LONG BEACH - The courtroom drama "Execution of Justice," a production by the University Players at Cal State Long Beach, opens Nov. 4 for eight performances at the campus's Studio Theatre.Directed by Trevor Biship, the production is presented in partnership with B-Word Project, a campus-wide initiative investigating censorship and what it means to be "banned, blacklisted and boycotted." Using a style known as "theater of testimony," playwright Emily Mann examines the trial of former San Francisco Supervisor Dan White, for the assassination of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, using only words from "trial transcript, interview, reportage, the street." What results is audience as jury, the play presenting the facts of the trial as they were expressed in the actual courtroom. A chorus of uncalled witnesses counterpoints the trial records, illuminating the true execution of justice that occurred. Biship calls the play "a love letter to [San Francisco]," a city now known for its progressive politics and large gay community. However, in 1978 when the trial took place, the city was in the midst of a culture clash between the conservative "old guard" and the expanding liberal population. "This play is about the city of San Francisco," Biship declared, "expressing a huge moment in that city's life and its ability to persevere. Everything changed after this event. Politics changed, society changed, culture shifted - for the better. It's about one small moment of a horrific event having an enormous impact." Questions of justice and the validity of our legal system are also at the heart of the play. "Justice is still being debated as we speak. We can track a line from OJ Simpson to Case Anthony of how our judicial system handles issues of what is right and wrong," Biship said. "Execution of Justice" opens Nov. 4 for eight performances, closing on Nov. 12. Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. with Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. and a Sunday evening performance on Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. There will be no performance on Nov. 11 due to the Veterans Day holiday. Tickets are $15 general admission and $12 for seniors and students. For tickets and information, call (562) 985-5526 or go to csulb.edu/depts/theatre.
********** Published: October 20, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 27