“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Aaron Sorkin Cancelled by Producer Scott Rudin

Despite the New York Times’ announcement that “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Aaron Sorkin’s stage version of Harper Lee’s renowned coming-of-age classic, would return to Broadway, it will not. A factory spokeswoman on the cancellation refused a variety of comments.

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It was the play’s final performance at the Shubert Theatre on January 16 after it premiered on Broadway in 2018. The Belasco Theater in New York City has announced that The Present will reopen in June. Later, the date was changed to Nov. 2, and the location was changed to the Music Box Theater on purpose. The Times has now decided to cancel the production entirely.

To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird

An e-mail sent by the Times on Thursday night to the cast and crew of “The West Wing” blamed the decision on the show’s original lead producer Scott Rudin. Sorkin and Sher wrote E-mails that purportedly stated Rudin had “reinserted himself as producer and for reasons which are, frankly, unfathomable to us both, he stopped the play from returning to the stage.”

Rudin sent Sorkin and Sher an email on Friday in which he linked the producer’s decision to considerations about the show’s profitability should it open later this year, according to the Times. Rudin wrote in an email I decided not to bring back “TKAM” because of my lack of faith in the winter play market. A new Mockingbird production would not have been in the same league as the original.

With average weekly ticket sales of $2 million and a return on investment of 19 weeks, “To Kill a Mockingbird” opened in 2018 as a financial success right away. At the 2019 Tony Prizes, it was nominated for nine awards, with Celia Keenan-Bolger winning for her performance as Scout Finch. As a result of Rudin’s lawyers closing dozens of neighborhood and non-profit productions of Christopher Sergel’s novel adaption, which premiered in 1991, Rudin apologized for his wrongful actions.

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After the Broadway suspension in March 2020, the play resumed performances last October, with original actor Jeff Daniels returning to the role of Atticus Finch. The show continued to sell well. However, with Daniels’ departure on January 2 amid a decline in Broadway gross sales due to the epidemic, the present’s earnings decreased significantly.

The drama launched on London’s West End in March with Rafe Spall and Gwyneth Keyworth playing Atticus and Scout. In addition, a tour of the United States began in Boston earlier this month. Because of the Broadway manufacturing shutdown, both productions can remain open.