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appearances by San Jose mayor

Hon. Sam Liccardo



former San Jose mayor & playwright

Hon. Tom McEnery,

author of Swift Justice

A high school theater department invites alumni back to mount a controversial play about an historic 1933 lynching of alleged murderers of a school alum that really happened in their town. The actors and community leaders contemplate the parallels that the story of mob violence from decades ago has to the current political climate.

In the true story portrayed in the play, a beloved graduate of their school and son of a prominent local family is kidnapped for ransom in the midst of the Depression.  The public, already under tremendous social and financial stress, is outraged and the item becomes a huge media sensation. Officials are overwhelmed even though the bumbling suspects make tragic mistakes at every turn.  In the end, citizens take the law into their own hands and deal with the alleged criminals themselves.

We are raised to believe that mob rule does not happen in a democracy, that nothing like that happens here.  But the actors help us understand:  it did, and it can again.

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A key scene from former 

San Jose mayor Tom McEnery's historical thriller, Swift Justice.

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Playwright and former San Jose mayor Tom McEnery (left front)

oversees the table read of his play Swift Justice .

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San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo gives producer Rick Bacigalupi an interview at City Hall.

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Actors doing warm-up improvisation

on the main stage.

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