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You are here: Home Theatre Reviews & Features 2015-16 Reviews 2013-14 Season Press Releases Sebastian Arcelus, Fred Dalton Thompson and John Douglas Thompson to Star in John Grisham's A TIME TO KILL
Monday, 22 July 2013 10:35

Sebastian Arcelus, Fred Dalton Thompson and John Douglas Thompson to Star in John Grisham's A TIME TO KILL







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New York, NY – Producers Daryl Roth and Eva Price announced today that Sebastian Arcelus, Fred Dalton Thompson (in his Broadway debut), and John Douglas Thompson will star in the new Broadway courtroom drama A Time to Kill, Tony® Award-winning playwright Rupert Holmes’stage adaptation of John Grisham’s best-selling novel.  This new Broadway play holds the distinction of being the first-ever John Grisham property to be adapted for the stageA Time to Kill is set to open on Broadway on October 20, 2013 at the John Golden Theatre (252 West 45th Street).  Previews begin September 28th.  Ethan McSweeny will direct.  The remainder of the high-powered ensemble cast of 13 will be announced shortly.  For more information, visit

Also announced today: the design team for A Time to Kill will feature 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.  

“Master storytellers are masterful dramatists of the stage on the page, and the thrill of bringing John Grisham's vivid cast of remarkable characters and his riveting American classic of race and justice to Broadway is the stuff that any playwright's dreams are made of,” said playwright Rupert Holmes.  “I'm particularly thrilled that Daryl Roth and Eva Price have brought such magnetic, compelling actors into A Time to Kill's dramatic arsenal.”

Sebastian Arcelus (Jack Brigance) can currently be seen as Lucas Goodwin on the Netflix original series “House of Cards,” which just received 9 Emmy Award® nominations including Outstanding Drama Series.  He has starred on Broadway in Elf (Buddy), Jersey Boys (Bob Gaudio), Wicked (Fiyero), Rent (Roger Davis), and Good Vibrations. Off-Broadway credits include Happiness (Lincoln Center Theater), The Blue Flower (Second Stage), and Where’s Charley? (Encores! at City Center).  He has also appeared in numerous regional and international productions, including world premiere of William Finn’s Songs of Innocence and Experience (Williamstown).  Other film and TV credits include the independent feature The Last Day of August (for which he also served as producer) and “Person of Interest” (CBS).  His voice can also be heard on countless television commercials and animated programs.  While rehearsing and performing in A Time to Kill, Sebastian will continue his commitment as a series regular on “House Of Cards.”

Fred Dalton Thompson (Judge Noose) has had one of the most unusual and interesting careers on the American scene today. It has encompassed the law, politics, radio, television and motion pictures.  Thompson, a lawyer, first appeared on screen in the film Marie in 1985, portraying himself in the fact-based story of a high-profile public corruption case he handled in Tennessee. Since then, he has appeared in numerous movies including No Way Out, In the Line of Fire, Die Hard II, Days of Thunder and The Hunt for Red October. He became known for his portrayal of New York District Attorney Arthur Branch on the Emmy Award-winning NBC television drama, “Law & Order.” He also appeared in Disney’s Secretariat released in 2010, Summit Entertainment’s Sinister in 2012 and has done multiple guest spots on “The Good Wife” (CBS).  Thompson served eight years as a Senator from Tennessee, and in 2008 sought the Republican nomination for President of the United States.  Prior to his election, Thompson maintained law offices in Nashville and Washington. Earlier in his career, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Tennessee. In 1973, he was appointed by Senator Howard Baker to serve as Minority Counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee where Thompson first gained national attention for leading the line of inquiry that revealed the audio-taping system in the White House Oval Office. He detailed his Watergate experience in his Watergate memoir, At That Point in Time. In his recent book, Teaching the Pig to Dance, he humorously recounts his growing-up years in a small Tennessee town.  In addition to his movie and TV appearances, he serves as a business consultant and spokesperson. He resides in McLean, Virginia with his wife, Jeri and daughter, Hayden and son, Sammy. His sons, Daniel and Tony, live in Nashville.

John Douglas Thompson (Carl Lee Hailey) can currently be seen in Mother Courage with Olympia Dukakis at Shakespeare & Co.  John was the subject of an extensive profile piece in The New Yorker.  He recently appeared on stage as Harold Loomis in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone directed by Phylicia Rashad at The Mark Taper Forum.  Other theatre credits include Satchmo at the Waldorf, The Iceman Cometh with Brian Dennehy and Nathan Lane at The Goodman Theatre, Richard III, Othello (Drama League nomination, Obie Award, Lucille Lortel Award and Joe A. Callaway Award), The Emperor Jones (Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk Nominations; Joe A. Calloway Award), The Forest with Dianne Weist,  Cyrano de Bergerac with Kevin Kline, Julius Caesar with Denzel Washington, Henvy IV at The RSC, Antony and Cleopatra with Kate Mulgrew, Hedda Gabler, King Lear with Sam Waterston, Jesus Hopped the A Train (Barrymore Award).  His feature film credits include The Bourne Legacy and Michael Clayton.

