The Case

An African-American owner of a small business sues a Jewish real estate developer for defamation after she is accused of stealing his family heirloom. There is no smoking gun.

The Twist... Your Audience is the jury.



When race, class, religion, and gender collide a conversation begins about the most important issues of our day.

THE DEFAMATION EXPERIENCE is a courtroom drama with a twist. Through deliberations and post-show discussions, your audience engages in civil discourse that stimulates critical dialogue and conversation.

How the Experience Unfolds

Riveting live courtroom drama ... 75-minutes

Interactive audience deliberation ...15-minutes

Audience post-show discussion ... 30-minutes

Here's the Story

Ms. Wade, an African-American small-business owner, is invited to the home Mr. Golden, a Jewish real estate developer. He seeks her help with a pro-bono project. After their meeting, he cannot find his family heirloom watch.

 This scenario is the linchpin for all the twists and turns that follow in THE DEFAMATION EXPERIENCE, a riveting courtroom drama in which Ms. Wade and Mr. Golden again come face-to-face after she sues him for defamation in civil court.


A case without a smoking gun, THE DEFAMATION EXPERIENCE challenges our preconceived notions about race, class, religion and even the law. As audience members and then jurors, we learn as much or more about ourselves as we do the plaintiff and the defendant.

More than a Play

THE DEFAMATION EXPERIENCE is a unique opportunity for your community to engage in civil discourse about the most pressing social issues of our day. Conversations started in your venue will last for days, weeks and months.

Since its premier in 2010, THE DEFAMATION EXPERIENCE has been performed for universities, law schools, bar associations, high schools, civic and religious organizations, and theaters across the country.

Tech Requirements

THE DEFAMATION EXPERIENCE has very minimal equipment needs to transform your theater, lecture hall, or banquet room into an actual courtroom

6 actors

Set: 2 tables, 6 chairs

Lighting: House lights up

Minimum stage dimensions: 24w' x 16'd x 1'h

2 Handheld microphones for audience feedback (if needed)

6 wireless body mics (only if room needs amplified sound)