Play reading series starts Feb. 25

| 07 Feb 2012 | 12:05

SUSSEX — Tri-State Actors Theater will present a reading of Daniel J. Weber’s new script, "The Execution of Governor Brown as Performed by the Condemned Inmates of San Quentin under the direction of Caryl Chessman" as part of the “On the Town” Play Reading Series. The performance will be held Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m. at Sussex Rural Electric Co-Op, Rte. 639, Sussex, directly across from The Sussex Airport.

The true events surrounding one seminal death penalty case are told in the form of a play staged on death row and performed by three condemned inmates. The former governor of California confronts the ghosts of his past who help him come to terms with the death row decisions he made in the 1960s.

The play is based on a true story and was inspired by the writings of California Gov. Edmund “Pat” Brown and Caryl Chessman. Caryl Whittier Chessman was a criminal with a long record who had spent most of his adult life behind bars. He had been paroled a short time from prison in California when he was arrested near Los Angeles and charged with being the notorious "Red Light Bandit." He gained fame as a death row inmate in California. Chessman's case attracted worldwide attention, and as a result he became a cause célèbre for the movement to ban capital punishment.

Daniel J. Weber is a vice president, associate creative director at the global ad agency Publicis in New York and is on the faculty of Pratt Institute, where he teaches advertising. He received a bachelor's degree from Cornell University. His play "Provenance" was named a top 10 finalist for the 2011 Woodward/Newman Drama Award and a semi-finalist for the 2011 O’Neill Playwriting Conference.

Admission to the reading is by donation. An audience talk-back with the playwright, with director Paul Meacham and the actors will follow the reading.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, call 973 875-2950 or visit