Earle Goes to the Theater

First play by singer-songwriter to debut this month

October 9, 2002 12:00 AM ET

His latest album, Jerusalem, arrived in record stores just two weeks ago, but Steve Earle has other release on the docket: His first play, Karla will open in Nashville on October 25th.

An outspoken opponent of the death penalty, Earle's play focuses on the life and death of Karla Faye Tucker, the first woman executed in Texas since the 1860s. Tucker was convicted of two 1983 murders, and her case drew national attention in the late-Nineties when she became a born again Christian and pleaded for clemency, citing repentance and rehabilitation. Tucker's request was denied by then Gov. George Bush, and she was executed February 3, 1998.

"You know, people change on Death Row," says Earle. "It doesn't happen very often, but it does happen. And there's plenty of guys who go down and don't say anything and are defiant 'til the end and there's guys who go down declaring their innocence every step of the way. But we're fighting a war on crime the same way we fought the Vietnam War, it's about a body count. It's not about results. It's about 'OK, I'm tough on crime, I've put this many people on death row. And now I'm running for governor, elect me.'"

The play will open at the Belcourt Theater in Nashville as a BroadAxe Theater production, running from October 25th through November 2nd, over the span of seven shows. Sara Sharpe, the Artistic Director of BroadAxe, will star in the title role, along with W. Earl Brown (There's Something About Mary), Holly Allen, Brandon Boyd (not of Incubus) and Julie Rowe.

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