Use your acting and improvisational skills, have fun, help students and get paid at the same time!
RE: Dixon v. Providential Life Insurance Company
RIVERWALK THEATRE is once again looking for actors who are interested in playing the plaintiff and witnesses in mock trials for the MSU College of Law Trial Practice Institute. If you are interested in an unusual acting gig where you will be taking case materials, building a character consistent with those materials and playing that character in the highly improvisational environment of a civil court case, this gig is for you!
The current mock trial case arises out of a dispute over whether the death of Judge John J. Dixon’s, caused by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, was the result of an accident or was intentional. Plaintiff Mary Dixon, Judge Dixon’s widow, filed for payout of the life insurance policy issued by Providential (defendant) after the Sheriff Altair Khouri and Medical Examiner Dr. Celli investigated the incident and concluded that the gunshot was accidental. Providential refused to pay the death benefit based on information that caused them to conclude that Judge Dixon intentionally shot himself nine days after taking out the policy and had obtained the policy by fraud and deceit.
There are 4 trials, all using the same case study over 2 days. We are looking for a total of 16 actors --2 actors to play the plaintiff, 2 actors to play the defendant and 12 other actors to play the other witnesses. Each character will appear in 2 trials, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. A $250 stipend will be paid for participation in this project.*
Actors would need to be available on ALL of the following dates:
• Saturday, October 7, 10- 11 am – Actor orientation meeting (Hybrid Meeting - In Person/ZOOM)
• Saturday, October 14, 10 am – 2 pm - Witness interviews via ZOOM
• Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19, 8:30am-3pm – Trials (at courthouse)
The Witnesses, their approximate ages, and a brief explanation of their roles in the trial are listed below. Except as noted, the actors may be male or female.
For the Plaintiff-
Mary Dixon (Plaintiff) Mid 50’s-60’s – 2 female actors needed (Judge Dixon’s Widow) – Married 24 years to Judge Dixon (*Plaintiff will receive a stipend of $300 since she must be present for the whole trial.)
Sheriff Altair Khouri (45-60’s)- male actor (Sheriff of Darrow County) – Investigated the incident and concluded that the shooting occurred while Judge Dixon was cleaning his gun and was accidental. Sheriff was a friend and hunting partner of the Judge.
Dr. Emery (Emily) Celli (50’s – 60’s) (Medical Examiner of Darrow County) – Investigated the scene of the incident, conducted an autopsy and concluded that the shooting was accidental. Was a friend and family physician of Judge Dixon.
Anna Martin – (female actor – 40’s -50’s) (Mary Dixon’s sister) - Mary lived with the Dixons for a brief period. She also hunted with Judge Dixon
For the Defense –
Robert (Roberta) L. Wilson Defendant -(45 – 60’s) 2 actors needed -(General Manager for the Defendant Providential Insurance) - Denied the claim based on the insurance company’s investigation which concluded that the death was suicide. Since the death occurred within the two year exclusion time period, the death benefit was denied and the premium paid was returned. (*Defendant will receive a stipend of $300 since he/she must be present for the whole trial.)
Morgan Crowe – (40’s-60’s) Stockbroker who invested money for Judge Dixon. He was a friend of both Judge Dixon and Robert Wilson.
Carter Berman (late 30’s – 50’s) (Chief of the Audit and Investigative Division of the Office of the Attorney General of Nita) – Investigated a shortfall in fines and fees submitted to the state by Judge Dixon’s court. The investigation ultimately resulted in the conviction of Judge Dixon’s Court Clerk of embezzlement.
Dr. Allister (Allison) Upchurch (40’s – 60’s) (Psychiatrist) – At the request of Providential, Dr. Allister rendered an opinion that the death was a suicide. He based this on materials provided by Providential.
If you are interested in playing any of these witnesses or obtaining further information, please contact TOM FERRIS at email@example.com, by FRIDAY, September 22. Please include a photo (If you have not participated previously), your acting age range, contact information (email, phone and home address) and any information you believe might be helpful to us, including the role(s) in which you are interested.