The time is 1915, the place the Salt Lake City courtroom where Joe Hill, the celebrated local radical, is on trial for murder. Obviously mistrusted by the conservative folk of his day, Hill senses that his cause is lost, even though the evidence presented against him is less than decisive. This, he knows, is his last forum, and he uses it to expose the complacency and small-mindedness of his attackers, even refusing to use the one alibi which could save him, because doing so would compromise a lady whom he loves and respects. Taking over his own defense, and punctuating his telling, irreverent interrogations with songs and fantasy sequences, Hill angers, dismays and ultimately shames his tormentors—bringing the play to a powerful, poignant conclusion and establishing the martyrdom which, he knows, will be his greatest contribution to the ideals which have motivated his short and turbulent life.
A striking and brilliantly theatrical retelling of the trial of Joe Hill, the famous labor organizer and political radical, to whom time has granted the status of American folk hero. Presented in New York by the renowned Public Theatre, Joseph Papp, producer. "The play is going to be controversial. I liked it a great deal. I admired its laconic but pungent language, the freedom of its structure, the poetry of its bones, the comprehension of its mythology." —NY Post. "…a compelling courtroom drama…" —The Hollywood Reporter.