Charleston Stage: Uplifting the Arts, Engaging the Legal Community


Charleston Stage redefines the idea of mixing business with pleasure. Typically, collecting Legal Ethic/Professional Responsibility hours has probably never included an evening at the theatre… until now.
Be sure to save the date for Charleston Stage’s Continuing Legal Education (CLE) event on Wednesday, October 25, 2017, at the historic Dock Street Theatre located in downtown Charleston. The evening will begin promptly at 5 p.m. with a pre-show reception followed by a performance of act two of the award winning To Kill a Mockingbird, and a lively panel discussion with SC Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald W. Beatty and former SC Supreme Court Chief Justices Costa Pleicones and Jean H. Toal. The evening fulfills 1.5 hours of CLE requirements for ethics.
Infusing drama with the legal world has been an ongoing effort of Charleston Stage, beginning with the production of Seat of Justice in 2016. An original play by the theatre’s very own Julian Wiles, Seat of Justice explored the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education court case and South Carolina’s role during this pivotal moment in history. Looking for ways to elevate the conversations raised around this bold production, Charleston stage invited Continuing Learning Education participants to attend the show, and along with a guest panel, to discuss the implications of the case on the evolution of ethics and jurisprudence.
“Board Attorney Josh Whitley, Charleston Stage Board President at the time suggested this collaboration with the legal community,” tells Sarah Jordan Schwartz, Donor Relations Manager of Charleston Stage. “In conversations with the playwright, Julian Wiles, and then SC Supreme Court Justice Pleicones and Federal Judge Gergel, the format for our theatre based CLE’s was fleshed out.”
This year, the organization continues their series of CLE events with a performance of To Kill A Mockingbird, highlighting themes that speak to us today such as prejudice, power, racism, sexism, and integrity. A Harper Lee novel, To Kill A Mockingbird tells the story of Atticus Finch who is chosen to defend Tom Robinson, falsely accused of rape. The trial, which takes up act two of the production, is the heart of the story, and it is this act and the play’s conclusion that will be presented and discussed at the CLE event.

“Post show discussions have generally focused on ethical issues raised in the trials portrayed in the plays themselves,” expressed Schwartz. “The issues of the play and the real world merge as they are explored and examined by prominent jurists and others. Together, the play and performance provide a richer examination of the issues at hand than could be represented just with the play itself or just with a regular CLE event.”
CLE participants are in for a treat, as they can expect an evening of top-notch theatre followed by formative and thought provoking discussion with well-respected panelists. This lively evening also has a charitable component – ticket and sponsorship proceeds benefit children participating in Charleston Stage’s robust education programs.
Charleston Stage plans to continue providing CLE opportunities in the future – uplifting the arts, while simultaneously engaging the legal community.
For more information about this event and to purchase tickets, please visit charlestonstage.com/continuing-legal-education-event.
Charleston Stage is a grantee of the Fred E. Pittman Fund, the Pearlstine Family Fund and the Hewitt Family Fund of Coastal Community Foundation.  
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