The courtroom drama, which officially opened Oct. 20 following previews that began Sept. 28, has the distinction of being the first-ever Grisham property to be adapted for the stage. Ethan McSweeny directed.
Producers Daryl Roth and Eva Price said in a recent statement, “We are enormously proud to have brought John Grisham’s A Time to Kill to Broadway with an incredible creative team and an extraordinary ensemble of actors. We would like to thank Rupert Holmes, Ethan McSweeny, and the entire company of our production for—as we all witnessed night after night—thrilling our audiences with a compelling, essential story about justice and morality. We are extremely happy with the responses and reactions from our audiences."
The starry company features Tom Skerritt, Patrick Page, Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins, Chike Johnson, Ashley Williams, Dashiell Eaves, J.R. Horne, John Procaccino, Tijuana Ricks, Lee Sellars, Sebastian Arcelus, Fred Dalton Thompson and John Douglas Thompson.
The casting breakdown follows: Sebastian Arcelus as Jake Brigance; Dashiell Eaves as Pete Willard/DR Musgrove; J.R. Horne as Mr. Pate; Chike Johnson as Ozzie Walls, Patrick Page as Rufus Buckley; Tonya Pinkins as Gwen Hailey; John Procaccino as Drew Tyndale/WT Bass; Tijuana Ricks as Court Reporter; Tom Skerritt as Lucien Wilbanks; Lee Sellars as Cobb/Rhodeheaver/Grist; Fred Dalton Thompson as Judge Noose; John Douglas Thompson as Carl Lee Hailey; and Ashley Williams as Ellen Roark. A Time to Kill, according to press notes, "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."
The production also featured scenic design by James Noone, costume design by Tony Award nominee David Woolard, lighting design by Tony Award winner Jeff Croiter, sound design by Lindsay Jones and projection design by Jeff Sugg. Fight direction was by David Leong.
In association with Roth, Arena Stage in Washington, DC, gave Holmes' adaptation its world premiere in May 2011. McSweeny directed there as well.