08 Apr
METRMAG Spotlight On: Ashburnham Native Denise Cormier returns home in Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" coming to the Hanover Theatre (Worcester, MA.)

(Cover Photo: DENISE CORMIER headshot from Harper Lee's "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD" adapted for the stage by Aaron Sorkin and coming to the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. beginning May 3, 2024. Photo Courtesy Tour website)

By Kevin T. Baldwin

METRMAG Reviewer

# 774-242-6724

METRMAG Spotlight On: Denise Cormier from "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD" coming to the Hanover Theatre

The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts

Presents Aaron Sorkin's 

Adaptation of Harper Lee's


“The most successful American play in Broadway history!” -NY Times

Written by Harper Lee

Adapted by Aaron Sorkin

Directed by Bartlett Sher

Cast Includes: Richard Thomas as “Atticus Finch,” Maeve Moynihan as “Scout Finch,” Jacqueline Williams as “Calpurnia,” Justin Mark as “Jem Finch,” Yaegel T. Welch as “Tom Robinson,” Steven Lee Johnson as “Dill Harris,” Mary Badham as “Mrs. Henry Dubose,” Ted Koch as “Bob Ewell,” Jeff Still as “Judge Taylor,” Christopher R. Ellis as “Horace Gilmer,” Mariah Lee as “Mayella Ewell,” Travis Johns as “Sheriff Heck Tate,” Greg Wood as “Link Deas,” Anne-Marie Cusson as “Miss Stephanie, Dill’s Mother,” Ian Bedford as “Mr. Cunningham, Boo Radley.” General Understudies: Lance Baker, Stephen Cefalu, Jr. Ensemble: Denise Cormier, Rae Gray, Greg Jackson, Joey LaBrasca, David Andrew Morton, Andre Ozim, Dorcas Sowunmi  (NOTE: Information obtained from tour website subject to change)    


May 3, 2024 through May 5, 2024  

(Contact Box Office for Exact Times)

Presented at the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 

For More Information:  

877-571-SHOW (7469) info@thehanovertheatre.org



Contact Venue for Most Updated COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Information.

METRMAG Spotlight On: Denise Cormier from "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD" coming to the Hanover Theatre

The Hanover Theatre brings Harper Lee’s quintessential novel "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD" to the Worcester stage thanks to a marvelous new adaptation by Aaron Sorkin.   

This newer stage adaptation by Sorkin and staging by director Bartlett Sher expands upon various aspects of the overall story.

METRMag recently interviewed actress DENISE CORMIER about various local ties and to learn more on how the performer approached Sorkin's adaptation on this latest tour.

According to CORMIER's resume, the actress has done a lot of work in New England but with the strongest ties to Massachusetts.  

“My parents lived in Beverly but soon moved to Ashburnham,CORMIER says. "I lived there for many years, went to high school and my mother and two of my brothers still live there. I lived in Boston for 18 years, working and cutting my teeth as a Boston actor.” 

CORMIER recalls the very first time acting before an audience.

“Oh, probably it was in grammar school. Funny thing is: I was in a Christmas play and I was inside this box which was painted on all four sides with different scenes. So, you only heard my voice. So, basically, I was half scenery and half voice acting.”   

“Then, while I was in high school, a new drama club had started and we performed in a play called 'Next' by Terrance McNally,says CORMIER. "My first Boston experience was when I had just moved into the city. I started out with the Lyric in a play 'The Big Knife' by Clifford Odets. This was when the Lyric was still over the hardware store on Charles Street.” 

“I got to do a scene with Jerry (Jeremiah) Kissel and I thought I had made it because of working with him. I got my Equity card in Boston doing 'Nunsense' at the Charles Playhouse.” 

CORMIER comes from a very large family. 

"I am one of eight kids, seven siblings. They are now scattered all over," CORMIER says, emphasizing, "But that’s one of the great things about this tour, because I get to see family, friends and colleagues in the places where they live and that, to me, is exciting.”

CORMIER praises her family's ongoing encouragement for her chosen profession. 

“My family has always been very supportive," CORMIER says. "My parents met in drum and bugle corps in Somerville and Malden. My dad sang in choir and in church. So, my family was musical and very supportive of a career choice.”  

Having accumulated extensive credits for regional work, CORMIER reminisces on the journey and some milestones prior to joining the touring company of "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD." 

“I can tell you recently my two absolute favorite roles which resonated with me - and I've gotten to do them both twice. The first was ‘Margie’ in ‘Good People,’ (by David Lindsay-Abaire). Margie was this scrappy girl from Southie/ Boston. So, being someone from MA. and in Boston, that 'New England sensibility' with her resonated with me. 

"I also got to do ‘Little Foxes’ (by Lillian Hellman) playing ‘Birdie.’ I just loved playing to her vulnerability and strength because those are the kind of roles that I love.” 

Before seeing the script or being cast in "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD" had CORMIER ever read the story before, or seen the iconic film? 

“Oh sure. I certainly read the story in high school and saw the film," CORMIER says, adding, "It is a very important story. When I first got cast, I listened to Sissy Spacek narrating the audiobook of 'TKAM' and that was a marvelous experience.” 

CORMIER says she was cast during the pandemic using a ‘self-take’ (video). 

"No one was going in to casting offices then. We were all setting up our own cameras," as CORMIER remembers. "I was in my living room, recorded it and sent it in. That was an interesting experience.” 

