Behind the scenes at Orlando Shakespeare Theater

“Winner is the Audience!” – Mock Trial Recap

This Tuesday, we had a fun Pride and Prejudice related event at the theater!  For the past few years, several lawyers who serve on Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s Board of Directors have banded together to host a Mock Trial with characters from one of our shows.  This year, they created a Darcy vs. Wickham case, with Darcy suing Wickham for slander and defamation.  Lawyers from the firms served as representatives for the two characters, and both were called to the stand as witnesses.  Elizabeth Bennet Darcy was also asked to give testimony, and while I (as Lydia Bennet Wickham) was not called as a witness, I got to have my share of fun as well…

The cast of Darcy v. Wickham - 3rd Annual Mock Trial

Darcy v. Wickham - 3rd Annual Mock Trial

Before the trial started, I was given a small bit of direction for the event:  I was to enter from the stage left vom at some point to defend Wickham.  They gave me free reign as to when I wanted to interrupt the trial, and I was allowed to improvise any dialogue I wanted to.  How fantastic is that???  I got to steal the show for about two minutes, and I literally did not stop talking the whole time I was on stage.  What a great chance to completely improvise an original scene!

Lydia takes the stage - Darcy v. Wickham

Lydia (Kristin Shirilla) takes the stage

The lawyers had a lot of fun coming up with their questions (which were full of goofy pop culture references—Charlie Sheen had a cameo), the actors got to improvise in characters that we’ve been developing for weeks, and the audience had a blast watching and participating—they served as the jury.  The panel of judges and the audience came to an agreement, and they ruled in favor of (drumroll, please)… Darcy!  Sure, Lydia and Wickham were disappointed, but Darcy was clearly the crowd favorite.

Mr. Darcy (Avery Clark) on the stand - Darcy v. Wickham

Mr. Darcy (Avery Clark) on the stand

All in all, it was an excellent event, and I was happy to be a part of it.  There’s even a review from the Orlando Sentinel, if you’re interested in an audience member’s opinion! And for more photos from that evening, check out our Mock Trial Flickr Album!


Meet Kristin Shirilla

Kristin Headshot

Kristin Shirilla - 10/11 Intern

Kristin is a recent graduate of Ohio University’s BFA acting program, an Orlando Shakes acting intern for the 2010-2011 season.  Don’t miss her in A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Mustardseed or in Pride and Prejudice as the spoiled Lydia Bennett. Ohio University credits include THE TEMPEST (Miranda), ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA (Octavia, Lepidus, and more) and LOVE’S LABOURS LOST (Moth)


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