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To Kill a Mockingbird is a 2018 play based on the 1960 novel of the same name by Harper Lee, adapted for stage by Aaron Sorkin. It opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre on December 13, 2018.

To Kill a Mockingbird
Written byAaron Sorkin
Date premieredDecember 13, 2018 (2018-12-13)
Place premieredShubert Theatre, New York
SettingMaycomb, Alabama


Production historyEdit

It was announced in February 2016 that Aaron Sorkin would bring the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel to Broadway, in a new production produced by Scott Rudin and directed by Bartlett Sher.[1] The book had previously been adapted for the stage but Rudin specified that this production would be completely unrelated to the prior pieces.

On February 15, 2018, it was announced that Jeff Daniels would star in the production as Atticus Finch. Celia Keenan-Bolger and Will Pullen were also announced to play Scout and Jem Finch, respectively.[2] In March 2018, the Harper Lee estate filed a lawsuit against the play's production company based on allegations that the play deviates too much from the novel;[3] Sorkin had previously admitted that "As far as Atticus and his virtue goes, this is a different take on Mockingbird than Harper Lee's or Horton Foote's."[4] The following month, producer Scott Rudin countersued for breach of contract. The legal dispute was settled by May 2018.[5]

The production began previews at the Shubert Theatre on November 1, 2018, prior to an official opening on December 13, 2018. During the week ending on December 23, 2018, the production grossed over $1.5 million, breaking the record for box office grosses for a non-musical play in a theater owned by The Shubert Organization.[6]

Legal threats by Rudin against licensed productions of Sergel adaptationEdit

Prior to the run of Sorkin's adaptation, another version of the play adapted by Christopher Sergel had been available for license for over 50 years, and often produced in regional theaters. Since the opening of Sorkin's adaptation, lawyers acting for Atticus Limited Liability Company (ALLC – the company formed by Rudin for the Broadway production of To Kill a Mockingbird) claimed worldwide exclusivity for professional stage rights to any adaptation of Lee's book, and have moved aggressively to shut down any and all other productions that had already paid the holder of rights to the Sergel script, if they are staged within 25 miles of any city ALLC determines to be a major metropolitan center that might eventually host the Sorkin adaptation.[7][8][9][10]


Character Broadway (2018)
Atticus Finch Jeff Daniels
Scout Finch Celia Keenan-Bolger
Jem Finch Will Pullen
Dill Harris Gideon Glick
Bob Ewell Fred Weller
Tom Robinson Gbenga Akinnagbe
Horace Gilmer Stark Sands
Judge John Taylor Dakin Matthews
Mayella Ewell Erin Wilhelmi
Link Deas Neal Huff
Boo Radley Danny Wolohan
Calpurnia LaTanya Richardson

Awards and nominationsEdit

Broadway productionEdit

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2019 Tony Awards[11] Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play Jeff Daniels Nominated
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play Gideon Glick Nominated
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play Celia Keenan-Bolger Won
Best Original Score Adam Guettel Nominated
Best Direction of a Play Bartlett Sher Nominated
Best Scenic Design of a Play Miriam Buether Nominated
Best Costume Design of a Play Ann Roth Nominated
Best Lighting Design of a Play Jennifer Tipton Nominated
Best Sound Design of a Play Scott Lehrer Nominated
Drama Desk Award[12] Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Celia Keenan-Bolger Won
Drama League Awards[13] Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play Nominated
Distinguished Performance Award Jeff Daniels Nominated
Celia Keenan-Bolger Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Awards[14] Outstanding New Broadway Play Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Celia Keenan-Bolger Won
Outstanding Director of a Play Bartlett Sher Nominated


  1. ^ "Aaron Sorkin Bringing Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird to Broadway". Playbill. 10 February 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Jeff Daniels to Reunite With Aaron Sorkin for Broadway's To Kill a Mockingbird, With Celia Keenan-Bolger, Gideon Glick, and More". Playbill. 15 February 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  3. ^ Alter, Alexandra; Paulson, Michael (March 14, 2018). "Harper Lee's Estate Sues Over Broadway Version of 'Mockingbird'". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Kyle Buchanan (September 13, 2017). "How Aaron Sorkin's To Kill a Mockingbird Will Surprise You". New York.
  5. ^ Disis, Jill (May 10, 2018). "Aaron Sorkin's 'To Kill A Mockingbird' adaptation cleared for Broadway". CNN.
  6. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Grosses Analysis: 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Breaks 118-Year Broadway Box Office Record" Playbill, December 26, 2018
  7. ^ Evans, Greg. " 'To Kill a Mockingbird' UK Tour Cancelled" deadline, January 22, 2019
  8. ^ Means, Sean."The Grand cancels its production of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at Salt Lake Community College over a legal battle with a Broadway mogul" Salt Lake Tribune, February 20, 2019
  9. ^ Peterson, Chris. "Issue Over Two Different Mockingbird Scripts" onstageblog, February 25, 2019
  10. ^ Leighton, Paul. "'Mockingbird' killed in Marblehead" Salem News, February 25, 2019
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ McPhee, Rysn (April 25, 2019). "Nominations for the 2019 Drama Desk Awards Announced; Oklahoma!, Tootsie, Rags Parkland Lead the Pack". Playbill. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  13. ^ Lefkowitz, Andy (2019-04-17). "Nominations Announced for 85th Annual Drama League Awards". Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  14. ^ Lefkowitz, Andy (2019-04-23). "Hadestown, Tootsie & Oklahoma! Lead 2019 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations". Retrieved 2019-04-23.

External linksEdit