In the production, Michael Gentile will be playing both Nathan Radley and Heck Tate, the town sheriff. The Middle Village actor says he was cast in two roles by the directors and is up for the challenge because he is “a character actor at heart,” Gentile said.
Gentile has had an interest in acting since he was a kid and would act on and off for years because acting gives him “the ability to step into someone else’s skin,” he said. Gentile recently got back into acting full time since moving to Middle Village after living in Glendale for 11 years. After working on a couple of film projects, Gentile is excited to be acting in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
“It is a classic and I’m a big fan for the book and the film,” Gentile said. “It’s the moral intensity of it, especially for Atticus [Finch]. He has the weight and burden on him.”
This will be Gentile’s first time performing at Queens Theatre, which is in its 27th season, and he has been looking forward to this opportunity since getting back into acting. Both Gentile’s mother and aunt worked at the World’s Fair in 1964 so performing at the Queens Theatre will be a special occasion for the actor.
“I’ve had my eye on the Queens Theatre for a while,” Gentile said. “My family has major Queens roots. My mom and aunt worked at the World’s Fair. Queens is where I feel at home.”
Queens Theatre has seen many Queens-based actors pass through its doors.
“It happens a lot and I love it,” said Taryn Sacramone, managing director of the Queens Theatre. “It happens frequently. There is a lot of culture and a lot of opportunities for Queens actors to work in Queens. There are a lot of great artists in the borough and we are happy to be here.”
“To Kill a Mockingbird” will premiere on Friday, Nov. 13, with two shows, one at 2 p.m. and the second at 8 p.m. The production will run on weekends through Nov. 22 with shows on Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Queens Theatre website.