The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s legal affinity group, the Bard Association, has unveiled a new program called "Expert Witnesses," a series of interviews with prominent members of the legal community who have bridged the gap to the arts world. The Washington, D.C., theater's series will launch with former senator and star of the television series Law & Order, Fred Thompson, who will inaugurate a sequence of high-profile, one-on-one interviews with Bard Association Chairman Abbe David Lowell of the firm Chadbourne & Parke LLP. This first installment of "Expert Witnesses" is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., March 18, 2013, at the Lansburgh Theatre (450 7th Street NW).
Before joining the cast of Law & Order, Thompson represented Tennessee as a U.S. Senator for nearly a decade. He experienced firsthand the drama of politics as a leader on the Senate committee investigating the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s. Thompson transitioned to the screen in 1985 by starring in the film Marie, which dramatized his real-life role in a Tennessee public corruption case. Since then, Thompson has played authoritative roles in many legal and governmental film and television thrillers such as In the Line of Fire, The Hunt for Red October, and Law & Order: SVU.
Lowell, a prolific attorney to high-profile cases and former counsel to the House of Representatives, has known Thompson since before his days in show business. “I have known Fred since he was a ‘real’ lawyer and a very good one in Tennessee,” Lowell said in a press release. “It is a real feather in the cap of the Bard Association to get Fred to be our first one-on-one interview. He represents the epitome of what we want to explore—a person with real legal experience who used that experience to launch an acting career, but did so in a way never to totally leave his legal roots. Fred can share a unique perspective on the law and the arts that few people in the country can.”
Following Lowell’s interview of Thompson, the pair will engage in a Q&A session with the audience. Patrons are also invited to round off their evening at a reception immediately following the discussion. Attendees will have the chance to speak with Thompson and Lowell over light refreshments in STC's Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street NW).
"Expert Witnesses" mirrors "Classic Conversations" with Michael Kahn, in which STC’s Artistic Director conducted interviews with guests Sir Patrick Stewart, Kevin Kline, James Earl Jones, Stacy Keach, and F. Murray Abraham. More than 2,300 audience members attended these discussions that covered everything from the actors’ childhoods to their most challenging classical roles.
The Bard Association has already presented four successful "Shakespeare and the Law" panel discussions, which have laid a foundation for legally focused programming at STC, in addition to the association's popular, star-studded annual events, the Mock Trial and Will on the Hill.
Bard Association Member tickets for "Expert Witnesses: Fred Thompson" are $35 and go on sale Jan. 30. General Public tickets are $40 and will be available for purchase on Feb. 6. Tickets can be obtained by calling the Box Office at 202-547-1122, option 1.
January 24, 2013