‘Defamation’ Will Turn Audience Into Jury

Participatory courtroom drama comes to Deerfield Saturday.

“Defamation,” an audience participation courtroom drama delving into the issues of race, religion and class, will be performed at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Holy Cross Parish gymnasium in Deerfield.

What makes this production unique is after evidence is presented at the 70-minute trial; the judge turns to the audience and turns them into the jury. The judge will poll the jury before a 15 to 20 minute discussion after the trial and do it again after the “deliberations,” according to the play’s website.

The play is the story of a professional African American woman from the south side of Chicago who meets with a wealthy Jewish North Shore real estate developer in his home to discuss business project.

After the woman leaves, the man discovers a family heirloom watch is missing. He makes accusations and she sues.

Todd Logan is the author of “Defamation.” He is a filmmaker, playwright and humorist who has written plays like “Botanic Garden,” which was directed by Olympia Dukakis. His humor has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe and San Francisco Chronicle.

The professionals involved in the production are Kim Beavers, Stacie Doubling, Scott Phelps, Malcolm Rothman, Richard Shaving and Gina Taliaferro. Their credits include the Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf and other outlets.

The event is jointly sponsored by Holy Cross Parish, Zion Lutheran Church, Christ United Methodist Church and Beth Chaverim Humanistic Community. Tickets are $5 at the door or at any of the sponsoring institutions.

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