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Loyola University New Orleans School of Law combines law and drama for unforgettable evening

Loyola press release - April 16, 2002

(New Orleans)ŚProminent New Orleans actors team up with federal district court judges and students of the Loyola University School of Law to present the criminal trial of Shakespeare╣s bloodiest, guiltiest tragic figure.

Charged with first-degree homicide for the murder of Duncan, MacBeth (Dane Rhodes) stands trial before the audience who will vote as a jury on his guilt or innocence. Because the record contains only facts and statements made up until the discovery of Duncan╣s body, and because asides and soliloquies are inadmissible evidence, MacBeth has an alibi that could establish reasonable doubt! Whether or not the prosecution establishes its case is a matter for the jury to decide. Will he be acquitted?

Witnesses include Big Easy nominee Dane Rhodes (MacBeth), Big Easy nominee Bob Edes (MacDuff), producer/ actor/ director Mikko Macchione (Banquo), Ara Hadigan (The Weird Sister), and Raphaelle O╣Neill (Lady MacBeth). Third year medical student Elliot Fagley of le chat noir will act as the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Louisiana, and local federal district court judges will preside. Prosecutor (Alice Hall) and defense counsel (Scott Martinez)are students of the Loyola University School of Law and national team members of ATLA/ Board of Advocates.

Hadigan is a first year law school student and New Orleans-based actress whose credits include Tiger Tail, Spiritual Gifts, The Lonesome West, Psychopathia Sexualis, Steel Magnolias and A Little Grain of Sand. She conceived the project after participating as a witness in mock trials at the university. Because Rhodes (MacBeth, Tiger Tail, Sea Marks, Edwin Drood) recently played MacBeth in Mikko Macchione╣s production, the two quickly developed the project with Michael Sullivan (one of the many actor/lawyers in the Big Easy who has appeared on every local stage in New Orleans).

Hall and Martinez researched the charges and defenses while Rhodes, Hadigan, and Sullivan rounded up local judges to preside and well known New Orleans actors to testify. Because a different judge will hear the case each time, rulings on whether evidence is admissible or not could greatly affect the outcome. Is the prophecy hearsay? And even if it is admissible, how will the prosecution establish a witch╣s credibility? What will MacBeth testify to when he takes the stand?

The Trial of Macbeth opened at Le Chat Nor Cabaret Theatre and will run every Wednesday in April. Showtime for April 3rd, 10th and 24th is 8p.m. Showtime for April 17th is 10 p.m. Tickets are $12 and $8 for students. Call 504-581-5812.

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