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The cast of To Kill a Mockingbird at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Little Fang.

A Look Inside To Kill a Mockingbird‘s Historic Madison Square Garden Show

On Wednesday, February 26, To Kill a Mockingbird made history as the first-ever Broadway play to perform Madison Square Garden. This unprecedented, single-performance event was entirely free to a capacity crowd of 18,000 students of New York City Department of Education public middle and high schools from all five boroughs. The event marked the largest attendance at a single performance of a play ever in world theater.

This special performance of To Kill a Mockingbird featured the entire Broadway cast, led by four-time Academy Award nominee and two-time Golden Globe Award winner Ed Harris as Atticus Finch. Other members of the cast are Nick Robinson as Jem Finch, Eliza Scanlen as Mayella Ewell, Kyle Scatliffe as Tom Robinson, LisaGay Hamilton as Calpurnia, Nina Grollman as Scout Finch, Taylor Trensch as Dill Harris, Manoel Felciano as Horace Gilmer, Russell Harvard as Link Deas and Boo Radley, Dakin Matthews as Judge Taylor, Patricia Conolly as Mrs. Dubose, Christopher Innvar as Sheriff Heck Tate, William Youmans as Mr. Roscoe and Dr. Reynolds, Neal Huff as Bob Ewell, Ted Koch as Mr. Cunningham, Liv Rooth as Ms. Stephanie, and ensemble members Rosalyn Coleman, Gene Gillette, Luke Smith, Yaegel T. Welch, Rebecca Watson, Aubie Merrylees, David Manis, Baize Buzan, Steven Lee Johnson, and Geoffrey Allen Murphy.

The performance was introduced by Mayor Bill de Blasio; First Lady of New York City, Chirlaine McCray; with filmmaker (and eternal New York Knicks fan) Spike Lee as Emcee; and punctuated by school choirs New York City schools.

The new play, written by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Bartlett Sher, and produced by Scott Rudin and Barry Diller, is based on Harper Lee’s classic novel of the same title. Inspired by Lee’s own childhood in Alabama, To Kill a Mockingbird features one of literature’s towering symbols of integrity and righteousness in the character of Atticus Finch, based on Lee’s own father. The character of Scout, based on herself, has come to define youthful innocence — and its inevitable loss — for generation after generation of readers around the world.

Published in 1960, Harper Lee’s debut novel To Kill a Mockingbird was an immediate and astonishing success. It won the Pulitzer Prize and quickly became a global phenomenon, with more than 50 million copies in print to date. Considered one of the great classics of modern American literature, the novel has never been out of print since its original publication.

To Kill a Mockingbird holds the title of the most successful American play in Broadway history.


The cast of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird</i> at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Little Fang.
The cast of To Kill a Mockingbird at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Little Fang.
Madison Square Garden during To Kill a Mockingbird. Photo by Jenny Anderson.
Madison Square Garden during To Kill a Mockingbird. Photo by Jenny Anderson.
Spike Lee and Ed Harris. Photo by Little Fang.
Spike Lee and Ed Harris. Photo by Little Fang.
Students in the audience of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird</i> at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.
Students in the audience of To Kill a Mockingbird at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.
A New York City school choir performs at <i>To Kill a Mockingbird</i> at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.
A New York City school choir performs at To Kill a Mockingbird at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.
The cast of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird</i> at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.
The cast of To Kill a Mockingbird at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Aaron Sorkin, and Ed Harris. Photo by Little Fang.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Aaron Sorkin, and Ed Harris. Photo by Little Fang.
The cast of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird</i> at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.
The cast of To Kill a Mockingbird at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.
Ed Harris in <i>To Kill a Mockingbird</i> at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Jenny Anderson.
Ed Harris in To Kill a Mockingbird at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Jenny Anderson.

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