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Execution of Justice

Large Mixed Cast

Emily Mann Price: $9.99

Execution of Justice is an ensemble play by Emily Mann chronicling the case of Dan White who assassinated San Francisco mayor George Moscone and openly gay city supervisor Harvey Milk in November 1978

The play was originally commissioned by the Eureka Theater Company and had an early production by Arena Stage in their 1984/1985 season

It opened on Broadway on March 13, 1986 with John Spencer playing Dan White and a cast that included Wesley Snipes, Stanley Tucci, Mary McDonnell, and Earle Hyman

In 1999, the play was adapted for television and was awarded the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Award for Outstanding TV Movie in 2000.[5]

It is also the winner of the HBO New Plays USA award, the Helen Hayes Award, the Bay Area Critics Circle Award, and it was nominated for a Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award

In the play, the trial itself is on trial in the court of theater and is found guilty of a miscarriage of justice, parallelling the actual case which resulted in White being convicted of a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, rather than two counts of first-degree murder, and sentenced to less than eight years

The play references the urban legend that White's defense strategy was primarily the so-called "Twinkie defense" - painting his junk food consumption as a significant or even in some versions the sole cause of his actions

The highly emotional play combines live stage action, videos, taped voices and music including a video camera on stage projecting its image onto large screens throughout the performance which uses the drag nun Sister Boom Boom, an AIDS activist, (played in the original production by Wesley Snipes) as a voice of consciousness representing human rights for all marginalized groups, not just gays


"Pulls the audience forward to analyze the social factors that contributed to the murders. It succeeds in the theatrically tricky task of putting a complex actual event into dramatic focus." - Variety "A dynamite play about the meanin…

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