What would happen if one of history’s greatest playwrights were forced to stand trial? Thanks to a group of attorneys at Butler Snow, we don’t have to wonder.
Oh Shake-Scene!!!, a play written, directed, and produced by Butler Snow attorney John C. Henegan, hit the stage Sept. 29, in front of an audience of more than 100, including judges, attorneys, law professors, and student members of the Charles Clark Inn of Court at Mississippi College School of Law, Jackson, MS. The play has received a program award nomination from The American Inns of Court Awards Program, which annually recognizes exceptional pupilage programs created by its member inns.
The four-act play takes place in London in March of 1593 and depicts a fictional slander suit titled William Shakespeare v. Richard Mulcaster, which the playwright files against perpetuators of the phrase “upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers,” used to describe Shakespeare as a second-rank playmaker or worse.
“His Spielberg-esque technique of inserting video clips of off-scene incidents alongside the on-stage performances carrying the story line forward was a crowd-captivator, demonstrating John’s ingenuity,” said James B. Tucker, a Butler Snow attorney who played the role of John Dee, an English Renaissance scholar, mathematician, astrologer, and expert witness for Headmaster Mulcaster, who is defended by Sir Francis Bacon, in a trial at Queen’s Bench where Sir Edward Coke presides by special appointment of Queen Elizabeth. “The play was extremely well received, culminating in a standing ovation.”
In addition to other members of the Charles Clark Inn and numerous other volunteer attorneys, high school students, and lay people, Butler Snow attorneys and staff assisted Henegan in bringing the play to life, whether by filming selected scenes shown during the live production , providing props, acting, or assisting in the production, including, in addition to Tucker, Anita Modak-Truran, Thomas Peede, Tony Bellan, Lucy Baessler, Lynn Gibbs, Karlotta Banks, Emily Hammack, Luther T. Munford, Karen Prince, J.D. Warren, and Allen Karel.
“We are extremely proud of John and the entire Butler Snow team who made this outstanding piece a reality,” said Donald Clark, Jr., Chairman, Butler Snow. “We are honored to have such creative and talented individuals at our firm.”
When not reimagining Shakespeare’s life in his formative years as a playmaker striving to defend his reputation, Henegan focuses his practice on complex commercial actions, including antitrust and unfair competition, federal and state constitutional cases, and media defense litigation. To view a copy of the program, please visit —Oh Shake Scene Playbill.
About American Inns of Court
The American Inns of Court is an association of lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals from all levels and backgrounds who share a passion for professional excellence. Through regular meetings, members are able to build and strengthen professional relationships; discuss fundamental concerns about professionalism and pressing legal issues of the day; share experiences and advice; exhort the utmost passion and dedication for the law; provide mentoring opportunities; and advance the highest levels of integrity, ethics, and civility. The American Inns of Court have gained a national and international reputation as an organization that bridges the gap between formal law school education and legal practice by offering career-long continuing education in the Common Law tradition. For more information, visit www.innsofcourt.org.