Arts & CultureTheater Notes

To Kill a Mockingbird and More in March

March has always been one of my favorite months. Winter’s on its way out, college basketball gets interesting, and major league baseball is just around the corner. St. Patrick’s Day, a High Holy Day around our house, falls on a Sunday this year, so make plans accordingly. What is particularly exciting about this March is the harmonic convergence of so much controversial theater happening around town. Maybe it’s coincidence or maybe it’s an uprising against the winter doldrums, but if you like your live performance with an edge to it, this is the month for you.

Atticus, Jem and Scout: Remember all the books you were assigned in high school that turned out to be crushing bores and a chore to read no matter how enriching your English teachers insisted they were (Lord of the Flies, Silas Marner)? As it turns out, most of those books actually are better than you thought once you read them without a minimum page count or a report hanging over your head. The one book I recall reading and loving from the start, however, was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the classic about one man taking a stand in the name of justice over prejudice and the importance of obeying one’s conscience no matter what the opposition. Great novel, great movie (the 1962 film with Gregory Peck), and now great play.


The Rose of Athens production of To Kill a Mockingbird plays through Mar. 9 at the Seney-Stovall Chapel.

The Rose of Athens theater group opens the public run of its production of To Kill a Mockingbird on Friday and Saturday, Mar. 1 & 2 and 8 & 9, at 7 p.m. in the Seney-Stovall Chapel. Tickets are $16, $12 for students 13 and older, $8 for children 12 and younger, and may be purchased at or by calling 706-340-9181.

Oh, Bother: For the kids, the Athens Little Playhouse presents its production of Winnie-the-Pooh, drawn from the beloved stories by A.A. Milne. Expect Pooh to get stuck in the door of Rabbit’s house as Piglet endures the trials and tribulations of being so very small. This should be a delight for the little ones and some fine nostalgia for those of us who are not so little anymore.

Winnie-the-Pooh plays at the Athens Little Playhouse on Alps Road Friday, Mar. 1 & 8, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday–Sunday, Mar. 2 & 3 and 9 & 10, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10, $5 for kids 12 and younger, and purchased at the door.

Avant-guarde Hour: There is adventurous stuff going on at the Athens Community Theatre as Town & Gown’s Second Stage program presents a pair of experimental one-act plays, You Two Talk (In Flew Itity) by Ed Pavlic and Happy Days by Samuel Beckett. Both plays share a common theme of two people trapped together in bizarre circumstances and forced to deal with each other in spiraling, absurd, existential conversation. If you’re not a fan of “talky” theater, then this isn’t for you; but for my money, this kind of edgy, challenging drama is what community theater does best, and it’s certainly worth the five bucks to go see some Beckett.

You Two Talk (In Flew Itity) and Happy Days run Friday & Saturday, Mar. 1 & 2, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Mar. 3, at 2 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door, no reservations.

Rent Boys: I report often about the doings of the Secret City’s Burlesque Beta gang, but not so much about their other enterprise, the male burlesque (“Boylesque”) troupe The Gentlemen Callers. The Callers have been performing around town to good notices, and their next show “Holly Wood” (get it?) looks to be a barn-burner. The boys will lampoon everyone’s favorite movies with low comedy and high beefcake at Little Kings on Friday, Mar. 8, beginning at 10 p.m. Admission for all brave, non-prudish folks 21 or older is $5 at the door.

Hardhats Recommended: The UGA Theatre Department is taking a few chances of its own in staging Charles Mee’s 2009 play Under Construction, more a series of vignettes in a constantly shifting collage of props and words than a play proper. The work centers around a juxtaposition of the 1950s art of Norman Rockwell and the modern absurdist art of Jason Rhoades, with commentary from an avalanche of cultural sources contrasting the America we envisioned and the America that turned out to be. This is a very risky work that has received mixed and often virulent reviews since its opening, but then again, good art is the kind that picks a fight. It will be extremely interesting to see what the UGA folk do with this contentious play.

Under Construction runs in the Cellar Theatre of the Fine Arts Building Thursday–Saturday, Mar. 21–23, at 8 p.m and Sunday, Mar. 24, at 2:30 p.m, and then Tuesday–Friday, Mar. 26–29, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12, $7 for students with ID, and are available by calling 706-542-7700 or at