Gary Griffin and Emily Mann Will Re-Conceive Execution of Justice in Chicago

News   Gary Griffin and Emily Mann Will Re-Conceive Execution of Justice in Chicago
About Face Theatre will present a "reconceived" production of Emily Mann's Execution of Justice, the docudrama about the murder of San Francisco city leaders Harvey Milk and George Moscone.

Gary Griffin will direct the drama at the Victory Gardens Burstein Stage starting Jan. 10, 2007. Performances continue to Feb. 18.

Execution of Justice "examines the murder trial of San Francisco's Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978 by Supervisor Dan White, convicted on a lesser charge based on the infamous 'Twinkie Defense,'" according to About Face. "The original production was an explosive work of documentary theatre, with cutting-edge multimedia and a large ensemble — a re-creation of the actual history."

Now, nearly 30 years after the events of the play, working with the playwright Emily Mann, Griffin will "rediscover" the production, "illuminating a critical moment in our cultural history."

According to its mission, About Face Theatre "creates exceptional, innovative, and adventurous plays to advance the national dialogue on gender and sexual identity, and to challenge and entertain audiences in Chicago, across the country, and around the world."

The original production relied on a large cast and a lot of multi-media, a spokesperson said. Griffin and Mann will work with a much smaller cast, playing a variety of roles, and collaborate with composer Andy Jones, incorporating new music into the production. The cast will include Sean Fortunato, John Judd, Steve Key, La Shawn Banks, Ora Jones, Keith Kupferer, Amy Matheny, Larry Neumann, Jr., Mark Richard, Kelli Simpkins and Freddie Sulit.

Gary Griffin is the associate artistic director of Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Execution of Justice will be his first work following his direction of Broadway's The Apple Tree. He made his Broadway debut with The Color Purple. Griffin is the recipient of eight Joseph Jefferson awards.

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