Ninth grade English classes attend play


Students in Mrs. Vanish’s classes take a look at the complimentary program that was handed out as students entered the theatre. Photo by Wanda Vanish

English teachers, Wanda Vanish and Autumn Barry-Kyle took their ninth grade students on a field trip to see the play To Kill A Mockingbird, on Feb. 17.  To Kill A Mockingbird is originally a book by the author Harper Lee, who just passed away on Feb. 19.  

“I am so glad I got to go see the play. The play opened my eyes to a whole different side of the story. The play made me understand the book 100 times more,”  ninth grader Elaina Soult said.

The play takes place in Maycomb County, Alabama.  Scout, a six year old girl, is one of many characters in the play.  Jem, Scout’s brother, is four years older than Scout and has a fear he’ll never play football again after breaking his arm.  The play covers not just days but years go by for Scout and the rest of the townspeople.  Harper Lee considered her book to be a simple love story.

“Despite the details and some main parts being missing that were exaggerated in the book, it was a great play to see and left you surprised at the end, ” ninth grader Allie Sprankle said.

“They got most of the main parts down but still skipped a couple key parts in the book. I like how they put a lot of emphasis on the Tom Robinson trial, but they also made me kind of forget about Boo Radley,” ninth grader Nate Cherry said.

“So far, I think it’s great,” ninth grader Paige Baker said.

Harper Lee died in her sleep and was eighty-nine years old.  Doctors say it was from natural causes.  She was buried in the cemetery where her mother, father and sister is also, in her hometown Alabama.

“To say the truth I didn’t know.  That’s really sad and her book is great so far,” Baker said.

Not every single student went on this trip.  Only certain classes went, and it was different for both teachers.   Barry-Kyle took all of her English classes while Vanish only took her periods 4, 5, and 6.

“I got an email from the ACT asking if I would be interested in bringing students.  I knew there was no money to pay for a substitute teacher for me and for other teachers to chaperone so I included the classes I would have during the time the play was taking place.  The play filled up so quickly there was no way for any of us to get more student tickets.  I know all of the ninth grade teachers would have loved to attend with their students,”  Vanish said.

The play took place at the Mishler Theatre near the school. The departure time for leaving the school was 9:30 a.m. and students met their teachers in front of the library.  Due to the play, students missed their third, fourth, fifth and sixth period classes.  Students arrived back at school in time for lunch.

“I felt the play was very enjoyable to attend. It was nice to see someone else’s interpretation of the scenery and people in the play,” ninth grader Tyler Dilling said.