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Naz Hosting ‘Defamation’ on Friday—Audience Serves as Jury

The play, written, produced and set in the Chicago area, tackles issues of race and class head-on and aims for a complex, interactive experience for audience members.

Ever wanted to pass judgment upon the characters in a play? Perhaps particularly if the play takes on hair-trigger issues of race, religion and class and challenges you to examine your own views and assumptions?

You’ll have a chance at Defamation, a unique theatre experience playing this Friday, Oct. 5, at Nazareth Academy. Written by Evanston playwright Todd Logan, author of many Chicago-performed theatre pieces, the show is touring throughout the Windy City suburbs this year and stops for a one-night performance in La Grange Park this week.

The “courtroom drama” is about a Winnetka Jewish real-estate developer who accuses an African-American South Side business woman of stealing a watch; the businesswoman brings a civil defamation suit in return. Audience members are asked to watch, deliberate and eventually decide the outcome of the trial.

Logan specifically wrote the play, which has performed in many Chicagoland high schools, to promote civil discourse of touchy themes. “My hope is that people become aware of the preconceived notions and implicit biases we harbor every day and then empathize with others more often, thereby combating prevailing trends,” Logan said in a press release.

Defamation is presented by Canamac Productions out of Evanston, Ill. and is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago Office for Racial Justice and the Congregation of St. Joseph LaGrange Park Anti-Racism Committee.  The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for students with an ID, and can be purchased at the door.

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