SU Hosts Staging of 'Defamation' October 11
SALISBURY, MD---Highly charged issues of race, religion, gender, class and law come to the forefront in Todd Logan’s play Defamation.
Unlike most courtroom dramas, however, the final verdict isn’t left for the judge or jury to decide — it’s up to the audience.
Salisbury University hosts a staging of the play, presented by Canamac Productions, 4 p.m. Tuesday, October 11, in Holloway Hall Auditorium.
At the onset of the trial, Judge Adrian Barnes lays out the case, as well as the stakes involved: After a meeting at his home with Regina Wade, an African-American professional from the south side of Chicago, for a potential business project, Jewish attorney Arthur Golden, of the upper-class suburb Winnetka, discovers that his family-heirloom watch is missing.
He tells the office where Wade works that he believes she stole it. After losing business as a result of the accusation, she sues the wealthy attorney for defamation.
Following testimony from each side, as well as a key witness, Barnes polls the audience on how they would decide the verdict. The judge then leads a 20-minute audience deliberation before taking a second, binding poll to determine the outcome of the case. The goal, according to Logan, is to help audience members learn as much or more about themselves as they do about the plaintiff and defendant.
Debuted in 2010 at the Unitarian Church of Evanston, IL, the play has since been performed at colleges, universities and high schools throughout the U.S., attracting a total audience of more than 30,000.
Dr. William Smith, founding director of the National Center for Race Amity, has hailed the play as “extraordinary,” calling it “an effective resource to create dialogue to bridge the racial divide.” Claudia Guzman and Warren Scherer of the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin’s Inclusive Excellence Center called it “more than a court case,” noting it “demonstrates the complexity of our lived experiences when it comes to race, gender, religion and socioeconomic status.”
Sponsored by SU’s Student Activities and Student Affairs offices, admission is free and the public is invited. For more information call 410-543-6080 or visit the SU website at www.salisbury.edu.