By October 7, 2022 Read More →

To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird

By Tasha Wilson

On September 30, 2022, through October 8, 2022, The Gallo Center for the Arts will be
presenting one of the greatest plays ever adapted from the pages of a book. To Kill a
Mockingbird, published in July of 1960, and written by Harper Lee, shook up the world
upon its release. At the time, Jim Crow segregation laws were in full effect. Dr Martin
Luther King was opening the eyes of the nation, with news channels broadcasting the
non-violent “sit-in” events he would hold at restaurant counters that denied black
patrons from eating their meals at the tables inside. Instead, they were only permitted to
get their food in a to-go bag and eat outside, (in the back of the establishments). Even
bathrooms and drinking fountains were separate and clearly labelled as either “Whites
Only” or “Colored.” This was the Civil Rights Era and the tension, (when it came to race
relations in 1960), was extremely volatile. One month after the book was released, Dr.
King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, and it was perfect timing.

Though Harper Lee’s book was written about a fictional town called Maycomb,
Alabama, both the book and Dr King’s speech, painted a clear picture that caused
people across the country to examine the injustices and multiple atrocities that the
American legal system needed to iron out regarding its treatment of people of color.

For Jim Johnson, Ph.D., this year’s production of To Kill a Mockingbird is extremely
special and dear to his heart. Ryan Foy, Director of Produced Theatre & Special
Programming, put it best, when he stated, “Specifically, it is the 10th anniversary of the
coproduction between the Gallo Center and Prospect Theatre Project that also acted as
the impetus to create the Gallo Center Repertory Company and Sankofa Theatre
Company. It is also Jim Johnson’s final show that he is directing as Artistic Director of

The cast is impeccable with actors David Hambley in the role of Atticus Finch, Camden
Van Lewen will play, Jem Finch, Daisy Braley, will play, Scout Finch, and John Ervin III,
will be playing the role of Tom Robinson. Mr Ervin is the Executive Director/Artistic
Director, and one of the four co-founders, of the first African American Theatre
Company, founded in Modesto, California, Sankofa Theatre Company.

Dr Johnson did not take his responsibility as director for this production lightly either.
He made sure the Gallo Center connected with Modesto’s local NAACP President,
Wendy Byrd, to seek advice on how best to promote the story within our community.
You do not want to miss this incredible event! All the details can be found here:

About the Author:

Tasha Wilson is a true “Multipotentialite” in every sense of the word! She has been a freelance writer for over 5 years. She is a singer, an actress, a motivational speaker, a personal consultant, and a self- proclaimed Interior designer! She graduated from Modesto Junior College with the following 3 degrees: 1. Human Services 2. Sociology and 3. Social and Behavioral Sciences. Single-handedly, she raised two adult children, a son, Giovanni, and a daughter, Aciemarie. For singing, acting, and/or speaking engagements, you can easily connect with Tasha, via her social media platforms on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram here:,,