The dying wish of politician and gay activist Harvey Milk was for the bullet that entered his brain to break down every closet door. We may not be quite there yet, but we have made leaps and bounds of progress since 1978.
First and second year John Abbott Theatre Workshop students are now presenting Execution of Justice by Emily Mann, directed by Andrew Cuk. The docudrama follows the controversial trial of Dan White, the San Francisco city politician who murdered Harvey Milk (the first openly gay elected public official in the country) and Mayor George Moscone.
The lawyers’ portrayal of Dan White as a sympathetic and honest person struggling from untreated depression led to a charge of manslaughter rather than cold-blooded murder, which became known as the notorious “Twinkie defense.” The cast skillfully brings to life the dramatic and high strung trial.
David O’Driscoll (the production’s Dan White) says, “Despite the fact that we have 7 hour rehearsals two times a week and it can get gruelling, you’re doing it with amazing people who always bring up your mood and make you excited for rehearsal. And then, when you get to present what you’ve made alongside those people you love, it’s a hard feeling to match.”
There’s still four chances left to see the play; the next productions will be on March 31st at 8:00 PM, April 1st at 8:00 PM, April 2nd at 2:00 PM, and April 2nd at 8:00 PM. Tickets can be bought at brownpapertickets.com, or at Student Activities for $8.