Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

13 September 2006

Emily Mann

So I'm reading the work of Emily Mann right now as a sort of complement to the reading assigned to us in Documentary Theatre. I have a lot of work to do for my Research & Bibliography class that I could probably be doing, but I had 147 papers to grade and then I was too tired to do any real research.
"Read a play," I thought. "That will relax you." Emily Mann's Execution of Justice is about the murders of George Moscone and Harvey Milk in 1978 by City Supervisor Dan White. It is a powerhouse of a piece of theatre and I was blown away. I finished it and I put the play down and I kept repeating "oh my god" and then I went into my room and cried. And I know, I know: I cry at everything, but... the city of San Francisco has its first out gay elected official assassinated in cold blood and the jury hands down a verdict of involuntary manslaughter. It hit me somewhere else, you know? Like I wasn't crying because of empathy or whatever other reasons I usually cry at theatre: like crying for Oedipus Rex last week. Execution of Justice is something else. It raises some other consciousness inside of me: a different anger, a different grief.