PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: Backstage at Arena Stage's A Time to Kill With Sebastian Arcelus and Erin Davie

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09 Jun 2011

Broadway favorites Sebastian Arcelus and Erin Davie, who star in the fiery courtroom drama A Time to Kill (based on John Grisham's novel) at Washington, DC's Arena Stage, offer an exclusive backstage look at the world premiere.



Arcelus (Elf, Jersey Boys) and Davie (Grey Gardens, A Little Night Music) play young attorney Jake Brigance and his wife Carla, respectively.

The pair invite Playbill.com readers to meet the company, visit the "blood room," and view such daily staples as the elaborate "redneck transformation," routine gun/fight calls and between-show dog walks.

Here is a first look backstage at Arena Stage's new Mead Center for American Theater:



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"Legal-ease"

Rosie Benton, Sebastian Arcelus and Brennan Brown
Photo by Sebastian Arcelus and Erin Davie



Rupert Holmes' stage adaptation of the novel by John Grisham opened in its world premiere May 22 at Arena Stage. Ethan McSweeny directs.

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

The cast of A Time to Kill also features the respected character actor Evan Thompson (Broadway's 1776, City of Angels and An American Daughter) as Judge Omar Noose; Rosie Benton (Broadway's Accent on Youth) as young law clerk Ellen; Brennan Brown (The Persians and Pinter's The Celebration Off-Broadway) as the D.A.; plus Jeffrey M. Bender, Trena Bolden Fields, Jonathan Lincoln Fried, Deborah Hazlett, Joe Isenberg, Chike Johnson, Michael Marcan, Hugh Nees and John C. Vennema.

Projections designed by Jeff Sugg and displayed on 1980s-type television sets "reinforce the trial as a media sensation," and "a turntable set designed by James Noone helps tell the story in and out of the courtroom."

The production team of A Time to Kill includes costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer York Kennedy, sound designer Lindsay Jones, fight director David Leong, dialect consultant Lynn Watson, wig designer Anne Nesmith, stage manager Susan R. White, assistant stage manager Amber Dickerson, and New York casting by Tara Rubin Casting.

A Time to Kill plays a limited engagement through June 19.

For tickets and information, visit www.arenastage.org.