The explosive protests and police riots outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the ensuing conspiracy trial gave voice to the tumultuous cultural, social and racial politics of the time.
Throughout the long months of the now-infamous trial, America’s nightly newscasts featured updates and reports on the almost daily press conferences held by defendants and their supporters, galvanizing the nation’s interest in the unfolding battle between the forces of State repression and the burgeoning youth and anti-war movement.
Frank Condon and Ron Sossi have crafted a powerful and dramatically gripping script from a careful selection of actual court transcripts, and "The Chicago Conspiracy Trial" is their play. Performed to critical acclaim since 1979, it is accompanied here by an introduction and historical reflections written by Tom Hayden, one of the original Chicago 8 defendants. This incredibly potent book captures the trial’s original energy; confrontational and sometimes theatrical tactics; and its absolute outrage, presenting the dramatic and uncensored voices of Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale, Yippie activists Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, poet Allen Ginsberg, and many more.
Praise for "The Chicago Conspiracy Trial", winner of 5 LA Drama Critic’s Circle Awards:
“a tremendous rush of emotion ... a jolting evocation of a dark, disturbing moment in our history.” —Chicago Tribune
“powerful ... can’t help but touch raw nerves ... wildly theatrical.” —USA Today
“This skillfully edited recreation of the 1969 Chicago Eight conspiracy trial makes spectacular dramatic use of court transcripts to present a drama in which the participants are as intense as the political atmosphere.... contains a surprisingly large dose of humor ... superb ... powerful production” —Variety
“ … beautifully realized …a taut, exciting script..” —The Nation