MEDIA THEATRE COLLABORATES WITH MEDIA'S SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH FOR 'TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD'

The Media Theatre's "To Kill A Mockingbird" features a professional cast of actors, young and old, bringing Harper Lee's classic story to life within the script adaptation by Chris Sergel. The show focuses on the trial of young Tom, an African American who lives in fictional Maycomb County, Alabama in the early 1930's who is accused of a crime against a young white woman. 

The production, unlike any other produced ever before, also features members of Media's Second Baptist Church who will assist in capturing the true essence of the play directed by Jesse Cline, the theatre's Artistic Director. It is on stage January 27 through February 21 at The Media Theatre. The show was initially expected to close a week earlier, but due to popular demand was extended an extra week.

Pastor Warren Mays of the Second Baptist Church of Media, PA

The Second Baptist Church's Pastor Warren Mays is venturing onto a professional stage by taking on the role of Reverend Sykes in the show. "I accepted this due to the challenge of performing in my first dramatic play as a role that reflects similar values during the oppressive and unjust Jim Crow era," he said. "This is my first show participating with professional actors. My experience has been limited to brief roles in church plays."

He'll share the experience with various members of his congregation who will perform in the show as well. They'll represent African Americans who reside in Alabama during the time of the play. The Second Baptist Church members will sing and perform to enhance the show's integrity and define its atmosphere.

"While Maycomb County is a fictional place, it represents the true definition of what was happening during the time period of the show," said director Cline. "It still, to this day, represents those things happening around us which tell us that 'the more things change, the more they remain the same' in some instances."

Pastor Mays believes strongly in this collaboration. "This has the potential to promote an ongoing educational, spiritual and cultural dialogue between the two groups."

When the Pastor was asked how he applied his status as the leader of Second Baptist Church's congregation to the role of Reverend Sykes, he explained "As a 21st century African American pastor, I had to learn to act subservient in my role in the show--a definite personal adjustment--while still demonstrating the same compassion and influential power of the Black Church, and confronting inequality."

"I envision the audience embracing a knowledge of the Jim Crow era formulated by distorted racial beliefs, laws, and actions," he continued. "However, I am optimistic the viewing public will gain more of an appreciation for those individuals who risked and sacrificed their lives in the struggle for justice. Hopefully, they'll be moved to participate in the eradication of injustice everywhere."

Pastor Mays, as one would expect, is more than happy to share information regarding the Second Baptist Church of Media. "Our church is celebrating 115 years as a beacon of light in the Media borough. The congregation is comprised of individuals and families from the Tri-State area. We promote racial and ethnic harmony through Jesus the Christ in the recognition of God's creatures and creation. Ministries are developed to meet the needs of the people and those in foreign countries through a biblical perspective."


Cline added, "With his type of belief system and faith background, there was no better choice to portray Reverend Sykes than Pastor Warren Mays of Media's Second Baptist Church. You can't bring that to the stage unless it is with you every step of the way. We are happy to have Pastor Mays and members of his congregation enhance our production of "To Kill A Mockingbird" at The Media Theatre."

Pastor Mays is thankful for his role in life. He says enthusiastically, "God has allowed me to pastor His caring church for 30 years with a lovely family--my wife, Lenora and my children LaTisha, Warren Jr., Isaiah and Ashley and my grandchildren. I am blessed to be able to offer Christian Counseling, Biblical Preaching and Teaching, Intercessory Prayer and to facilitate Seminars and Conferences."

He's also ready and willing to communicate further information regarding the Second Baptist Church of Media. "Just visit our website for information at www.secondbaptistmedia.com." 

For tickets and information regarding "To Kill A Mockingbird", call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. 

The Media Theatre is a non-profit professional theatre and neither promotes or condones one religious preference over another. Pastor Mays of Second Baptist Church is an actor in the show and, as with any feature about actors or those involved with a production, this article gives us insight as to who one individual is who is on stage.








     







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