Here’s what you’ll see of JC Hayward in “A Time to Kill.” (Joan Marcus)

For a first-time actress, JC Hayward has snagged what you might call the role of a lifetime: The WUSA (Channel 9) anchor is playing a TV reporter in the new Arena Stage production of John Grisham’s “A Time to Kill.”

The month-long run isn’t getting in the way of her day job — in a nifty bit of staging, Hayward appears via video clips of faux news stories showing her character, Felicia Albright, covering the trial at the heart of the drama. After nearly 40 years in broadcasting, it’s her first real time playing one (a cameo in “Armageddon” got left on the cutting-room floor), and Hayward’s exulting in it. If it goes to Broadway, she told our colleague Erin Williams, “will I be nominated for a Tony?”

JC Hayward (Courtesy of Arena Stage)

Arts Post: WUSA9 news anchor JC Hayward steps out of the newsroom and on to Arena Stage in “A Time to Kill”

Read earlier: Need an anchorman type? Cast an anchorman. Local TV journos play themselves on the big screen, 11/22/10