After 18 months on the road and nearly 600 performances, Collins said he plans to leave the production following the tour’s last performance in D.C. at the Kennedy Center on Sunday.
While the rest of the cast continues on the tour, he will cross the river into Arlington to be reunited with his family and the community he formed doing voter and Covid vaccine outreach.
“I just have to pull the plug,” he told ARLnow. “And it’s not because of the people. I love my cast, crew, and team. I’m going to miss them tremendously. But, obviously, I miss my family too.”
Collins portrays the main villain, Bob Ewell, in Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The play animates the book, which follows Scout Finch as she grows up in Alabama, observing her father, Atticus, defend a Black man who Ewell falsely accused of raping his daughter.
Collins described performing in the play as an “amazing” experience and a “privilege.” Still, he found it difficult to be away from his wife, two high school children, and their Maltese-Shih Tzu mix, Shakespeare — all of whom moved to Arlington from New York in 2019.
“I feel like I’ve missed so much by being on the road,” he said. “And so I really would love to, at least for the next four years, really strive to find work here. So, it’s more about the time and my family than it is about any other aspects of my acting career.”
Collins says he does not have any work lined up. If he returns to live, local theater, partial credit would go toward the type of vaccine outreach he did — which helped regional theaters reopen their doors during the pandemic.
Shortly after moving to Arlington, Collins said he felt a loss of “purpose.” He joined a volunteer effort to register people to vote ahead of the 2020 elections, an experience he noted that “filled my cup.”
“I didn’t really have a community here, and I love helping people,” he said. “I’ve loved volunteering my whole life, but this particular [experience] gave me something that I really needed because we were all isolated.”
Then, a colleague from the voter registration effort told him the county was looking for volunteers to help distribute vaccines in Arlington. He jumped at the chance, seeing it as a way to get theaters up and running again.
“Then I thought, ‘Okay, this is going to be the beginning of getting performative arts back to the public because once enough people are vaccinated, maybe they’ll open up the theatres,’” Collins said.
And open up, they did. Collins got word that the show he initially auditioned for in November 2019 was finally ready to hit the road.
When the tour came to the Kennedy Center last summer, Collins said several fellow vaccine workers came to one of his performances. On another occasion, a vaccine worker approached him after a show during his tour in the Midwest.
“It was a surreal experience, but it was also like a reminder of the impact one might be able to have on the world simply by donating some time,” he said.
While Collins said he is sad to be leaving the tour, he added he believes he will be ending on a fitting note. The actor has now completed a “trifecta” by performing on the Kennedy Center’s three most prominent stages: the Concert Hall, Opera House and Eisenhower Theater.
“I feel very lucky to have checked those boxes, and I hope I can go back through all of them at some point in my career,” he said.
Good Tuesday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
In a bid to improve accountability, the Arlington County Fire Department is looking to put its mission and priorities in writing with its first-ever strategic plan. The plan is designed…
Under the direction of Music Director James Ross, Alexandria Symphony Orchestra presents a holiday program “Holiday With A Twist.” Enjoy this celebration of the season with traditional fare mixed with…
The Ballston “singing tree” is set to return for the holiday season. Starting next week, the sparkling, voice-activated Christmas tree near the Ballston Metro station will brighten the neighborhood with…
Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool rooted in a play-based philosophy. We focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.
Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children 16 months to 5 years old to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences.
Initially established more than 50 years ago in South Arlington, CWP continues to be a lauded program in the Northern Virginia area. We are extremely proud to have been recognized as a Best Preschool in Northern Virginia Magazine for the last 4 years.
Located now in North Arlington at 2666 Military Road, CWP offers a part-time parents day out and preschool program with options to extend care both before and after school. We offer a supportive and inclusive school community for children and parents alike and welcome all families to join our school!
The Optimist Club of Arlington is holding its 77th annual Christmas tree sale!
This year, the tree sale will be held at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road). The lot opens for sales on November 24th. The Optimist Club is selling small and large trees ranging from tabletop size to 10 foot tall trees! Wreaths, garland, tree stands, and White House Christmas ornaments will also be for sale.
100% of all proceeds go towards helping Arlington County youth.
For more information, please visit the Arlington Optimists website at https://optimistclubofarlingtonva.org/.
Holiday Art Show featuring artists: Peter Fitzgerald, Claire Plante, Alanna Rivera, and Suzy Scollon. At the Barcroft Community House, 800 South Buchanan St., Arlington, VA. Dec. 8 from, 2 PM to 8 PM and Dec. 9 from 10 AM to
2023 Christmas Tree Sales Begin
Saturday, December 2
Get your holiday decorating off to the right start this year! We will be selling 150 Fraser firs, freshly cut and delivered from Sparta, North Carolina.