Just Cause: The Experience
Was there Just Cause? Enter into this ripped-from-the-headlines legal drama from the creators of The Defamation Experience set in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the death of George Floyd, #MeToo feminism, and social unrest at the heart of the story in Just Cause: The Experience.
Written by award-winning playwrights Lisa Dillman and Todd Logan, your audience will engage together as a jury, requiring them to lean in and not only decide the fate of the plaintiff and the defendant but, more importantly, contemplate the most pressing social issues of today.
Launched in the summer of 2021, this brand-new program is already making an impact at colleges & universities, law firms, and businesses large and small.
— Your Audience Is The Jury —
Ms. Madison Loew is suing her former employer, Midwest Repertory Theatre, for Breach of Contract after she’s been fired for “racial insensitivity.”
She claims MRT lacked just cause sufficient to end her employment contract.
Your audience becomes the jury to decide the outcome of the case, reflecting inward on their biases and preconceived notions.
Led by a judge, they deliberate the verdict exploring how they plan to vote, and what’s factoring into their decision.
Once a verdict is reached, we shift the conversation away from the arbitration to real life. We explore issues from the case and beyond as participants engage in a safe space for vulnerable conversation about their own unique perspectives and lived experiences.
Here’s The Story:
After a shameful exit for Midwest Repertory Theatre’s Artistic Director, a national search brings in Ms. Madison Loew to fill the role, offering a public gender diversification move. She hires several women and flips the gender ratio on its head—but hasn’t brought about greater diversity for people of color at the organization.
Following allegations posted online from a former employee, questions arise about Ms. Loew’s commitment to diversity beyond gender. Even more comes to light about controversial work at her previous theatre company, after which she’s fired for “racial insensitivity.” Now she’s suing for breach of contract.
With this arbitration hearing set in 2020, we hear from Ms. Loew and MRT’s representative, Mr. Jedediah Trant, about the impact of what we’re all living with and living through right now – the death of George Floyd, women’s rights, protests for social justice, cancel culture, even workplace diversity conversations and trainings.
At the end, the judge sums up the testimony and turns to your audience to decide the outcome of the case. Were Ms. Loew’s attitudes and behavior reason enough to fire her? Or should her contract stand, even given the alleged racial insensitivity? That’s for each audience to decide.
Your Audience Is The Jury…
There’s no obvious answer inJust Cause, and that’s by design. The participants in your audience must deliberate together to come to a verdict. Being set as a civil hearing gives participants an immediate idea of what’s expected of them in how they should take in information and what to do with it as jurors. This guides them through to civil discourse, even given the difficult topics at hand.
Our judge leads your audience members through a process of simultaneous self-reflection and conversation with the goal of reaching a verdict in a challenging case. Participants talk about who they’re voting for and why, or what’s causing them to struggle in reaching a decision. This conversation casts a light on our biases and preconceived notions, and shows how we can be witness to the exact same thing yet come to a different conclusion based on our perspectives.
Once a verdict is reached, the judge adjourns the courtroom and delivers your audience to one of our expert facilitators for Phase 3: The Post-Show Discussion.
The Post-Show Discussion
Let’s Go Deeper…
The civility and openness to conversation in mixed company carries through from the Deliberation into the Post-Show-Discussion. After being invested in the story of Ms. Loew vs. MRT, audience members are now led by our facilitator through a conversation that focuses on them instead of the characters in the play. Participants explore how these topics play out in their own lives—as individuals, or as members of your organization and community.
With Just Cause, we often talk about race, gender, and social justice, but so much more, including: fighting for multiple, sometimes competing causes, cancel culture and social media, incremental vs. systemic change, experiences of LGBTQIA+ people, growing up in immigrant families, differing abilities or neurodivergences, an organization’s role in diversity, and being marginalized or misunderstood at work. Conversation isn’t limited to what Ms. Loew or Mr. Trant had to say; we’re ready to talk about whatever is on the hearts and minds the people that make up your organization.
We know based on more than a decade of feedback that conversations started within your organization often continue for days, weeks, and even months after the event. We offer an optional follow-up conversation between 1-2 weeks after the event takes place, bringing back the same facilitator for an additional hour of discussion with your audience.
Convenient Programming Formats To Meet Your Organization’s Needs
Bring your audience together from wherever they’re located, offering everyone a front-row seat in a 100% virtual experience — ideal for remote learning and remote working environments.
NEW: You now have the option to have one of our expert facilitators join your audience in-person to guide your audience through all 3 phases of the program. Following a digital presentation of the film, our facilitator will lead live voting and deliberation and a post-show discussion tailored for your organization.
Contact Us to Learn More »
One-Time Event: An all-encompassing event with all 3 phases of the experience presented together.
FLEX Event: Attendees will be able to view the film on their own within 48 hours leading up to a scheduled deliberation and discussion.
Custom Program: We’re happy to work with your scheduling and programming needs to customize our online programming for your organization.
Follow-Up Discussion (Optional): Invite your attendees back to rejoin our expert facilitators and continue the conversation after they’ve had time to think and process.
The minimal tech requirements for Just Cause: The Experience are likely already met by your infrastructure for online/distance learning or meetings within your organization.
Online and Telepresence events are hosted on Zoom, so you and your audience members and/or venue(s) should have access to the Zoom platform, a working webcam, microphone, monitor/display, and speakers in order to participate in the interactive experience. For Telepresence events, we will setup technical pre-work to help you optimize your digitally-connected venue(s) for a seamless experience.