Chris Larberg JMC 2033-012 February 19, 2010 News Story The University of Oklahoma’s University Theatre sold out across the board last weekend as they put on their first spring production, To Kill a Mockingbird, in the Weitzenhoffer Theatre. Directed by Tom Orr, students were encouraged to take the well-known play and make it their own. “Tom told us we needed to do more than just tell the story,” freshman actor Jordan Blount said. “Everyone knew the story, so it was up to us and our characters to keep them entertained.” Paul Stewart, senior, played the lead role of Atticus Finch in what was his best performance yet as whispered by the audience after Friday’s show. Seen earlier in The Three Musketeer’s and Is He Dead?, Stewart is by no means a newcomer to the stage. Contrasting Stewart’s strong and serious composure is 13-year-old Alyssa Danley in the role of Scout Finch. “She was absolutely amazing,” drama freshman Conner Wilson said. “Being on crew we worked a lot with the actors and she was one of the more professional ones.” Much like Stewart, Danley knows the stage well. A member of the Actor’s Equity Association, the national actor’s labor union, Danley has already begun her career. “She gave the play what we need,” said Blount. “Scout is a tiny girl, and unfortunately those are hard to come by on a college campus.” Getting Danley on the stage kept the realism of the story and gave the cast exactly what it needed to make this play unique in its familiarity. “We had a well known story,” said Wilson, “but needed to make it our own. Tom decided that the easiest way to do this was to actually get a 13 year old to play Scout. We have a couple girls in the department who could’ve pulled it off, but Alyssa gives the feel that what’s happening on stage could and actually is happening. The audience believed they were witnessing real life.” Without being a student at the university, Danley’s mom helped this seasoned actress by making the drive from Edmond to Norman in order to help put this show together. Audience member Brendan Conrad said, “It was interesting to see their adaptation of such a well-known story. But the cast was phenomenal and really made it work.” The show will run at 8 p.m. through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $22 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $14 for students with an ID.