Rupert Holmes' A Time to Kill, Adaptation of John Grisham Novel, Will Play Broadway's Golden Theatre

By Andrew Gans
25 Jun 2013

Sebastian Arcelus starred in the Arena Stage world premiere.
Sebastian Arcelus starred in the Arena Stage world premiere.
Photo by Joan Marcus

Producers Daryl Roth and Eva Price announced June 25 that Tony winner Rupert Holmes' stage adaptation of A Time to Kill, John Grisham’s best-selling novel, will begin previews Sept. 28 at the John Golden Theatre.

The play, which will officially open Oct. 20, has the distinction of being the first-ever Grisham property to be adapted for the stage. Ethan McSweeny will direct. Additional information, including the complete cast and creative team, will be announced shortly.

In association with Roth, Arena Stage in Washington, DC, gave Holmes' adaptation its world premiere in May 2011. McSweeny directed there as well.

“For almost a quarter of a century, 'A Time to Kill' has captivated readers with its raw exploration of race, retribution and justice,” said Grisham in a statement. “It was my first book and the first that I have allowed to be adapted for the theatre. Rupert Holmes did an excellent job of translating it from the page to the stage, and I am happy that not only my loyal readers, but a whole new audience will be able to experience this story in live theatre. I am looking forward to opening night on Broadway!”



“John Grisham’s endlessly gripping, perfectly-plotted storytelling is so well suited for the live theater, and we are thrilled to be bringing this first-ever stage adaptation of one his novels to Broadway,” added Roth and Price. “Rupert Holmes has written an adaptation that masterfully replicates for theatergoers the page-turning thrill of reading a Grisham novel, while also honoring the powerful intimacy of its exploration of the injustices of our not-so-distant past. We look forward to audiences of all ages experiencing its essential message of equality, justice, and compassion for all.”

A Time to Kill, the popular courtroom drama, "tells the emotionally charged, now-iconic story of a young, idealistic lawyer, Jack Brigance, defending a black man, Carl Lee Hailey, for taking the law into his own hands following an unspeakable crime committed against his young daughter," according to press notes. "Their small Mississippi town is thrown into upheaval, and Jake finds himself arguing against the formidable district attorney, Rufus Buckley, and under attack from both sides of a racially divided city. This drama is a thrilling courtroom battle where the true nature of what is right and what is moral are called into question."

Tickets will go on sale in early July. The official website, located at www.ATimeToKillOnBroadway.com, launches June 26.

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

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