The Maltz Jupiter Theatre is offering local middle and high school students the chance to produce a renowned American masterpiece.

Under the guidance of industry professionals at Florida’s largest award-winning professional regional theatre, the Theatre is inviting students in grades 6-12 to apply to be part of a free summer mentorship program to produce the play To Kill a Mockingbird, adapted by Christopher Sergel from the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee. The show will take place on the Theatre’s stage on Saturday, August 11, at 7:30 p.m.

It’s 1935, and racial tensions are high in Maycomb, Alabama, where young Jean Louise Finch – better known by her nickname, Scout – manages to live a carefree existence. All of that changes when she watches her father, Atticus, defend an innocent man. Scout’s journey brings her to realize that just because society portrays something as being true doesn’t mean that it is fact. She also soon learns that growing up often means doing what is right, even when it comes at great cost. To Kill a Mockingbird has long been considered an American masterpiece about the power of childhood innocence, morality and love.

“To Kill A Mockingbird is a powerful seminal classic that tackles issues of compassion, inequality and strength with warmth and courage,” said Julie Rowe, director of education for the Theatre. “Though the book was written more than 50 years ago, I know this will be a life-changing drama for our students to produce.”

Known as the Youth Artists’ Chair, the project aligns middle and high school students with individual Theatre staff members for one-on-one mentoring and guidance during the creation process of the show. Through the project, students have produced the dramas The Diary of Anne Frank, Rhinoceros, The Glass Menagerie, The Crucible, Hamlet, The Laramie Project and The Good Times are Killing Me since 2011.

“To Kill A Mockingbird is one of the most celebrated novels in modern American literature, and I’m looking forward to seeing how our students interpret the play,” Rowe said. “The Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s annual Youth Artists’ Chair mentorship program has become a place where students can spend their summer working on a dynamic, significant project with their peers.”

Applicants for the project will be interviewed and chosen by a committee. Winning students will then take on specific roles throughout the summer months that include producer, director, set designer, costume designer, lighting designer, sound designer, properties designer, stage manager, assistant stage manager, marketing, press relations, development, carpentry/electrics, run crew and wardrobe. The students will then lead three weeks of rehearsals before mounting the show on stage.

The deadline to apply for the project is March 12, with interviews that will take place through March 17. Please note: this production explores mature themes. Submission packets are available by visiting www.jupitertheatre.org/youth-artists-chair-program.

Those chosen for the role of director and producer will also assist in casting the show’s young performers. With casting open for local students in grades 6-12, open auditions and callbacks for the show will be held April 29 from noon to 4 p.m. Students interested in auditioning for To Kill A Mockingbird should come prepared with a one-minute monologue in the style of the show; pre-registration is required. For additional audition information and an audition appointment, call (561) 743-2666, ext. 123.