The Birmingham law firm of Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff and Brandt LLC is sponsoring two productions to be performed at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law as part of the American Shakespeare Center’s (ASC) Hungry Hearts Tour: Romeo and Juliet, presented on Friday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m., and The Two Gentlemen of Verona, presented on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. A musical prelude will begin at 6:30 p.m. on both nights.
This will mark the fourth year in a row that the ASC has transformed the law school’s Great Room into an Elizabethan theatre for the weekend. Kim West, a practicing lawyer at Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff and Brandt, and adjunct professor at the law school, has once again been instrumental in organizing the performances. West teaches perhaps the world’s only course on Shakespeare and the law, “Shakespeare and Trial Advocacy.”
“I love this event for many reasons,” said West. “It is deeply satisfying to me to see Shakespeare performed in a law school. Shakespeare ate, drank and argued hypotheticals with the lawyers at pubs around the Inns of Court and his nearby Blackfriars Theatre. Law students commissioned plays by Shakespeare for parties such as Twelfth Night. I have an engraving of the Great Hall in Gray’s Inn, where plays written by Shakespeare for law students were performed. The resemblance to our Great Room is uncanny.”
The performances will be presented in the manner of their original performance, including universal lighting, minimal sets, doubling, cross-gender casting and music. Audience members will be invited to share directly in the action on-stage as they become Verona in Romeo and Juliet and Milan in The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
“You don’t want to miss this year’s performances, which include the mutinous Romeo and Juliet and a surprise canine Shakespearean actor (no surprise in Rascal’s home!) in The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” said West.
Attendance is free of charge, but space is limited. Reserve seats at email@example.com or 205-726-2797.Polly Manuel is marketing and communication coordinator for Cumberland School of Law.