Killing it on Stage
An Oklahoma-based production company helps bring John Grisham to Broadway for the first time.
Square One Theatrics, a Tulsa based theatrical production company, has signed on to coproduce the Broadway production of A Time To Kill, based on the John Grisham novel, opening this month at the John Golden Theatre in New York City.
“When we were invited to join the lead producers, Daryl Roth and Eva Price, to help bring this story to the stage, we knew we had to be a part of this effort,” says Ryan Tanner, one of the founders of Square One.
“Our (motivation echoes) Grisham’s own motivation for why he began this book,” shares Jay Krottinger, Oklahoma native and co-founder of Square One. “The story of A Time to Kill is based on true events. (It) is a compelling story, an important story. It needs to be told.”
A Time to Kill tells the emotionally charged, now-iconic story of a young, idealistic lawyer, Jake 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.
Award-winning playwright Rupert Holmes adapted this epic story for the stage. Holmes and his works have a long list of accolades including several Tony Awards, an Emmy and a Grammy.
“Rupert Holmes has produced a script that is faithful to the heart of the novel,” says Tanner. “This play has the power to put every one of us into that jury box and demand that we examine our own hearts as we wrestle with these biggest of questions: ‘What would I have done and why?’”
“Someday, this play will be produced by communities and high school drama clubs across this country,” adds Krottinger. “We know those audiences will leave asking the same questions of themselves that Broadway audiences will carry away. This is a play that can start important conversations about justice. We want to be a part of that.”
Since starting Square One, Krottinger and Tanner have made waves in the theater world. Pippin, Square One’s first Broadway production, won four Tony Awards in 2013, including Best Revival of a Musical. It was the first Tony nomination and win for the company.
Tom Skerritt will portray Lucien Wilbanks, the mentor to protagonist Jake Brigance. Skerritt is perhaps best known for his Emmy Award-winning performance on the acclaimed CBS drama series Picket Fences. He made his feature film debut in War Hunt and went on to star in films such as A River Runs Through It, Steel Magnolias and Top Gun.