Following The Roald Dahl Project, The Laramie Project and Angels in America, Benet returned to Year Out Drama Company in Stratford on Avon to direct Emily Mann's verbatim drama Execution of Justice - a play he'd wanted to direct since he first read it nearly a decade ago.
Following the infamous trial of Dan White, who murdered San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor and gay activist Harvey Milk in 1978, Execution of Justice is constructed from trial transcripts, interviews and other verbatim material to give a sense of the extraordinary events in and around one of the most notorious murder trials in contemporary American history.
Performed by a group of thirteen drama students, most of whom were unfamiliar with the story, Execution is a challenging project with most performers playing multiple roles, many having extensive monologues and, in this staging, everyone being present on stage throughout - indeed, sat amongst the front row of the audience. The production was also highly complex technically, with nearly 200 lighting, sound and AV cues.
The pace and professionalism of the end result spoke for the dedication of the performers and the enthusiasm of Year Out Drama, now in its 25th year, for allowing directors to stage ambitious work which many would consider beyond the reach of most student groups at this stage in their professional development.