Now Playing

February 12 - April 5, 2020

James Ijames’ The New York Times Critic’s Pick play is a powerful and provocative reflection on recent events, illustrating the possibilities of collective transformation and radical acts of joy.

Torn from the world they know without warning, Isa, Daz, Grif, and Tiny discover themselves stuck in a nebulous waiting room in the afterlife. While balancing the reality of their past and the uncertainty of their future, their souls try to find peace from senseless action and hope in the life they left behind.

Inspired by the ever-growing list of slain unarmed black men and women, Kill Move Paradise is a portrait of those lost—not as statistics, but as heroes who deserve to be seen for the splendid beings they are.        

Playwright James Ijames has described his play as “an expressionistic buzz saw through the contemporary myth that ‘all lives matter.’” Kill Move Paradise has been seen at National Black Theatre in Harlem, The Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia, and Know Theatre of Cincinnati, among others. The New York Times wrote that the work “radiates an urgent and hypnotic theatrical energy.” Philadelphia Magazine called it “a deeply touching evening of theater” and wrote that “Ijames’ writing is vividly, singularly his own [and] has something profound and important to tell us. You shall be moved.” And the Cincinnati Enquirer advised audiences to “lean back and allow the impact of it all to wash over you.”

Running Time: Approximately 90 minutes with no intermission
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Production Team


* Member of Actors Equity Association

# Member of United Scenic Artists

~ Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

+ TimeLine Company Member

^ TimeLine Associate Artist

§ TimeLine Playwrights Collective


  • Chicago Sun-Times

    February 21, 2020

    ★★★★ “Many works onstage claim to ‘take risks,’ yet most stay within fairly well-established boundaries of storytelling. Kill Move Paradise at TimeLine Theatre is one of the few plays to live up to that ambitious claim. … One part existential musing, one part requiem for black lives, one part biting satirical social commentary, this is a unique, hilarious, energetic and unpredictable ride. … Possibly the most outstanding and singularly risky play you will see this year.

    —Sheri Flanders

  • Chicago Tribune

    February 21, 2020

    ★★★ “Directed with passionate visual panache and visceral emotional force by Wardell Clark … In many moments, incontrovertibly excellent, the work functions as a declaration that black lives matter, that the bodies you see before you do not deserve this fate, that enough is enough, that there is a problem here that all Americans need to solve. … If you’ve read me over the years, you’ll know my lifelong position that theater is at its most effective when it brings people together, moves us, challenges us, and makes us see the unseen. Thanks to these actors, and a director willing and able to show us the cost, the performative cost, of just staying alive, the most secure moments of Kill Move Paradise do precisely that. I’ve seen numerous plays with this theme over the last few weeks, and this is a vivid addition. Clark finds many moments of truth and he builds a beautiful ensemble spirit.

    —Chris Jones

  • Chicago On Stage

    February 21, 2020

    “Its playwright, James Ijames, describes Kill Move Paradise as “an expressionistic buzz saw through the contemporary myth that ‘all lives matter.'” Truthfully, while that is certainly accurate, it doesn’t even begin to do justice to the emotional power and existential majesty of the play that is now running at TimeLine Theatre. This is a piece of theatre unlike any you have ever seen or will likely see again: an avant-garde exploration of American racism that is at once shocking, painful, hilarious, and deeply personal. … It is a sharp, multi-bladed knife slicing away any possibility of indifference, and—especially at this time in history—a loud and necessary voice for understanding and change.

    —Karen Topham

  • Spash Magazine

    February 21, 2020

    “Powerful, profound, compelling, challenging … This impactful gut-wrenching drama deals with racial hostility, sacrifice, expiation, martyrdom with revelatory questions directed at themselves and the audience ‘witnesses’. … TimeLine is a thinking person’s theatre that will have you wrestling with how we perceive our world long after the close of this transformative piece.

    —Sue Lillis

  • Stage and Cinema

    February 21, 2020

    “A compelling Chicago premiere by TimeLine Theatre, Wardell Julius Clark’s 90-minute staging and a quartet of kinetic performances bring Ijames’ afterlife to an angry apotheosis. … These four performances create a golden gamut. They nail every side of their situation, innocence as much as indignation, the full complex loss that was their lives.”

    —Lawrence Bommer

  • Picks In Six

    February 21, 2020

    Kill Move Paradise, magnificently cast and directed by Wardell Julius Clark in its Chicago premiere, is a startling, ambitious and innovative theatrical experience. … The creative team of Ryan Emens (scenic design), Jason Lynch (lighting design), Jeffrey Levin (sound design and composer) and Izumi Inaba (costumes) creates a rugged and fascinating space between life and death that is as imaginative as the characters.”

    —Ed Tracy

  • Picture This Post

    February 22, 2020

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.Kill Move Paradise is must-see theater for any and all interested in how theater can not only speak to—but also break through—the paradigms of our time. … Though the set up is tragic, the in-the-moment has way more fun per line than your average script … Ensembles don’t come any tighter.”

    —Amy Munice

  • Let's Play

    February 22, 2020

    Gripping and riveting … TimeLine Theatre presents a story that is bold and conceptual … [Director Wardell Julius] Clark puts together a very talented group of men.”

    —Rick and Brenda McCain

  • Third Coast Review

    February 22, 2020

    ★★★★ “Kill Move Paradise is richly imaginative and visually stunning.”

    —Nancy Bishop

  • Around the Town Chicago

    February 23, 2020

    ★★★★ “Talk about power! This is 90 amazing minutes … A highly energetic show with a strong moral and four powerful actors.”

    —Alan Bresloff


  • Rolling Out

    February 22, 2020

    “By the end of the play, I want there to be a sense of hopefulness and in that hopefulness an understanding of the sheer volume of work we have left to do as a culture.”

    Tony Binns of Rolling Out interviews playwright James Ijames about the Chicago premiere of his play Kill Move Paradise.

    Read the full feature

Discussions & Events

  • MyLine Preview Pizza Party: KILL MOVE PARADISE
    Thursday, February 13 at 6:45pm

    Pizza, drinks and a special pre-show discussion before KILL MOVE PARADISE.

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  • KILL MOVE PARADISE: Post-Show Discussion Performance Series
    Various dates

    Join us for a brief post-show performance by a guest artist plus discussion about the show.

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  • Open Captioned Performance of KILL MOVE PARADISE
    Various dates

    Featuring a text display of words and sounds heard during the performance.

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  • KILL MOVE PARADISE: PRE-Show Discussion
    Various dates

    Join us for an informal sneak peek into this production with members of the production team.

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  • KILL MOVE PARADISE: Company Member Discussion
    Sunday, March 22 at 3:30pm

    Join us for an informal chat with TimeLine’s Company Members after today’s performance.

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  • KILL MOVE PARADISE: Sunday Scholars Series
    Sunday, March 29 at 3:30pm

    This one-hour post-show panel discussion features experts on the themes of the play.

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