Ben Farrell, Private Investigator, discovers that his cases are appearing on the pages of a popular pulp serial… but the crimes are being penned before they happen in real life. The mystery grows darker still when Farrell reads his own death in the prophetic pages.

Three-time Drama Desk-nominee Stolen Chair presents Kill Me Like You Mean It, a “film noir for the stage” that is equal parts Raymond Chandler and David Lynch, a hostile but hilarious world of rapid-fire dialogue, smoking guns, and femmes fatale.

Composer Sean Cronin’s score for Kill Me Like You Mean It was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music In a Play!

A killer the hands of playwright Kiran Rikhye, truly any outcome seems possible. The characters reflect a smattering of Old Hollywood types run through a veritable Markov chain generator, but thanks to her gift for repetition and Lewis Carroll-ian word games, the results feel wholly original. The staging by director Jon Stancanto matches the flow with the wordplay...the effect is dizzying and profoundly entertaining.

You may die from laughter and enjoyment, and I mean it.

"...[A]stonishing authenticity...a stroke of genius...Playwright Kiran Rikhye, director Jon Stancato, and their collaborators dazzle with their range and, smart parody...brilliantly plotted and generally hilarious."

Martin Denton,

Stolen Chair, which specializes in creating unique theatrical experiences, does it again with [Kill Me], An existential exploration of the very nature of storytelling, keeping its existential tongue in its existential cheek as it mines through the familiar clichés of the rich American genre while also searching for the meaning of existence.

"...[A] clever, high-styling treat. ...[A] fast-paced rollercoaster ride filled with just the right fantastical ingredients to make this absurd play hilarious...The Stolen Chair Theatre is earning a well deserved following."

Stanley Hall, United Stages

A phenomenal score by Sean Cronin instantly transports you into the era and the fantasy world...Kill Me Like You Mean It is a fascinating glimpse into the sort of murder mystery Albert Camus might write.

"Brilliant, beautiful writing, smart, inventive directing and every performance spot-on. Shows what you can do when you spend serious time on the work."

John Clancy, Obie Award-Winning Director and Co-Founder of FringeNYC

[T]he mood set by 1940s music, this play by the inventive Stolen Chair company mines every verbal and physical cliché in the book. And the ensemble do a superb job in bringing to life the characters, one of which is soon to be dead.

"...intriguing...clever...we become fascinated by this whodunnit...under Stancato's shrewd direction, the actors ably perform in noir and absurdist styles, showing much promise in a play that...amuses even as it challenges perceptions..."

Andy Propst, Backstage

If Eugène Ionesco and Martin McDonagh watched The Maltese Falcon, they may very well have come up with something akin to Stolen Chair’s Kill Me Like You Mean It; but it wouldn’t be nearly as good as th[is] comedic masterwork.

A rare theatrical gem...a masterfully crafted bit of comedy

Sendups are always tricky -- but the film noir parody Kill Me Like You Mean It riffs on the genre with existential glee...A terrific cast, period-perfect lighting and costumes ensures Kill Me is an entertaining romp.

Kill Me Like You Mean It played Feb 5 - Mar 8th 2015 at the Fourth Street Theatre

2015 Production:


Written by Kiran Rikhye
Directed by Jon Stancato
Music by Sean Cronin
Lights by David Bengali
Set by Michael Minahan
Costumes by Angela Harner
Props & Graphic Design by Aviva Meyer
Fight Direction by Noah Schultz
Stage Management by Brooke Bell
Promotional Art by David Droxler & Kurt Huggins

Featuring: Nathan Darrow*, Jon Froehlich*, Natalie Hegg*, David Skeist*, and Sarah Skeist with Raife Baker*

*Appearing courtesy of the Actors’ Equity Association.


2007 Production:

Written by Kiran Rikhye
Directed by Jon Stancato
Dramaturgy & Music by Emily Otto
Stage Combat and Props by Jon Campbell
Lights & Set by David Bengali
Costumes by May Elbaz
Stage Management by Aviva Meyer

Featuring: Tommy Dickie, Sam Dingman, Cameron J. Oro, Alexia Vernon, & Liza Wade White