In “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Broadway star Gideon Glick dwells within the world of childhood.
The actor plays Charles Baker “Dill” Harris, a friend of the Finch children, Scout and Jem. The close-knit trio serves as the voices of Aaron Sorkin’s stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic novel.
“We’re three kids, but we’re kind of one kid,” Glick said in an interview for the ALL ARTS digital series “And the Tony Nominees Are…“ “We’re one unit. We’re separated almost — we exist in our own kind of realm.”
His portrayal of the adolescent Dill (Glick, it should be noted, is in his 30s) pulled in a Tony Award nomination for “Best Featured Actor in a Play.”
“This is not a character that typically comes to the forefront,” said Glick. “It’s very moving to me that this young queer boy, who is searching for acceptance and searching for love, could be accepted in this way.”
Glick sat down with “And the Tony Nominees Are…” to share childhood memories, his early inspirations and what it means to be nominated.
Read the transcript from that discussion below, and check back for forthcoming episodes with Rachel Hauck, Laurie Metcalf, Jennifer Tipton and more as ALL ARTS counts down to the Tony Awards on June 9.
We would do “Rapunzel” — I played Rapunzel. And we would put mattresses on the staircase, and my brother would have to climb up the staircase mattresses as if it was a tower and then I’d like to slide out of it. It was really thrilling — and dangerous.
My brother and sister and I used to put on shows all the time at home. We would do “The Little Mermaid” or “Little Red Riding Hood” or “Three Little Pigs.”
I was obsessed with my sister’s Barbie dolls. When we asked for our kids’ meal, they would say, “Boy or girl?” So, she’d have to say “girl” because I always wanted my little Barbies. And she had these paper dolls, too, that you put different paper dresses on.
I had a lot of stuffed animals — I’d just hold court with them. I don’t know what I was doing. Oh, I had a coven. I created a coven in school with my three best girlfriends.
I started piano lessons, and I wasn’t very good at piano — I’m still not. And I got bored, so I just started singing the songs that I was playing. It was actually “Memory” from “Cats.” And I remember my mom came into the room; she said, “Were you just singing?” And I said, “Yes.” And she was like, “Oh, that was good.” And that was my first conception of, “Oh, what I’m doing could be good.”
Bernadette Peters’s performance of “Gypsy” — that was one of those moments where I thought, “Oh, I have to do this. I have to do whatever she’s doing.” Because it was so…it changed me.
But then her performance at the Tonys was so incredible. This is not the theater. This is Radio City Music Hall, and I don’t understand how she could tap into that because it’s a profound performance.
I grew up just doing musicals, and it was only when I moved to New York, after I left “Spring Awakening,” that I started doing plays. And it’s not ever what I set out to do. I thought I was just going to do musical theater, and now I predominantly do plays.
I was in the seventh grade, and it was a pretty transformative book for me just because that’s how I learned how to be a critical reader. And to think now that I’d be in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” as a 10-year-old, it just kind of…life is really surprising and unexpected.
To be recognized by the community is really moving to me. And then, I’m also really moved for Dill, that Dill is recognized. This is not a character that typically comes to the forefront. It’s very moving to me that this young queer boy, who is searching for acceptance and searching for love, could be accepted in this way. I think it could only happen now, and I really hope that it’s taught more now in schools. I hope this adaptation is going to affect that, ‘cuz he’s based off Truman Capote. He was a young queer boy. And it can only happen now, and that shows progress.
Getting to work with Celia [Keenan-Bolger] and Will [Pullen] has been one of the most extraordinary parts of this whole thing. Because we’re three kids, but we’re kind of one kid. We’re one unit. We’re separated almost. We exist in our own kind of realm. And it just doesn’t…no performance exists without the other. And no performance is good without the other. It all lifts each other up. And that’s been a really profound experience.
It’s a secret language. And the odds of that working out are very, very, very little, and it has. It’s kind of blown my mind.
This interview has been lightly edited from its original video format for clarity.
Top Image: Gideon Glick in "And the Tony Nominees Are..."