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“The Defamation Experience” provides riveting online courtroom drama with a twist


Ben Bolstrum, News Editor

On Oct. 20 from 1 to 3 p.m., a virtual play exploring how people react to diversity will be coming to Schoolcraft after their initial visit in 2015. This experience titled, “The Defamation Experience,” is marketed as a “unique four phase online & interactive diversity opportunity.”

Once the show begins, a courtroom drama will play out over the next two hours. A case will be submitted to the audience who will play the role of the jury. They must decide the outcome of the case, listening to what the defendant and accused has to say as well as their own peers in the jury. Privileges will be challenged and viewers will have to look inward to challenge their biases and opinions so as to avoid overlooking the facts. This show challenges prejudice of race, class, religion and more. This particular issue is one only the audience can solve.

“When COVID hit we shut down all in person events for the safety of our cast and crew,” states Kimm Beavers, managing producer for the play. “Luckily we had already filmed our performance previously in a high quality 3 camera film shoot. So, we had a filmed version of the performance. We are very proud of our virtual program of the “Defamation Experience” called DefEx Online,” Beavers explains.

The redesign caused some initial uncertainty, it was assumed that it would be difficult for people to engage with the story through an online medium, but this was quickly proven false. According to Beavers, the virtual programming has allowed for more “intimate” conversations. Despite it being a virtual event of several hundred, viewers still want to get involved. Beavers also noted that they are hard at work in developing an interactive program to add to the play.

Schoolcraft English professor, Helen Ditouras, added her remarks in regards to the plays arrival at the college.

“The most important part of the “The Defamation Play” is that it brings to light some of the most critical issues of our time including race, religion, among so many others, all set within a courtroom drama,” explains Ditouras. “My favorite aspect of the play is that it is interactive and allows students to not only witness the events unfolding firsthand, but it also provides them with an opportunity to interact as stakeholders.”

Ditouras believes this is an important play to be hosted during a time where conversations about race and civility are occurring all across the world.

The creator of the show, Todd Logan, began writing the “The Defamation Experience” after going out with the cast of a play to drink. Two of these actors were black, which made Logan realize he couldn’t remember the last time he interacted with someone of another race. Logan developed the awareness of how his life lacked diversity and sought to change that.

Since 2010, “The Defamation Experience” has hosted over 550 shows in a wide array of venues. Universities, law schools, bar associations, high schools, civic/religious organizations and theaters all over the United States have viewed the eye-opening show.

A follow-up discussion to the play will be held the following week Oct. 27 from 1 to 2 p.m. Attendees will get the chance to ask questions regarding the presentation and discuss their thoughts.

Will the audience be able to place their personal biases aside to solve the crime?





The Defamation Experience Zoom Meeting IDs and Passwords

Attendees may come together for this all-inclusive experience by joining the Zoom sessions on both Oct. 20 and 27.

Oct. 20: Zoom meeting ID 895 1519 6874 and passcode 115451.

Oct. 27: Zoom meeting ID: 815 6587 8191 and password: 040288.

For more information, please call the Student Activities Office at 734-462-442 or visit