“Whenever you don’t like someone or don’t understand something, you just yell and scream and kill it. I feel kind of bad for you, honestly.” A fascinating proposition on its own, this line is only one of many that not only elicit profound thought but that make up a small section of the greater interweaving in the dark and complex tapestry that is Time To Kill.
Written by Erik Keevan ’12, the play examines life after death and how one faces his or her own humanity in the presence of loss. While the play touches on intense themes, the play juxtaposes the dark themes beautifully with humor. John, played by Zack Zebrowski ’15, is on trial for the murder of a store owner in a robbery gone wrong. One night, John is visited by Adam (played by Austin Matthews ‘13), the man he killed that fateful day. For the rest of the performance, John is unwittingly haunted by Adam, allowing the audience to learn not only what happened that night but the effects of it on both men’s lives. While the plot alone is a compelling enough reason to see the show, the push-and-pull between the two characters is the seminal force that drives the heart of the play.
Director John Shoemaker ’12, who also directed last fall’s Fred Stone hit The Pillowman, is good friends with Keevan and has said that the working experience between the two has been quite smooth, with Keevan being “accommodating to the process.” Keevan compliments Shoemaker on his vision of theater, which is very much like his own. With the similarities between the two, both playwright and director were able to come together without many qualms and put together what will surely be a success for all involved.
Zebrowski and Matthews, who both recently starred in the Annie Russell’s February production of Picasso at the Lapin Agile, spoke of how much more of an emotional experience it was playing in a two-person show than in an ensemble play. Matthews, for instance, enjoys the fact that with only two characters, each of them has to feed off the other, whereas in an ensemble cast, focus must be distributed more judiciously. While this story is by no means a feel-good tale, what it does without fault is compel audience members into thinking of their own lives through the examination of anger and fear. By the end of this 45-minute show, viewers will come away with a sense of awe that cannot be described, which is all the more reason to see the psychological, dark comedy Time To Kill.
Time to Kill will be presented in the Fred Stone Theatre on April 5, 6 and 7 at 8 p.m. and April 8 at 2 p.m.