Irish immigrant John Gordon was the last person executed by the State of Rhode Island, after his conviction for the murder of Cranston mill owner, Amasa Sprague, in 1843. Ken Dooley will speak about his play, which sheds new light on this infamous 165-year-old incident. Dooley’s meticulously researched and intriguing play dramatizes just how and why Gordon was wrongly convicted during an era when prejudice towards Irish Catholics was all too common.
“The Murder Trial of John Gordon” opens at the R.I. Center for Performing Arts in Cranston (also known as the Park Theater) January 14, for a 21-show run, weekends through February 20. For directions, ticket information: www.ParkTheatreRI.com or 401-467-7275
Newport resident, Author, playwright, director and Cranston native, KENNETH R. DOOLEY has published 38 books, including Management by Auerbach, in 1992, and the recently completed Judgment at Yokohama, based on a real-life incident involving the capture and execution of Lt. Robert E. Thorpe, a Cranston native, during WWII. His other recent play is The Auerbach Dynasty, based on the life of Red Auerbach, which the NBA plans to produce for an opening at Cranston’s Park Theater in 2011. His professional background includes nearly 30 years in publishing and its related educational film production industries. Dooley received his B.A. from Providence College and studied screenwriting and directing at the New York School of Film and the Eugene O’Neil Theater in Waterford, CT. We welcome him for this, his first speaking engagement with the Museum of Newport Irish History.