A Patriot Act: The Trial of George W. Bush

Written and Directed by Todd Blakesley

The original production was produced by Sledgehammer Theatre at the Tenth Avenue Theatre in downtown San Diego.   This was my 8th fully immersive theater project.

Theater-goers were screened by security before being allowed to enter the court.  They were then asked if they were a witness for the defense or the prosecution.  If neither, they were asked to join one of three juries each considering a different charge against the President.  If they opted for the gallery they were advised they could still be a witness if so moved during the course of the trial.

The primary focus was to allow wide-ranging testimony.  What did people really know about the ever-changing events sweeping through the news and public discourse?  Witnesses were even permitted to use their opinion as evidence.  I wanted people to engage on a level they felt comfortable with.  The "trial" structure allowed the cast to keep things reasonably civil.

I was concerned that many would consider the play Bush-bashing.  But after the reviews came out indicating an even hand to all points of view, more supporters of the President came forth.  The result was a passionate exchange that allowed both sides to confront opposing views without blood being shed.

A PDF of Anne Marie Welsh's review is below.


(ABOVE) San Diego Union-Tribune

(BELOW) Production photos by Lydia Butynski


We were fortunate to have Dick Emmet wrangle the role of chief magistrate. Dick was a retired Alabama Superior Court judge who had presided over the acquittal of Martin Luther King on tax evasions charges in 1962.


The chief magistrate clarifies an announcement to be made by the bailiff (Timothy Carr).


Kaja Amado  points out a discrepancy in a witnesses's testimony to defense co-counsel Fred Moramarco.


Defense Counsel asks a witness to read back a piece of testimony.


Is it possible we could lose this?  Prosecutor Jim Granby urges co-counsel John  Polak to pull out the chart.


The prosecution presents what they feel is clear evidence of Bush administration fraud by fixing "...intelligence and facts ... around the policy,"  leading to an illegal invasion of Iraq and deaths in the hundreds of thousands.

Anne Marie Welsh reviews the 2006 production of "A Patriot Act: The Trial of George W. Bush."

To read the review click DOWNLOAD. Close tab to return to this page. (pdf)