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Court drama “Defamation”

Local News

Hummingbird Theatre Company will present the courtroom play “Defamation” by Todd Logan June 26-30 at Rochester’s Multi-use Community Cultural Center.

Director Don Bartalo discussed the play and his motivation to bring to a Rochester audience Monday during News 8 at Noon.

“This is a story about a very wealthy man who is Jewish and he is having a business meeting with a black executive woman,” Bartalo explained. “During that meeting, he gets a telephone call and he has to leave. When he comes back they finish the meeting. After the meeting, he cannot find his precious heirloom watch that his grandfather gave him. He talks to the woman and she says no, she doesn’t have the watch and he says that she does. And she sues him for $500,000 for defamation and that’s how the play begins when the judge brings everybody in and the entire play is a courtroom drama.”

Bartalo was inspired to share this story in Rochester. “I picked this because Mr. Logan who wrote this said that every night many people who live in cities go to bed in a city that segregates by race, by creed, or by color and Rochester happens to be one of those cities.”

The cast is as follows:

JUDGE ADRIAN BARNES………………..D. Scott Adams

MR. LAWTON…………………………….…..Peter Doyle      

REGINA WADE……………………………….Kat Rina Davis

MS. ALLEN………………………………………Pamela Johnson

LORRAINE JORDAN………………………..Adryanna Elmendorf  

ARTHUR GOLDEN…………………………..Frederick Nuernberg

Bartalo hopes that audiences for “Defamation” are intellectually challenged by the story and its implications. “In all of my shows, what I hope they do is put themselves in – for just a couple of hours or less – and think about what they would do in this situation,” he said. “And we also want them to think about the facts in the case so that they might be thinking about should we rule for the plaintiff or for the defendant. But I want them to be thinking about how tough it is to live in a city that does segregate by race or creed or color, and there’s no denying that we do. Look at our school district and you’ll see. It’s an issue with me. It has a lot of importance in my life.”

Get your tickets to see “Defamation” at the door or online at muccc.org.

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