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The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles Presents The Trial of Hamlet 1/31


The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles (SCLA) will hold "The Trial of Hamlet" to determine the competency of the defendant to stand trial for the murder of Polonius, based on the events of the Shakespeare play.
United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will adjudicate this mock trial of Hamlet, Crown Prince of Denmark. The jurors will include Helen Hunt and Tom Irwin, who recently appeared in SCLA's production of "Much Ado About Nothing," and other members of the community.  The trial takes place on Monday, January 31 at 7:30 pm before an audience of more than 1,200 members of the public at Bovard Auditorium at the University of Southern California.
Justice Kennedy will preside over arguments offered by Beverly Hills Bar Association members Richard G. Hirsch and Blair Berk for the defense and Danette Meyers and Nathan J. Hochman, Los Angeles County Bar Association members for the prosecution. Forensic Psychiatrist Dr. Saul Faerstein appears as the expert for the defense while Psychiatrist Dr. Ronald Markman will stand for prosecution.
Tickets for "The Trial of Hamlet" ($30, $50 and $100) are on sale now for the one night only presentation January 31st at 7:30 at Bovard Auditorium on the USC campus. To purchase, call Brown Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006 or visit
The jury of twelve who will determine Hamlet's competency includes Helen Hunt; Tom Irwin; Caroline Bailey, with Gallo Family Wines; Real Estate Developer Larry Silverton; Retired Chairman of Columbia Pictures Frank Price; as well as other notable area arts patrons, college and high school students. 
SCLA favorite Graham Hamilton is portraying Hamlet. Graham has performed in "Two Gentleman of Verona" and "Simply Shakespeare" for the company.
The jury's deliberations will be broadcast over closed circuit television live to the audience in the theater.
About Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice, was born in Sacramento, California, July 23, 1936. He married Mary Davis and has three children. He received his B.A. from Stanford University and the London School of Economics, and his LL.B. from Harvard Law School. He was in private practice in San Francisco, California from 1961-1963, as well as in Sacramento, California from 1963-1975. From 1965 to 1988, he was a Professor of Constitutional Law at the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific.

He has served in numerous positions during his career, including a member of the California Army National Guard in 1961, the board of the Federal Judicial Center from 1987-1988, and two committees of the Judicial Conference of the United States: the Advisory Panel on Financial Disclosure Reports and Judicial Activities, subsequently renamed the Advisory Committee on Codes of Conduct, from 1979-1987, and the Committee on Pacific Territories from 1979-1990, which he chaired from 1982-1990. He was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1975. President Reagan nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat February 18, 1988.

About The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

Since 1985, The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles has been a vibrant hub of unique programs and events designed to make Shakespeare accessible and engaging in Los Angeles. This will be the West Coast Premiere of "The Trial of Hamlet" having previously been presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Boston and Chicago.

Ben Donenberg, one of the city's greatest proponents of Shakespeare, started the Shakespeare Center with a free production of "Twelfth Night" in Pershing Square and since then has provided performances of Shakespeare, along with outreach programs such as Will Power to Youth, which provides hands-on artistic experience with paid job training and arts education for at risk youth. The program has been so successful that it has been replicated in communities around the country.

Well known for its L.A.-centric approach to Shakespeare, past Shakespeare Center production highlights include "A Midsummer Night's Dream" featuring jazz standards set in 1920's along Central Avenue, a 1990's "Julius Caesar" on the Steps of City Hall, "Twelfth Night" on Venice Beach, "As You Like It" featuring Peter Seeger's music imagined in Yosemite National Park, "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" featuring Beatles music in a suburban 1970's San Fernando Valley, and most recently a "Much Ado About Nothing" set in a fairy tale California vineyard. Throughout its 25 year history, the Shakespeare Center presents Shakespeare that reflects the landscape, history and people of Los Angeles, rendering interpretations that are artistically, financially, geographically, and physically accessible to all.

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