and were close to famous actors and politicians.

“It was a great day filled with so many unforgettable opportunities. I’m beyond thankful,” said Blue.