August 25, 2010
Annual Lansing Theater Festival Expands to Include Five Area Theaters; Upcoming Shows Announced
Don LeDuc, president and dean of Cooley Law School, announces the theaters and plays that will make up the 2010 Stages of the Law theater festival at a kickoff event on Aug. 25 at the Riverwalk Theatre. Stages of the Law is an annual theater festival that has expanded this season to include five Lansing theaters. The festival begins with The Trial of Tom Sawyer at Mid Michigan Family Theatre on Sept. 24. For more information, visit http://www.cooley.edu/stages/index.html.
Supporters and performers in the Stages of the Law stage-play festival gather in front of the RiverWalk Theatre, one of the five theaters featuring performances. For more information, visit http://www.cooley.edu/stages/index.html. Back row, from the left: Don LeDuc, president and dean of Cooley Law School; Melissa Kaplan, production coordinator, humanities and performing arts department, Lansing Community College; Jane Falion, director of The Farnsworth Invention; Mike Siracuse, business manager for Riverwalk Theatre; Jane Zussman, publication coordinator for Riverwalk Theatre; Katie Doyle, associate director for Stormfield Theatre; Andy Callis, director of A View from the Bridge. Front row: actor Jackson Hall (playing Tom Sawyer in The Trial of Tom Sawyer); actor Kyle Sodman (playing Huck Finn in the The Trial of Tom Sawyer); Bill Gordon, manager of Mid Michigan Family Theatre.
Organizers of Stages of the Law, the annual theater festival sponsored by Cooley Law School, announced its shows for the upcoming season and an expansion to include five Lansing-based theaters.
"Lansing has a rich tradition connected to the arts," said Don LeDuc, Cooley Law School’s president and dean. "We’re excited to bring our many theater groups together for this stage play festival that highlights some of the culturally enriching entertainment options in our community."
Theaters featured in the fifth annual Stages of the Law festival include:
* Mid Michigan Family Theatre (Sept. 24 – Oct. 3) with The Trial of Tom Sawyer
* The Stormfield Theatre (Oct. 7-31) with Among Friends
* The Lansing Civic Players Underground (Oct. 14-23) with Misery
* Riverwalk Theatre (Oct. 21-31) with The Farnsworth Invention
* Lansing Community College Theater (Nov. 5-13) with A View from the Bridge
Tickets for performances can be purchased at the individual theater’s ticket office.
Stages of the Law also will feature "Talk Back" sessions with a Cooley Law School professor explaining areas of the law featured during each play. Theater performances on the nights of "Talk Back" performances also feature discounted pricing (buy one ticket, get another ticket free).
"Talk Back" sessions are scheduled for:
* Friday, Oct. 1 at Mid Michigan Family Theatre at 7 p.m.
* Friday, Oct. 15 at Lansing Civic Players Underground at 8 p.m.
* Friday, Oct. 22 at Stormfield Theatre at 8 p.m.
* Friday, Oct. 29 at Riverwalk Theatre 8 p.m.
* Friday, Nov. 12 at Lansing Community College’s Dart Auditorium at 8 p.m.
Summary of theater performances:
The Trial of Tom Sawyer
Mid Michigan Family Theatre (Sept. 24 – Oct. 3)Written by: Virginia Koste
Directed by: Bill Gordon
Description: As the title suggests, the play dramatically focuses on the inner conflict of Tom one long summer ago -- when the boy Tom proves his manhood, and the man (Mark Twain as narrator) relives his boyhood. Tom moves through the whitewash work/play enterprise and the school whipping, establishing his bravery in the young world, into the graveyard murder and climactic trial which tests his courage in the old world of life and death itself. Along the way is the escape into the play world of Jackson Island, and the happiest funeral in all literature as the boyish "drowned" listen to their own eulogies.
The Lansing Civic Players Underground (Oct. 14-23)
Written by: Stephen King, adapted for the stage by Simon Moore
Directed by: Tony Sump
Description: Popular romance novelist Paul Sheldon retires each winter to Colorado to write another work featuring heroine Misery Chastain. While driving through a winter storm, he loses control of his car. He regains consciousness in a filthy, dilapidated farmhouse that is cut off from the outside world by a blizzard. Annie, the schizophrenic occupant, is his number-one fan and she insists she will nurse him back to health. His legs are crushed and he is virtually a prisoner. Like Scheherazade, he must write a new chapter every day to stay alive. NOTE: Misery contains some scenes that include violence and strong language.
The Stormfield Theatre (Oct. 7-31) Written by: Kristine Thatcher
Directed by: Kristine Thatcher
Description: Three old friends, Matt and brothers-in-law, Will and Dan, gather as often as possible to play poker. Matt is a struggling Sears appliance salesman; Will, a public school teacher; and Dan, a real-estate developer and award-winning humanitarian. Dan is by far the most successful of the three and appears to be a model citizen. But when Will surreptitiously discovers Dan cheating at cards, he decides to explore exactly how deeply the rot goes. Among Friends focuses on the nature of friendship, and the jealousy and resentment that sometimes lie just beneath the surface.
The Farnsworth Invention
Riverwalk Theatre (Oct. 21-31) Written by: Aaron Sorkin
Directed by: Jane Falion
Description: The turning point of the 20th century wasn't on television. It was television. In the 1920s and 1930s, the battle to create and control television came down to two men: David Sarnoff, a self-made titan of industry and the president of RCA; and Philo T. Farnsworth, an unsophisticated but brilliant inventor working independently in a private laboratory. Their separate paths eventually collide in a legal battle for control of the 20th century's most powerful communications tool.
A View from the Bridge
Lansing Community College Theater (Nov. 5-13) Directed by: Andy Callis
Written by: Arthur Miller
Description: A View From the Bridge is Arthur Miller's taut and compelling drama about Eddie Carbone, a Brooklyn longshoreman who has raised his niece Catherine. He agrees to house two illegal immigrants from Italy, and when his niece falls in love with one of them, Eddie's life erupts into jealous passion, bringing tragedy to his world. As Arthur Miller said, Tragedy is about "the disaster inherent in being torn away from our chosen image of what and who we are in this world.” By the end of the play, the lawyer Alfieri, who functions as a Greek chorus, comments that: "He allowed himself to be wholly known and for that I think I will love him more than all my sensible clients."
For more information, visit http://www.cooley.edu/stages/index.html.
Cooley Law School is the largest law school in the nation. Founded in 1972, the private, non-profit law school operates J.D. programs across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. Today, Cooley Law School has more than 14,000 graduates across the nation and worldwide and also offers joint degree and master of laws programs. Cooley offers enrollment three times a year; in January, May and September. Additional information about Cooley can be found at cooley.edu.