Meet Tony Gilbert who is playing Judge John Taylor in LTA's To Kill a Mockingbird.
Tell us a little bit about your character. How would you describe him in one word?
Judge Taylor has probably seen it all in Maycomb, Alabama. He knows who has, and just as wisely, who has not appeared in his court. When he is on the bench, his court will be run his way, no questions asked. Judge Taylor is a man with great integrity who tries his best to see Tom Robinson gets a fair trial. One word: No-nonsense.
What are some challenges you faced while working on this show?
Still having to get up at 5 a.m. for work.
What do you want the audience to take away from this play?
"People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for . . . ." - Judge Taylor Walk around a subject and look and listen for the truth from all angles.
How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on?
This show is the one I am in now. (Sorry, the best I could come up with.)
How long have you been acting? How did you get involved with LTA?
I performed in my first organized production 50 years ago this spring: Chorus in Once Upon a Mattress. A touring production of Man of La Mancha instilled in me the desire to move people as an actor the way other actors move me. LTA is my first foray into the Northern Virginia community theatre world and I am flattered to have been chosen to work in To Kill a Mockingbird.
What advice would you give others who want to get involved in theatre?
Work hard every chance you get (without cheating yourself of family) to build a body of work. Be patient and persistent; humble when you succeed and dignified when you don't. And never forget that no one else can be you and when it's your turn, if you don't show up, you cannot get the job.
What have you learned about yourself in playing this role?
Becoming Judge Taylor has taught me: OLD GUYS RULE!!!! ROCK ON!!!!