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‘There Is a Time for Everything,’ and This Play Is Everything

Carl Lee Hailey says his goodbyes to his wife. – Photo by Vanessa Quintanilla/ Beacon Media News


“There is … a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build up.”


Story and Photos
By Vanessa Quintanilla


Over the stormy weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing, “A Time to Kill,” a staged performance. My mother and I, without exaggeration, arrived soaking wet from the torrent. I walked up to the counter to pick up my program and the woman at the counter said, “We were waiting for you.” I felt modest and important by her comment. I never thought she was serious! We dried off, and the ushers guided us inside the theater and found out the play was being delayed for our arrival!

The show must go on … But not without us!

Carl Lee Hailey being tried in court. – Photo by Vanessa Quintanilla


Based on John Grisham’s novel, this riveting, courtroom drama has been adapted by Rupert Holmes and directed by Ronnie Marmo. Starring Derek Shaun (as Carl Lee Hailey) and Ian Robert Peterson (as Jake Brigance), “A Time to Kill” tells the story of Carl Lee, an African American father, and Jake, a white attorney who defends Carl Lee in his case against two men who committed statutory rape against Carl’s 10-year-old daughter, Tonya. After Carl takes matters into his own hands, Jake and must determine how he will properly defend Carl in spite of bigotry, death threats and unaccountable witnesses.

Consisting of about 18 people, the entire cast and crew did an outstanding job of working professionally through the affecting weather conditions. A small leak had broken through the set and occasionally a nearby cast member would have to use the old-fashioned, clean-it-with-your-foot method of drying small patches of water with a towel. This didn’t stop the actors from falling out of character. In fact, many of the characters – when necessary – addressed the visible buckets and floor towels on set by incorporating caution into the script.

During the 10 minute intermission, a woman in attendance, who had never attended a professional play before, said, “I like how the cast works so fast to create a new scene!” Considering the size of the theater, the set design of this production was simple. Yet, the production couldn’t have seemed more complete this way. Using rolling props and practical structure of material, the cast and crew made seamless and effortless transitions through each scene.

At the end of the performance, Derek Shaun came out to personally thank the audience for coming out to watch “A Time to Kill” despite the rain. I shook his hand and congratulated his performance.

Held at Theatre 68 in North Hollywood, this weekend will be the final week of performances. I recommend you catch a showing before it’s over. It is a real tearjerker, and could not be more relevant to our society today. An additional evening performance will be held on Jan. 26, and normal times on Friday and Saturday. Order your tickets in advance from Plays411.com.

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