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Execution of Justice
A play by Emily Mann
Directed by Barbara Means Fraser
The year is 1978 and the city of San Francisco witnesses a shocking crime: the murder of the two men pictured: Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, the latter the first openly gay elected official in the United States. The shooter: Supervisor Dan White, who had resigned his post because of political frustration and economic hardship.
Drawn from trial transcripts and documentary evidence, Execution of Justice deftly recounts the trial of White—examining his motives, the conflicting social and political ideals of the era, and the case’s controversial courtroom ethics, including the infamous “Twinkie defense.” Director Barbara Fraser, associate professor of theatre at SCU, brings this compelling “theater of testimony” to the stage—and leaves it to the audience to decide in what way justice was fulfilled when White was finally convicted of two counts of voluntary manslaughter.
For more information, visit www.scu.edu/cpa
Docudrama details political killings in SF
An interview with Barbara Means Fraser
By Lisa Taggart
It will have been 30 years since the assassination of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk when “Execution of Justice” opens at the Louis B. Mayer Theatre this fall. Drawn from transcripts and published statements, the play follows the trial of former supervisor Dan White, infamous for his “Twinkie defense,” who was ultimately convicted of two counts of voluntary manslaughter. Santa Clara Magazine sat down with director Barbara Means Fraser, SCU associate professor, to talk about Emily Mann's riveting play.
SCM: Why do this play?
It must be interesting to work on a play based on events that you lived through, but that happened before your students were born.
Does the play pose any special challenges?
How historically accurate is the play?
Is it difficult to make legal issues compelling on the stage?
“Execution of Justice” runs Nov. 7-9 and 12-15 at the Louis B. Mayer Theatre.