A crazed professor hopes to create the perfect law student by piecing together the body parts of others.
While this may be the dream of some instructors, it's actually the premise for "Frankenlaw," a musical put on by a law school student group known as the Theatre of the Relatively Talentless, which will perform tonight and Saturday.
This is the fifth year the group has put law students in the roles of producers, writers and actors.
"This is a student-written, student-performed, student-produced show," said one of the producers, Josh Colburn, a third-year law student.
The musical tells the story of Dr. Frankenlaw (Nathan O'Konek), who wants to create the ideal student. He and his assistant, Igor (Carmen O'Halloran), create a student (Gilbert Castro) who turns out to be too perfect.
The production is like a carnival for law students, O'Halloran said.
"We're not professional actors," Colburn said. "We're just trying to go out and have
The production is open only to law students, and is shaped by those that audition, Colburn said. They take the talent they have and create a story based around that.
"It's unbelievable how much artistic talent we have in our law students, just from their (experience as) undergrads," Colburn said.
The musical has a cast of 70 that includes a mummy played by Michael Mischnick.
This will be his second and last year involved in the production, but he said he'll watch it even after graduating.
The play is intended to get law students out of the daily slump of schoolwork and shed some creative light, Colburn said.
"It ties everyone together and it's rare to have that kind of experience in a professional school," he said.
Students aren't paid for their time, and most put in 45 hours this week rehearsing.
Since the show has steadily received increased attention, this year it will be held at the Pantages Theatre, which can hold more people than its former venue at the St. Paul Student Center, said Producer Anna Pia Nicolas.
As a nonprofit venture, the funds raised will go to covering the rental cost at the theater.
It costs $25,000 for the week of theater rental and staffing, such as ushers and lighting technicians. Sponsors gave $8,000, and $3,000 came from grants.
Many Minneapolis firms contributed money, Nicolas said, and ticket sales have reached 1,200.
"It's kind of good for the entire legal community," she said. "It started out for students, but now it's bigger."
UMN students have traveled to Florida colleges to collaborate with students on various projects.
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