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Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Friar Laurence Heads to Court in Mock Trial

Orlando Shakespeare Theater's Bard's Board Barristers in their annual mock trial on Tuesday, Feb. 21, will explore whether Friar Laurence is legally culpable for the untimely deaths of Juliet and Romeo. The trial will take place at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center and feature actors from the Orlando Shakespeare Theater's current production of Romeo and Juliet.

After the teenagers are found dead in the Capulet Vault, Prince Escalus declares there will be “more talk of these sad things; some shall be pardoned, and some punished,” implying that he plans to deliver justice. Topping the list of possible suspects is Friar Laurence who is, as he himself admits, the “most suspected.”

A panel of five special guest judges will then consider the verdict. Kimberly Ashby, a shareholder at Akerman Senterfitt, and John Hamilton, a shareholder at Foley & Lardner, will serve as advocates for the parties. As usual, there will be a number of twists, turns, and surprises throughout the trial.

The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres, drinks, and the opportunity to mingle with leading members of Central Florida's legal, business, and artistic communities before the trial. The public is welcome; however, general admission seating is limited. Tickets are $25 ($15 for students) and include one drink ticket.

Since 2009, the Bard's Board Barristers has hosted mock trials using classic plays as templates to explore contemporary legal thought. Past mock trials focused on legal issues arising from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice as well as Shakespeare's Hamlet and The Merchant of Venice.

2012 Mock Trial tickets are available by calling the box office at (407) 447-1700 or online at and in person at the box office located inside the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 East Rollins Street in Orlando's Loch Haven Cultural Park.

The 2012 Mock Trial is sponsored by Carlton Fields, First American Title Company, Wells Fargo, and Roetzel & Andress. Romeo and Juliet is made possible by A. Brian Phillips P.A., Akerman Senterfitt, BB&T, Florida Hospital, Geller Ragans, OUC, Wells Fargo, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs. Special thanks to Bryce West and Daniel and Lyn Berelsman. Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF is supported by United Arts of Central Florida with funds from the United Arts campaign and by State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council.

February 15, 2012

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