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Presented by City National

The 2013-2014 Broadway Season

A Time to Kill
Rupert Holmes adapts the John Grisham novel set in a small, racially-divided Mississippi town, where a young black girl has just been attacked. When her father takes the law into his own hands, an ambitious white lawyer decides to take on the case, despite the odds stacked against them.

WebsiteComplete Broadway Credits

John Golden Theatre
Opening Night - October 20 2013
Final Performance - November 17 2013
A Time to KillFred Dalton Thompson, John Douglas Thompson, and Sebastian Arcelus (l. to r.) in A Time to Kill.


This new stage adaptation by past Tony Award®-winner Rupert Holmes of the popular John Grisham courtroom drama tells the emotionally charged, now-iconic story of a young, idealistic lawyer, Jake Brigance (Sebastian Arcelus), defending a black man, Carl Lee Hailey (John Douglas Thompson), 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 (Patrick Page), 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 ensemble also features Fred Dalton Thompson and past Tony Award-winner Tonya Pinkins.


  • John Grisham served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1983 to 1990, as a Democrat. Fred Dalton Thompson, who plays Judge Noose, served in the U.S. Senate representing Tennessee from 1994 to 2003, as a Republican.
  • The publication date for Grisham’s sequel novel to A Time to Kill, Sycamore Row, is October 2013.


    A Time to Kill is Grisham’s first novel, originally published in 1989. A 1996 film version starred Matthew McConaughey and Samuel L. Jackson. This stage adaptation by Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) premiered at the Arena Stage in Washington, DC in 2011.


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    Revised March 27, 2014