Young Carmel actor Mitchell Wray takes on “To Kill a Mockingbird”
By Mark Ambrogi
Mitchell Wray likes being busy, but this schedule was hectic for even the 10-year-old Carmel resident.
Fresh from completing his run as Michael Banks in the Civic Theatre’s production of “Mary Poppins” on Jan. 2, Mitchell began rehearsals for his role as Dill in the Indiana Repertory Theatre’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” a few days later. The performances will begin Jan. 29 and run through Feb. 28 on the OneAmerica MainStage.
“It’s gets tiring,” Mitchell said. “Sometimes I wish I had a break, but it’s fun.”
It’s Mitchell’s choice to keep busy.
“We kept asking him if he was sure he wanted to do back-to-back shows,” said his mother Chauncie Wray.
His mother said her son plans take a break after “To Kill a Mockingbird.” There might be some auditions but it will be for shows later in the year.
“I also like rock climbing so I’ll do some of that afterwards,” Mitchell said.
For now, Mitchell is concentrating on what he describes as a challenging role.
“He’s a troublemaker,” Mitchell said of Dill. “He does a lot of things he shouldn’t be doing. He’s like Scout’s sidekick. They do a lot of trouble-making stuff together. They’re very adventurous. They’re very curious about things.”
Mitchell said there are some similarities between this role and Michael Banks.
“I loved that just like Dill, Michael is a troublemaker,” Mitchell said. “In the beginning, they are spoiled rotten and they turn into the best kids ever.”
Chauncie said he enjoyed singing and dancing
“He never had a dance lesson in his life,” Chauncie said.
Mitchell also was thrilled he got to fly on stage.
“That was on top of my bucket list so check,” said Mitchell, who wore a harness under his jacket and shirt.
His mother said he sings while he is up in the air.
Mitchell appeared in his first movie “Crossroads of America,” which is now in post production. He also appeared in a short documentary about Reynolds Farm Lights Display.
Mitchell is joined in the “To Kill a Mockingbird” cast by another Carmel youngster. Grayson Molin, 13, will play Jem Finch. Grayson started acting when he was 5 years old.
“It’s one of my new favorites,” Grayson said of the play. “I hadn’t read the book before. But when I got asked to do the role, I watched the old movie version of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and I really liked it.”
Grayson performed as Henry Cratchit in “A Christmas Carol” and Jonas in “The Giver” in IRT productions last season. This season he performed as Ghost of Christmas Past and Peter Cratchit.
“We’re delighted to have Mitchell and Grayson with us in Mockingbird — they’ve both played lead roles on IRT stages so they are old pros,” said Janet Allen, IRT artistic director. “But the opportunity for them to take on the literary classic roles of Dill and Jem in Mockingbird will hopefully be as much of a delight for them as it will be for our audiences.”
For more, visit irtlive.com
“To Kill a Mockingbird” cast members
Atticus Finch: Ryan Artzberger
Jean Louise Finch: Lauren Briggeman
Walter Cunningham/Mr. Gilmer: Charles Goad
Heck Tate: Tim Grim
Maudie Atkinson: Jan Lucas
Dill: Mitchell Wray
Jem Finch: Grayson Molin
Mayella Ewell: Katherine Shelton
Rev. Sykes: James Solomon Benn
Helen Robinson: Shawnte Gaston
Mrs. Dubose/Stephanie Crawford: Laurel Goetzinger
Scout Finch: Paula Hopkins
Tom Robinson: Daniel A. Martin
Bob Ewell: Robert Neal
Boo Radley/Judge Taylor: Christopher Walz
Calpurnia: Milicent Wright