A recurring theme: actor Greg Wood in To Kill a Mockingbird

Actor Greg Wood returns to Philadelphia for national tour to kill a robin. Wood made local connections in Aston, Pennsylvania. Now living in New Jersey, Wood’s most recent area credits include our area theater.talk to FendiWood said he could relate directly to the play’s themes of social inequality and racial injustice.

to kill a robin It will premiere July 12-24 at the School of Music on the Kimmel Cultural Campus.

Photo credit: Juliette Cervantes

Debra Danese: When were you first introduced to to kill a robin?

Greg Wood: I first saw a Gregory Peck movie when I was about 9 years old. I can say it was one of those events that changed my view of the world. My mother’s family is from Mobile, Alabama. She was raised by Aida and Mattie—two African American women who were my mother’s nurse and housekeeper. They are family. When I was little, my mom would play with their kids. Growing up, I never knew there was a white/black problem. When I saw this movie, my life changed immediately and I “grew up”. I identify with Scout so closely, she doesn’t understand what happened and why. I still don’t get it.

DD: Has the meaning changed for you between then and now?

GW: The meaning has not changed at all. In fact, it’s hard to believe that in 2022 we’re still dealing with the same problem. Same ignorance. the same fear. Same paranoia. the same hatred. Very sad.

DD: What’s the most important thing you’ve tried to bring to your character?

GW: I love playing Dr. Reynolds! What I’m trying to do is bring that small town community feel to what I do. That feeling that everyone knows each other and family. I’m sure Dr. Reynolds delivered Jem and Scott, and he was there when Atticus’ wife died. As Atticus puts it, “My family has been here for years. I know these people.”

DD: If you could advise one character on the show, who would it be?

GW: Calpurnia said, “Jem and Scout have a fighting spirit. Why not let them fight?” I said to Scout, “Never stop fighting. Always face ignorance with truth and hate with compassion.”

DD: What’s your best compliment for your performance?

GW: “Are you in that scene?”

just joking. I was able to continue serving as Judge Taylor for almost two weeks due to covid issues. Richard Thomas (Atticus) said to me one night after one of the judges’ scenes with Atticus, “I really enjoyed ‘playing’ with you. So much fun!” This means a lot.

DD: As a native of the Philadelphia area, what local attractions do you recommend to actors?

GW: I can not wait anymore Robin Come to Philadelphia! I think Philly is going to love this show, and of course we’re going to love Philly. I am the unofficial Philadelphia liaison for our company. It’s a great walkable city and our cast loves to walk. I recommend spending a day in Old Town and all the historical sites, great restaurants and make sure they go to Franklin Fountain for dessert. Then walk through Spruce St Harbour Park and of course the Art Museum District. If they want to go the longer route, DiBruno Brothers and Italian Market for Cheesesteaks!

[Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St.] July 12-24, 2022; kimmelculturecampus.org

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