Execution of Justice Production Details

Written by: Emily Mann
Directed by: Tom Dugdale
Thurber Theatre

Rehearsals begin as early as January 8, 2018. Rehearsals take place M-F 6:30 - 10:30 PM and Saturdays noon - 5 PM.

Performance dates and times can be found on the Theatre website.


Emily Mann’s Execution of Justice examines the trial of Dan White. White was accused of murdering San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk, a passionate advocate for gay rights in San Francisco in the 1970s. Despite confessing to the killings, White was convicted of only minor manslaughter charges, igniting protest and outrage in the city. Described as “theater of testimony,” Execution of Justice is assembled from primary source material, interviews, transcripts. The play is both a record of what happened and an attempt to understand why it happened—legally, politically, emotionally. Execution of Justice feels as relevant as ever as we continue to debate the justice of our leaders and their laws.

Casting Breakdown

Both women and men will be considered for roles where gender has not been noted in parentheses.

DAN WHITE (M) – a former fire fighter and San Francisco city councilman. A normal, ordinary guy, according to most people.

SCHMIDT – Lawyer for the Defense and White’s attorney. Shrewd and creative. An excellent salesperson of an idea with a touch of the poet.

NORMAN – Prosecutor. Logical, detailed, sometimes impatient. Frustrates easily.

SISTER BOOM BOOM (M) – A man in nun drag with commanding presence and a hatred of injustice.

GWENN CRAIG (F) – A gay community leader. Contemplative spokesperson for the community’s love and pain.

FREITAS – Former District Attorney voted out of office after the Prosecution lost the case. Pensive, even regretful, about what was lost.

CYR COPERTINI (F) – Older. Mayor Moscone’s secretary. The last person to see the mayor alive, aside from his murder. Deeply haunted by what happened.

DENISE APCAR – Dan White’s young assistant. Naturally protective of the boss.

NOTHENBERG (M) – Mayor Moscone’s deputy and dear friend. Of Moscone he says, “I loved his idealism. I loved his hope.”

MILK’S FRIEND (M) – Gentle, empathetic. A voice for all those traumatized by the loss of Harvey.

INSPECTOR FALZON – Chief Inspector of Homicide. Blunt and direct. Salt of the earth. Without pretense. You believe what he has to say.

CAROL SILVER – Served on the City Council with Milk and White. Supportive of Milk. Righteous, not afraid to speak out.

DR. BLINDER – Testifying psychiatrist. Professorial, bookish. Offers the famous “Twinkie Defense”—the suggestion that White’s judgment was impaired by overconsumption of junk food.

DR. LEVY – Testifying psychiatrist. Straight-forward and confident in the assessment that White’s judgment was not impaired.

JOANNA LU – TV reporter covering the case. Intelligent, energized to get the scoop.

COP (M) – A local policeman opposed to gay rights. Candid, doesn’t hold anything back.

MARY ANN WHITE (F) – Dan White’s spouse. Devoted to her husband, shy in all the lights and attention. Breaks down many times.

Ensemble of several other important characters