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Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Pericles, Tempest Lead to Mom Nature's Trial

Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF logoFor its eighth annual mock trial, Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with the University of Central Florida (UCF) will bring a case against Mother Nature for the havoc she's wrought on the characters in two of Shakespeare's productions, The Tempest and Pericles.

The John R. Hamilton Mock Trial is scheduled for Tuesday, March 15, at 7 p.m. at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center. The Margeson Theater will transform into an interactive courtroom as actors from theater's repertoire productions of The Tempest (playing to March 27) and The Adventures of Pericles (playing to March 26) improv their way through the trial amidst a panel of celebrity judges.

Following the audience's advisory verdict, a final ruling will be announced by a panel of five special guest judges: Scott Maxwell, Orlando Sentinel “Taking Names” columnist; Belvin Perry Jr., attorney at Morgan & Morgan; Phil Rawlins, founder and president of Orlando City Soccer Club; Cynthia Schmidt, director of UCF's Center for Law and Policy; and Julie Wolf, senior private banker SVP at Wells Fargo.

Kimberly A. Ashby, partner at Akerman Senterfitt LLP, and Nicholas A. Shannin Esq. of The Shannin Law Firm, return as advocates.

“We are so excited to be covering two of Shakespeare's classics in our 2016 Mock Trial,” Mock Trial Committee Leader Cory L. Taylor, Partner at Roetzel & Andress, said in a press release. "Audience members will laugh their way through the trial as the characters and advocates navigate their way through the comical case against Mother Nature.”

The public event also includes an opportunity to mingle with leading members of Central Florida's legal, business, and artistic communities in a pre-show VIP cocktail hour. Starting at 6 p.m., all VIP ticket holders are invited to enjoy complimentary light hors d'oeuvres and beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Since 2009, Orlando Shakespeare Theater has hosted mock trials that explore contemporary legal thought using classic plays as their template. Past mock trials have considered whether Shakespeare's Hamlet was indeed insane when he killed Polonius and addressed a contentious Darcy v. Wickham defamation lawsuit based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

The Eighth Annual Mock Trial is presented by Wells Fargo. Additional sponsorship is provided by Roetzel & Andress and First American Title.

Tickets ($35 for VIP; $20 and $15) are available by calling (407) 447-1700 ext. 1, online at, or in person at 812 East Rollins Street.

March 10, 2016

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