On November 25, CBS’ 60 Minutes featured the current Broadway production of To Kill a Mockingbird, penned by Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin and based on the novel by Harper Lee. Before its official opening December 13, 60 Minutes took an in-depth look at the production in the full video segment below.
The play follows Atticus Finch (played onstage by Jeff Daniels), a lawyer in Alabama set to defend a wrongly accused black man facing charges of raping a white woman. Lee's novel is told through his young daughter Scout’s perspective. Likewise, the play features Scout, played by Celia Keenan-Bolger—but the work is structured as a memory play.
The special features footage from a table-read during the first rehearsal with the full Broadway cast—what was then version 22 of Sorkin’s script. Sorkin was approved to write the stage adaptation by Lee before her death: “I remember what I was thinking, which was simultaneously, ‘This is going to be incredibly exciting. I get to do a play again, I get to be involved with this material.’ And, ‘I’m never going to make it out of this alive.’"
Still, Sorkin urges, “There is no event in the play that doesn't occur in the book. I haven’t added new things. But we’re taking another look at them. It’s going to be a new look at familiar material. It's going to be an exhilarating night in the theatre.”
As for director Barlett Sher, he said, “The challenge is expectations. The challenge is swimming into the national memory between people who have a deep memory of the book, people who love the film, and people who are going to come into a theatre and see it now, how to connect all of those different perspectives.”
60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft also spoke to actor LaTanya Richardson Jackson and revealed glimpses from onstage rehearsals and the production in action.
To Kill a Mockingbird also stars Will Pullen, Gideon Glick, Frederick Weller, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Stark Sands, Dakin Matthews, Erin Wilhelmi, Danny McCarthy, Neal Huff, Phyllis Somerville, Liv Rooth, Danny Wolohan, Thomas Michael Hammond, Jeff Still, David Mannis, Baize Buzan, Ted Koch, Aubie Merrylees, Doron JéPaul Mitchell, Shona Tucker, and Rebecca Watson. The production features scenic design by Miriam Buether, costume design by Ann Roth, lighting design by Jennifer Tipton, sound design by Scott Lehrer, original music by Adam Guettel, music direction by Kimberly Grigsby, and casting by Daniel Swee.