John Grisham's A TIME TO KILL Headed for Broadway Spring or Summer 2013


According to ArtInfo, Rupert Holmes' stage adaptation of John Grisham's novel A Time to Kill is headed to Broadway with lead producer Daryl Roth. Casting is currently underway, and the production hopes to take the stage in spring or summer of 2013.

“It’s about such important things as justice and family,” Roth said about the novel. “And even though some people may know the outcome, it’s an intense journey.”

To secure the rights, Grisham asked Roth to first produce the play regionally before heading to the Great White Way. A Time to Kill played Baltimore's Arena Stage in 2011, and Grisham has since given a Broadway production the go-ahead.

A Time to Kill depicts a Mississippi town's upheaval when Carl Lee Hailey takes the law into his own hands following an unspeakable crime committed against his daughter. Now on trial for murder, Carl Lee's only hope lies with one young, idealistic lawyer Jake Brigance, who is outmatched by the formidable district attorney, Rufus Buckley, and under attack from both sides of a racially divided city.

Though written more than 20 years ago, the themes of justice and revenge expressed in A Time to Kill remain relevant in today's world. Projections designed byJeff Suggand displayed on 1980s-type television sets reinforce the trial as a media sensation, and a turntable set designed byJames Noonehelps tell the story in and out of the courtroom.

Rupert Holmes (Playwright) has won Tony Awards as an author, a lyricist and a composer, and twice received the coveted Edgar Award from The Mystery Writers of America for his stage works. He is also an award-winning mystery author (the novels Where the Truth Lies and Swing, and numerous anthologies including Best American Mystery Stories 2008 and On a Raven's Wing). He is delighted to be working atArena Stageand returning to Washington, D.C., where his comedy-thriller Solitary Confinement set a new box office record at the Eisenhower Theater, his musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood had a memorable run at the Kennedy Center Opera House, and where he recently served as a guest speaker at the National Book Festival. Holmes also created and wrote AMC's critically acclaimed television dramedy Remember WENN, which recently received a retrospective evening at theLibrary of Congress. Broadway: Curtains (Drama Desk Award, Best Book; Tony nominations, Best Book and Best Lyrics), Say Goodnight, Gracie (Tony nomination, Best Play; National Broadway Theatre Award, Best Play), Accomplice (Edgar Award), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Tony Award, Best Musical; Holmes also won Tonys for Best Book and Score, being the first person in Tony history to singly do so).

John Grisham (Original Author) is the author of 22 novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories and two novels for young readers. He lives with his family in Virginia and Mississippi. A Time To Kill was his first novel.

Ethan McSweeny (Director) made his NY debut with John Logan's Never the Sinner, which received the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for Best Off-Broadway play in 1998 and originated at D.C.'s Signature Theatre. Before the age of 30 he helmed the Broadway revival of Gore Vidal's "The Best Man" (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards). Mr. McSweeny recently directed a critically acclaimed revival of Dangerous Liaisons for the celebrated Stratford Festival in Canada and has staged more than 60 productions of new plays, musicals and classics for preeminent companies around the United States: recent highlights include the premieres of The Trinity River Plays (Goodman,Dallas Theatre Center), 1001 (Denver Center, Ovation Award), In This Corner (Globe, San Diego Critics Award), A Body of Water (Guthrie and Globe, San Diego Critics Award) and Mr. Marmalade (South Coast Rep, OCIE Award), and the New York premieres of 100 Saints You Should Know and 1001, which were both named among the top 10 plays of 2007 by Entertainment Weekly and Time Out magazines. Washington-area audiences have seen his work on Major Barbara, Ion and The Persians (all atShakespeare Theatre Company) and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at CenterStage in Baltimore.

Daryl Roth (Producer) holds the singular distinction of producing six Pulitzer Prize-winning plays: Anna in the Tropics; August: Osage County; How I Learned to Drive; Proof; Wit; andEdward Albee's Three Tall Women. Also:Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, The Play About the Baby and Who's Afraid ofVirginia Woolf?; The Baby Dance;Bea Arthuron Broadway; Camping with Henry and Tom; Caroline, or Change; A Catered Affair; Closer Than Ever; Come Fly Away; Curtains; De La Guarda; Dear Edwina; Defying Gravity; Die, Mommie, Die!; The Divine Sister; Driving Miss Daisy; Fela!; Irena's Vow; A Little Night Music; Love, Loss, and What I Wore; The Normal Heart; Manuscript; Medea; Old Wicked Songs; Salome; The Tale of the Allergist's Wife; The Temperamentals; Thom Pain; Through the Night; Thurgood; Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992; Vigil; What's That Smell: The Music of Jacob Sterling; The Year of Magical Thinking.

The creative team for A Time to Kill features playwright Rupert Holmes, director Ethan McSweeny, set designer James Noone, costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer York Kennedy, sound designer Lindsay Jones, projection designer Jeff Sugg, fight director David Leong, dialect consultant Lynn Watson, wig designer Anne Nesmith and more.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

buy tickets

Related Articles

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...