"To Kill a Mockingbird” is a classic reading staple in the Depew Middle School English curriculum. On Tuesday, June 11th, the messages in the Pulitzer Prize-winning book will come to life as Mary Badham, the actress from the 1962 film, visits Depew High School.
“We are fortunate to have the lead in the famous movie, made about the bestselling novel, come to Depew,” high school English Teacher Christine Ferreri said. “Scout is the narrator of the famous novel and takes the readers through her journey of discovery through some challenging events.”
Mary Badham played the role of 10 year old Scout in the movie adaptation of Harper Lee’s 1960 novel where Scout, her brother Jem and friend, Dill, spend time observing their neighbors in their 1930’s Alabama town. The movie centers around their speculations regarding the reclusive Arthur “Boo” Radley as well as Scout’s father, Atticus Finch, who defends an innocent black man arrested on charges of rape in a setting of societal racism.
At 10 years old herself, it was Badham’s first acting role. Her performance earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, an honor for which she was the youngest to receive at the time.
Badham retired from acting at the age of 15, but stayed close with her “To Kill A Mockingbird” co-stars. She now travels the world recalling her wonderful experiences on the film and expounding on the book's messages of tolerance and compassion.
“The high school students continue to reference the novel in their English curriculum and are really looking forward to the opportunity to discuss the movie, novel, and experiences with the other actors and author with Mrs. Badham,” Ferreri said.
In addition to interacting with students throughout the day, Badham will appear at a public forum on the evening of June 11th at 6:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium.