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TORT Squad Brings Ditherer to Her Senses

MARCH 19, 2009—More than 1,300 attendees enjoyed "It's a Wonderful Law School," the seventh production of the University of Minnesota Law School's Theatre of the Relatively Talentless (TORT), on March 6 and 7 at Pantages Theatre. Total ticket sales were comparable with last year; however, ticket revenue was up, as Producers Mike Pangborn ('10) and Georges Tippens ('09) modestly note, although so was the price of some tickets.

The musical told the story of 3L "Georgie" (played by Laura Vannelli), who was considering a transfer to Carlson School of Management, and the efforts of Professor "Clarice" (played by Holly Overgaard) to curb those thoughts by revealing the state of the Law School without Georgie. The full-length musical-comedy parody with a Law School twist was, like all TORT productions, written and performed entirely by Law School students.

More than 85 actors, singers, dancers, band members, and behind-the-scenes crew members brought to the stage the eternal struggle of good versus evil, Georgie v. Dean Potter (played by Lauren Frank), through such timeless compositions as "Do You Hear the Students Gripe" and "First Week of Law." Nonlegal minds in the audience followed the story with the aid of a program-insert glossary (e.g., Gunners: students who "consistently raise their hands, answer rhetorical questions, and hound the professors after class").

Professors Brad Clary, Laura J. Cooper, Stephen J. Cribari, Heidi Kitrosser, William McGeveran, David Stras, and Judith T. Younger and Law School Dean David Wippman played themselves in the production. Staff members contributing their expertise to talk Georgie out of her unthinkable transfer notions were Student Services Activities Director Amber Fox and members of the Career and Professional Development Center: Director Alan Haynes and career advisors Susan Gainen and Vic Massaglia.

Prominent members of the legal community are traditionally invited to play cameo roles in TORT musicals. Accepting the challenge to their dignity this year were former Vice President Walter F. Mondale ('56), U.S. District Court Judge John R. Tunheim ('80), Minnesota Supreme Court Justices Paul H. Anderson ('68) and Lorie Skjerven Gildea, and Chief Justice Eric J. Magnuson.

Cast and crew of the 2009 TORT production send their sincere thanks to corporate sponsors Faegre & Benson; Fredrikson & Byron; Gray Plant Mooty; Leonard, Street and Deinard; Lindquist & Vennum; Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi; Dorsey & Whitney; Kaplan, Strangis and Kaplan; Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly; Shumaker & Sieffert; All Star Sportswear; Felhaber Larson Felon & Vogt; Lexis Nexis; and the University of Minnesota Bookstore. In addition, support was provided by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Social Event Fund Grant, Student Activities Administrative Grant, and Coco-Cola Activity Initiative Grant.

Producers Pangborn and Tippens also extend special thanks to Steven Olson and the crew at Pantages Theatre; the Law Council; Dean Wippman and the Law School; Assistant Dean of Students Erin Keyes; the CPDC; and the Offices of Admissions, Communications, Development and Alumni Relations, and Information Technology.

Next year's TORT offering is already forming in the imaginations of 2010 Producers Anthea Dexter-Cooper ('10), Michael Pangborn ('10), and the rest of the newly elected Board. For more information, including information about purchasing the DVD of It's a Wonderful Law School and other past TORT productions, visit www.umn.edu/~tort.

 
Assorted cast singing the 'TORT Theme'

Assorted cast singing the "TORT Theme"

The Family singing 'Don't Fear the Workload' with Moot Court Pirates in background

The Family singing "Don't Fear the Workload" with Moot Court Pirates in background

Dean Potter singing 'You Will Imbibe'

Dean Potter singing "You Will Imbibe"