Marquette Theatre to perform in the Region III Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

Ryan McCarthy

Marquette Theatre was selected to perform their rendition of “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the Region III Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival at the Pabst Theater in January. The festival runs Jan. 5-9.

The festival, which will be Marquette Theatre’s first festival appearance since 2010’s “Censored on Final Approach,” is one of the most prestigious collegiate festivals in the country and will feature five shows from four states.

Jamie Cheatham, the director of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” sees the festival as a step forward for the program.

“We feel like our program here at Marquette Theatre is growing,” he said. “As the new hire, I certainly feel like there’s a lot of energy currently in our department. We feel that many people will soon discover that our program is in fact one of the premiere theatre programs in southeastern Wisconsin.”

Cheatham feels that the recent outbreak of protests against racial injustice have contributed to the popularity of the play. He said that the material Harper Lee wrote about in 1960 is, unfortunately, still relevant today.

The move from Helfaer Theater to the much larger Pabst poses a variety of challenges. Cheatham said on top of set and staging changes, they will not have the opportunity to rehearse at the Pabst.

“We’ll have a little time to work a bit in the space, for tricky adjustments, but not much really,” Cheatham said. “It’s a great lesson for a student who may someday be working on the road in a touring production.”