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Killing Time 

Frozen offers an up-close look at a child murderer.

The Bang & the Clatter's stage transforms into an interrogation room tonight for the Akron theater troupe's production of Frozen. Brit Bryony Lavery's drama centers on an American researcher who brings a murderer face-to-face with the mother of the 10-year-old girl he killed in London 20 years earlier. "You're not exactly sure what's going to happen," says director Sean McConaha. "It asks the question 'What would you do in that situation?'"

The play debuted on Broadway in 2004, when McConaha discovered that it closely paralleled the master's thesis he wrote at the University of Akron in the early '90s. The paper examined pop culture's take on serial killers — from Jack the Ripper to Jeffrey Dahmer. "It was the first time many people started to glom onto the sensationalism of cases and why society gravitated toward them in movies like Natural Born Killers and Silence of the Lambs," says McConaha. "I had a lot of interest in it. This was the first play that touched on it."

A cellist and violist accompany the onstage action "to give it an eerie quality," says McConaha. "But it's not an exploitation play. It's not about children being murdered. It's not about the shock and the horror. It's about the aftereffect of how somebody becomes a killer and how victims deal with it."
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Oct. 21. Continues through Nov. 12

Speaking of Highlights

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