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.  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.

John Grisham is one of the best-selling authors of all time, having written some of the most popular legal thrillers in the history of publishing, beginning in 1988 with A Time to Kill.  Since then, he has written a novel a year, amassing 275 million books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 40 languages.  Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, Grisham was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi, law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.  Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn’t have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.

The multihyphenate Rupert Holmes has made his mark across various mediums, as playwright, composer, orchestrator, songwriter, mystery writer, and television writer.  He won the 1986 Tony® Awards for Best Book and Best Score for The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which in 2013 received an acclaimed, Tony-nominated revival at the Roundabout.  Drood also represents one of two prestigious Edgar Awards for Holmes, who also won this foremost honor for mystery writing for his Broadway play Accomplice.  He also received Tony nominations for 2003 Best Play for Say Goodnight Gracie and 2007 Best Book of a Musical and Best Score for Kander & Ebb’s Curtains.  His first novel Where the Truth Lies (Nero Wolfe nominee, Best American Mystery Novel) was adapted for the cinema by renowned filmmaker Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter), and stars Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth.  He also has written the novel Swing and the upcoming novel series for Simon & Schuster, The McMasters Guide to Homicide  His other stage credits include Broadway’s Solitary Confinement; the Washington, D.C. staging of A Time to Kill at Arena Stage; The Nutty Professor at TPAC; Robin and the 7 Hoods at The Old Globe; and Marty at Huntington.  For television, he created, wrote and scored AMC’s original series “Remember WENN.” 

Director Ethan McSweeny made his mark on New York with his breakout 1998 production of John Logan’s Never the Sinner, which won Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, followed by his Broadway debut with the revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, which received a 2001 Tony Award® nomination for Best Revival of a Play.  His other notable New York credits include the premieres of Kate Fodor’s Rx (Primary Stages) and 100 Saints You Should Know (Playwrights Horizons), and Jason Grote’s 1001 (P73).  His career has spanned a remarkably diverse body of work that includes more than 60 productions, from world premieres (1001, 100 Saints, and Trinity River Plays among others), to noted productions of classics (from Aeschylus' The Persians to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice), to revivals from the American canon (including Miller's A View from the Bridge, Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and Williams' The Glass Menagerie) to musicals both new and old (Adam Gwon's Ordinary Days, and the upcoming Pirates of Penzance).  Mr. McSweeny directed an earlier version of A Time to Kill at Arena Stage.  He has directed on many of the nation’s most prestigious stages including the Guthrie, the Goodman, the Old Globe, the Shakespeare Theatre, the Denver Center, the Alley, Dallas Theater Center, South Coast Rep, CenterStage, Pittsburgh Public, George Street Playhouse, San Jose Rep, Westport Playhouse, the Wilma, Primary Stages, Playwrights Horizons, and the National Actors Theatre, among others.

Daryl Roth just received the 2013 Tony® Award for Best Musical for her hit production of Kinky Boots.  She holds the singular distinction of producing seven Pulitzer Prize-winning plays: August: Osage County (Tony Award), Proof (Tony Award), Wit, How I Learned to Drive, Anna in the Tropics, Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women, and Clybourne Park (Tony Award). Over 85 Award-winning productions including: Love, Loss, and What I Wore; The Baby Dance; Bea Arthur on Broadway; Camping with Henry and Tom; Caroline, or Change; A Catered Affair; Closer Than Ever; Curtains; De La Guarda; Defying Gravity; Die Mommie Die!; The Divine Sister; Driving Miss Daisy; Fela!; Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (Tony Award); Irena’s Vow; A Little Night Music; Manuscript; Medea; The Normal Heart (Tony Award); Old Wicked Songs; One Man, Two Guvnors;Edward Albee’s The Play About the Baby; Salome; Snakebit; The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife; The Temperamentals; Thom Pain…; Through the Night; Thurgood; Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992; Vigil; War Horse (Tony Award); Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; The Year of Magical Thinking; and the documentary film My Dog: An Unconditional Love Story.

Eva Price was most recently represented on Broadway by Peter and the Starcatcher, which won 5 Tony Awards during its celebrated run and now continues Off-Broadway at New World Stages.  Broadway: Annie (2013 Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Musical), Lewis Black, Franke Valli and the Four Seasons, Kathy Griffin Wants A Tony, Colin Quinn Long Story Short, The Merchant of Venice, The Addams Family, Wishful Drinking, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Selected Off-Broadway and Touring: Forever Dusty, Voca People, Ella, The Magic School Bus Live!, ‘S Wonderful. Eva was recently named to Crain’s New York “40 Under Forty" Rising Stars in Business and Blouin Art Info’s "Top 25 Under 35" Emerging Broadway Players.