Courtney McClellan & “Witness Lab”

Courtney McClellan, our now cancelled speaker for May 6, was to tell us about her installation “Witness Lab” at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. This courtroom setting was envisioned by her as a lens through which to examine what it means in today’s society to bear witness to the truth.

On Thursday, January 30, the Penny Stamps Lecture Series at the Penny Stamps School of Art & Design presented a panel discussion reflecting on this theme as mediated through “Witness Lab.” It brought together Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack, well known to our Club from her two appearances as a luncheon speaker this year; legal scholar and practitioner Len Niehoff; and acclaimed actor John de Lancie. They explored the work of the courts and the law; how the human impulse for narrative performance and drama informs the inner workings of the courtroom; and how the courtroom is represented on stage and screen.

Len Niehoff is a nationally prominent law practitioner, professor, and scholar in three fields: media law and the First Amendment; higher education law; and trial and appellate litigation. Niehoff is working on a book about the Salem witch trials.

John de Lancie is best known for his role as “Q” on Star Trek: The Next Generation. However, his credits are numerous and include The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, The Fisher King, Breaking Bad, and The West Wing. He was recently in a national tour of the “Scopes Monkey Trial” with Ed Asner where he played Clarence Darrow, and is the first recipient of the Clarence Darrow Award. De Lancie is currently at work on a play about the 2005 Kitzmiller vs. Dover School District trial.

The panel discussion is on-line on the Penny Stamps  School of Art & Design and can be viewed by following this link: