Killer Joe, a dangerously dark comedy by Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts, is staking out its next victim on Broadway. The play is slated to open on the Great White Way for the first time in 2014, helmed by Tony winner Pam MacKinnon, who directed Letts’ Tony-winning performance in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? No casting or theater has been announced.
“I’m thrilled so soon after Woolf to be working with Tracy Letts,” MacKinnon said in a statement, “This time as director to writer on his all-American fever dream of a play, Killer Joe. He is a true actors’ playwright.” Letts added, “Killer Joe provides a lot of red meat for the theater. Pam MacKinnon is the perfect director to shepherd a group of actors who share a certain blood lust.”
Killer Joe tells the story of Chris Smith, a 22-year-old drug dealer who finds himself in serious debt to the wrong people. He devises a lethal plan that will solve all of his problems, enlisting the help of his father and stepmother. They hire Killer Joe, a police detective-turned-contract-killer, to get the job done right, igniting a series of events that lead to a memorably shocking climax.
The play premiered at the Lab space of Illinois’ NEXT Theatre in 1993, then opened at off-Broadway’s 29th Street Repertory Theatre in 1994. An acclaimed 1998 off-Broadway production starred Scott Glenn, Michael Shannon, Amanda Plummer and Sarah Paulson. In 2012, Killer Joe was adapted into a film starring Matthew McConaughey and Gina Gershon.
Letts won a Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize for his play August: Osage County, which is currently being adapted into a feature film, and won a 2013 Best Actor Tony Award for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? His additional plays include Superior Donuts, Man From Nebraska and Bug. MacKinnon garnered a Tony nomination for her Broadway directorial debut, Clybourne Park before winning a Tony for her direction of Virginia Woolf.