In Part 9 of a series of interviews with the cast and director of To Kill a Mockingbird at Rockville Little Theatre, meet Todd Mazzie.
Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you perform on local stages.
My name is Todd Mazzie, and I am from Frederick, MD. In 2014, I appeared on the F. Scott Fitzgerald stage in RLT’s The Miser as Cléante and RMT’s Grease as Vince Fontaine. Last year in Frederick, I was in See How They Run as Clive with Frederick Towne Players, and A Revolutionary Christmas as Richard with the Maryland Ensemble Theater (MET).
Why did you want to appear in this production of To Kill a Mockingbird?
Boo Radley is a role I’ve always wanted to bring to life. The character is a catalyst for the title of arguably the best piece of American Literature. I believe it is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the relevance of this story. As an audience, it’s a very influential read, but it’s much more powerful to actually experience
Who do you play in the show and how do you personally relate to your character?
I play Boo Radley. I believe a big challenge to life’s journey is finding our place as individuals amongst society. I used to find it difficult to fit in because of a fear of being rejected. I believe that overcoming our fears is essential to life. Being fearful of doing things because of how they are perceived or judged by others only causes us to drift further away from others. Like Boo, if we are able to overcome our fears, society will recognize us for our actions and accept us for who we truly are.
What is To Kill a Mockingbird about from the point of view of your character?
A rebellious teen that becomes a recluse middle-aged man as he struggles to find his place in society. An embarrassment to his own family, he is forced to hide and avoid everyday people. He is a good-hearted individual who becomes the unlikely hero when he saves his neighbor’s children from the crazy town drunk
What scene or scenes were the most difficult to learn and why?
The fight choreography. There is no room for error when safety is your main concern. These parts were worked over to the max, and for good reason.
Which scene or scenes moves you the most? And why?
As my character, it’s the moment Boo and Scout unite on the Finch porch. He feels a sense of belonging, and believes he has made a new friend.
As a whole story, the court scene when Atticus Finch gets spit on by Bob Ewell. One of the most degrading and disrespectful acts someone could do to another. Atticus has everything stacked against him, yet still keeps his calm after being so disgustingly humiliated.
Why is this show relevant for today’s theatregoers?
It helps transform a relevant historical piece from a private experience to a public experience. Hopefully it will help bridge the gap between older and younger generations to create awareness and appreciation for how important the themes are, and how they can relate to both our history and present day.
What have you learned about yourself as a person and an actor while learning and rehearsing your role?
I’m usually a very animated and talkative person. I have a found new ways to appreciate gaining attention by being reserved and quiet. I can use my experience as a surfer or an artist with the mentality of “less is more.”
What was the best advice your director gave you on preparing and playing your character?
Do everything in slow motion. As a timid character, slowing things down really helps create intimate moments that should not be lost by viewers.
For those people who love the film, what is different about the stage version and why should they come see it live on the stage?
Unlike film, the stage always creates an intimate experience. With the film, the audience is an outsider watching the story unfold. While on stage, the audience shares the experience and becomes a part of the story.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing you perform in To Kill a Mockingbird?
Do not be afraid to do things that may be out of your own character. Break free from your comfort zone to do something that you know is right, yet may not be accepted by society or social norms
To Kill a Mockingbird plays throughMay 3, 2015 at Rockville Little Theatre performing at F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre at The Rockville Civic Center- 603 Edmonston Drive, in Rockville MD. For tickets, call the box office at (240) 314-8690, or purchase them online.
Meet the Cast of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at Rockville Little Theatre: Part 1: Nancy Lark.
Meet the Cast of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at Rockville Little Theatre: Part 2: Kieran Duffy.
Meet the Cast of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at Rockville Little Theatre: Part 3: Stuart Rick.
Meet the Cast of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at Rockville Little Theatre: Part 4: Kevin Page.
Meet the Cast of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at Rockville Little Theatre: Part 5: Sydney Lauricella-Reed.
Meet the Cast of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at Rockville Little Theatre: Part 6: Liz Weber.
Meet the Cast of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at Rockville Little Theatre: Part 7: Jill Goodrich.
Meet the Cast of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at Rockville Little Theatre: Part 8: Grant Williams.
Meet the Cast of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at Rockville Little Theatre: Part 9: Todd Mazzie.