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Guthrie Theater and West LegalEdcenter Offer Event Exploring Women’s Issues and Discrimination

Date: January 30, 2009
Press Contact: Shawn Stavseth

EAGAN, Minn., Jan. 30, 2009 – The Guthrie Theater and West LegalEdcenter join forces on March 3 in a unique theater-based continuing legal education (CLE) course for attorneys that employs theater literature including Wendy Wasserstein’s play Third to explore the perception of female professionals, gender bias against women and the impact that female role models in theater, society and law have on discrimination.

Panelists appearing as part of Challenging Gender with Positive Role Models in Theater, Society and Law at the Guthrie Theater include Guthrie acting company member Sally Wingert (of the films North Country, Factotum and Fargo), who played professor Laurie Jameson in the Guthrie’s 2008 production of Third and Valerie Jensen, executive director of Twin Cities Diversity in Practice and the former associate dean for multicultural affairs at William Mitchell College of Law. Minnesota Women Lawyers is partnering with West LegalEdcenter to promote the March 3 event, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The event will employ live stage performances by Guthrie actors on the Wurtele Thrust Stage, along with a lecture and discussion of selected excerpts by a panel of legal professionals. The event also will be on West LegalEdcenter as a live webcast and then as on-demand video across the United States.

Third tells the story of professor Laurie Jameson, whose life is thrown into disarray when she accuses a student of plagiarism. In challenging the student, who in turn charges her with reverse discrimination, Laurie is forced to question her feminist ideology, standards and family relationships.

This event builds upon recent collaborations between the Guthrie Theater and West, including CLE events that utilized William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice to explore elimination of bias and Nikolai Gogol’s play The Government Inspector, adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher, to provide insight into bribery, corruption and other moral weaknesses.

This new paradigm for continuing legal education is the first of its kind in the country, joining a major professional theater and a CLE provider in creating content. “At the Guthrie, we know the power of dramatic literature and performance to illuminate social and ethical issues,” says Guthrie Director Joe Dowling. “With education being one of the key tenets of our mission, we’re thrilled to offer a new level of professional development through our relationship with West LegalEdcenter.”

Registration Information: To enroll in either the live CLE event at the Guthrie Theater or the live webcast on March 3, visit, search by program name and continue through the checkout process. The course, which costs $200, provides 2.0 credits toward the Elimination of Bias requirements in Minnesota, California and Oregon. It provides 2.0 or greater CLE credits toward the Ethics requirements of most other jurisdictions.

About The Guthrie Theater
The Guthrie Theater, founded in 1963, is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Guthrie is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. Led by Director Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie is located at 818 South Second Street (at Chicago Avenue) in downtown Minneapolis. For more information, visit

About West LegalEdcenter
West LegalEdcenter is a West business, part of Thomson Reuters. The West LegalEdcenter library contains more than 17,000 hours of continuing legal education, spanning all learning levels and covering every practice area. In addition, attorneys may earn CLE credits by attending live events and watching Webcasts live produced by West LegalEdcenter. Up-to-the-minute programming keeps pace with rapid changes in the law, and with easy, online access, attorneys can view programming on the Web wherever they are – from home, from the office or while traveling. For more information about West LegalEdcenter, visit

About West
Headquartered in Eagan, Minn., West is the foremost provider of integrated information solutions, software and services to the U.S. legal market. West is a business within Thomson Reuters. For more information, please visit the West Web site at

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