‘The Defamation Experience’ colored itself worthwhile

Krissy Tobey, Times Staff

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Approximately fifty people became temporary jurors at the SJCC Theatre on Friday, Feb. 8 when “The Defamation Experience” subjected them to a controversially charged performance of a civil suit and solicited audience feedback before rendering a verdict.

Topics of race, power, money, economics, business practices and religion took center stage during the suit in which Ms. Wade, a black woman, accused Mr. Golden, a white male, of defamation. The plaintiff was in turn accused of stealing the defendant’s watch. Legal jargon was explained for the benefit of the “jury” during and after the performance.

In minimalist fashion, the stage was dressed with plain black tables and chairs, none of which moved, and no lighting or sounds effects, props or microphones were utilized. Plain suits and ties served as costumes, allowing focus to remain on the dialogue and personalities of the characters.

“I will not allow anyone to paint me as a racist.” -Mr. Golden, defendant.

This traveling troupe has been performing Todd Logan’s play for 9 years. The speed and crispness of line deliveries and cleanliness of performance attested to their mastery of the play. Dialogue sped up during the obligatory legalese and slowed during controversial moments, giving the audience pause
to consider the tough issues that were raised.

“The Defamation Experience”
was an adventure in filtering relevant information from inflammatory accusations. Highly recommended for anyone open-minded enough to test their word associations and preconceived notions.

For more information, visit TheDefamationExperience.com.