Stages of the Law, a theater series sponsored by Cooley Law School, has announced four shows for its sixth season.  

Shows will be staged every month from the end of October
until the end of January, and some performances will include talkback
sessions, in which a Cooley professor explains areas of law that were
featured in the play. 

This season’s Stages of the Law performances include
Riverwalk Theatre’s “Conspiracy” (Oct. 20-30; talkback after the Oct.
22 performance); Lansing Community College’s “The Shrike” (Nov. 4-12;
talkback after the Nov. 5 performance); Mid Michigan Family Theatre
“The Goblins & the Gravedigger” (Dec. 2-11; talkback after the Dec.
10 performance); and performances of “The Exonerated,” directed by
Stormfield Theatre artistic director Kristine Thatcher, at the Wharton
Center (Jan. 27-28; talkback after the Jan. 28 performance).

Cooley communications director Terry Carella says
talkbacks have always been part of the program, and that each professor
has expertise in the area of law addressed in the play.

In recent years, the organizers of Stages of Law made the
decision to have professors do talkbacks after the show instead of

“This allows patrons the advantage of seeing the play
first, then to ask questions and to give feedback on the play, the
performers and the talkback professor,” Carella said.

Many of the patrons stay afterward to learn, talk and debate about the legal implications of the Stages performances.

The Stages of Law series started with three theaters
downtown, but Cooley has added more venues in recent years. Wharton
Center is being included for the first time this season. “The
Exonerated,” based on the true stories of six people sent to Death Row
for crimes they didn’t commit, won the 2003 Drama Desk Award for unique
theatrical experience.

The “Exonerated” talkback professors are from Cooley’s
Innocence Project, a clinic that helps secure the release of wrongfully
imprisoned persons.

“They will be able to discuss first-hand the work that
goes behind how wrongfully convicted incarcerated persons may be able
to establish innocence through DNA testing,” Carella said.