This is CORMIER's first time working with tour director Bartlett Sher, whom the performer describes as "incredible." 

"He (Bartlett Sher) is just so smart and creative and I just love working with him. I would work again with him in a heartbeat.” 

Since being cast, CORMIER has also had interactions with Aaron Sorkin about the new adaptation. 

Aaron came into the rehearsal room in New York City and he also came to Boston (our second tour stop and our official opening)," CORMIER recalls. "He seemed to like what we were doing.” 

CORMIER speaks to the ongoing relevancy of "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD." 

“This story remains current. And certainly, unfortunately, after George Floyd, after the number of instances of hate crimes, after justice not being served equally – I think this story has so much to offer. I think to be able to take this story around the country is a privilege and feels important.”

(Photo: Richard Thomas as "Atticus Finch" in a scene from Harper Lee's "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD" adapted for the stage by Aaron Sorkin and coming to the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. beginning May 3, 2024. Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes)

"TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD" was first published as a novel in 1960 by author Harper Lee

An instant hit in America, it won the Pulitzer Prize for literature and, even after 60 years, is still widely read in many schools. 

The plot and characters are loosely based on Lee’s observations of her family, her neighbors and an event that occurred near her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, in 1936, when she was 10 years old.

Despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality, the novel is renowned for its warmth and humor. 

Atticus (played on this latest tour by consummate veteran actor Richard Thomas), has served as a moral compass and template for many fictional heroes that came after, also representing a model of integrity for attorneys at law. 

In this latest tour, though, the character of Atticus is far less elevated, shown more clearly as a product of his time and of the place in which this story exists. 

Still, "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD" is widely regarded as a literary turning point focused on the subject of racism and racist hierarchy in America, and "Atticus Finch," as played by Thomas, is still most representative of someone who believes in an allegiance to justice, not bias. 

DENISE CORMIER had seen Thomas in shows like “The Waltons” and Stephen King miniseries “It” growing up and now shares the stage with him.  

Richard is a true leader. First of all, he loves touring. He’s toured in many productions. He loves the road and it shows," CORMIER says. "He leads with his heart and with humor and humility. He is wonderful, both on stage and off. He is a member of the company and that’s how he goes in the world.”

(Photo: Maeve Moynihan as “Scout Finch” hugs JACQUELINE WILLIAMS as "Calpurnia" in a scene from Harper Lee's "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD" adapted for the stage by Aaron Sorkin, coming to the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. beginning May 3, 2024. Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes)

Normally, this is that part of the interview where I ask my interview subjects if they have ever performed at the Hanover Theatre  in Worcester before or if this is their first time. 

However, for DENISE CORMIER, not only has the performer been to the Hanover Theatre before, CORMIER also appeared in the very first 'Christmas Carol' at the Hanover.

“I did ‘Christmas Carol’ at the Hanover Theatre for three years in a row. I got to do it and, not only is it such a gorgeous production, I have a very personal connection to it.”

CORMIER continues with her her touching story. 

"My dad got brain cancer around the time I went in for the audition. I happened to be in Worcester at the hospital when I turned to my mom and said that I needed to borrow her car to go audition for this play.” 

“I auditioned for Troy, got cast and - for three years - I got to spend those holidays months with my mom, to give her support in caring for my father, and to do this marvelous holiday play. It holds a very special place in my heart.” 

Now returning "home" as part of the "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD" ensemble, CORMIER concludes by saying “I hope that in this adaptation, they still feel the absolute core of Harper Lee’s story and intention." 

"I also hope they embrace the changes made, that they come away feeling entertained and moved and, ultimately, that they are spurred on to take some kind of personal action, maybe – thoughts about what they can do in the world to make a little change.”

"TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD" will play at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. from May 3rd through May 5th, 2024. For Tickets and more information call # 877-571-SHOW (7469) or email info@thehanovertheatre.org


Approximately two hours, 30 minutes with one intermission

Kevin T. Baldwin is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) 




“The New York Times Critic’s Pick 'TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD' is “the most successful American play in Broadway history” - 60 Minutes 

With direction by Tony Award® winner Bartlett Sher, "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD" is “the greatest novel of all time” (Chicago Tribune) and has quickly become “one of the greatest plays in history” (NPR).

Set in Alabama in 1934, Harper Lee’s enduring story of racial injustice and childhood innocence centers on one of the most venerated characters in American literature, small-town lawyer Atticus Finch. 

The cast of characters includes Atticus’s daughter Scout, her brother Jem, their housekeeper and caretaker, Calpurnia, their visiting friend Dill, and a mysterious neighbor, the reclusive Arthur “Boo” Radley. 

The other indelible residents of Maycomb, Alabama, are Bob Ewell, Tom Robinson, prosecutor Horace Gilmer, Judge Taylor and Mayella Ewell. 

Rolling Stone gives it 5 stars, calling it “an emotionally shattering landmark production of an American classic,” and New York Magazine calls it “a real phenomenon. Majestic and incandescent, it’s filled with breath and nuance and soul.” 

Please contact the box office at 877-571-SHOW (7469) for more information.


Worcester Center for Performing Arts is a registered not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, which owns and operates The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.


2 Southbridge Street

Worcester, MA. 01608

877-571-SHOW (7469)