Austin P. McKenzie, who starred as Melchior in the 2015 Broadway revival Spring Awakening from Deaf West Theatre, will star alongside Bella Thorne in the Lifetime movie Conrad and Michelle: If Words Could Kill, according to Deadline.
McKenzie plays Conrad, a teen encouraged to take his own life via text messages from his girlfriend, Michelle (Thorne). The movie, inspired by a true story, premieres September 23.
The movie is one of seven titles focused on mental health, suicide, and teen dating violence. If Words Could Kill is written by Stephen Tolkin and based on court testimonies and text evidence from the incident. Produced by Peace Out Productions with executive producer Judith Verno, the film is distributed by Sony Pictures Television.
McKenzie received a Theatre World Award for his work in Spring Awakening; he first came to the production due to his background in American Sign Language. He has since starred in the miniseries When We Rise and the 2017 film adaptation of Stephen Karam’s Speech & Debate.