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2002 Law students publication, Law - University of Alberta, Canada  
Justice balances



Mark Woltersdorf (3L),
Producer, Law Show 2002 - University of Alberta

Well another Law Show is over. We have put the props away for another year, paid all of the bills, prepared the financial statements and held our final executive meeting. A new executive has been elected and they are already planning next year's show. My final duty as producer of Law Show 2002 is to write an article to be included in Canons.

So as I sat writing on a beautiful Sunday afternoon I thought about all of the hard work that everyone put into this year’s production. It is truly amazing when I started to add it up:  oranizational meetings in March and April; writing, choreography and music selection throughout the summer; theatrical practices, soliciting donations, booking theatre space, negotiating contracts, etc. throughout the fall and winter. The month before the show was feverish. Tempers were stretched thin as personalities clashed and, despite all of the hours we spent planning so that last minute glitches wouldn’t happen, they did. I don’t think that Elizabeth Tatchyn slept for two nights before the show and I know I was wishing I had never heard of Law Show.

But inevitably it was opening night. The stage lights were on and Elizabeth and I looked at each other briefly before walking out to introduce the show. "You OK?" I asked. "No," she replied, "Give me a minute". A couple of deep breaths, we walked out together and the rest, as they say, is history.

I can’t say that I remember much of the two days the show ran. But I do remember that it was a spectacular event all around. We shattered every previous Law Show record. There were 140 cast members on stage and 70 volunteers on other committees, the largest contingent ever. Elizabeth and her cast orchestrated a highly entertaining production. A record number 1,200 patrons attended the show, including a sold out Saturday night. Nadia Coco, Adam Chalkley and their committee were in charge of the Silent Auction. There were 180 items offered for bid and they raised $9,876, more than ever before. Nina Sharma and her committee raised an incredible $13,050 in corporate donations, triple the amount raised two years ago, nearly double the amount raised last year. Deb Szatylo not only raised enough money to pay for the cast party, but she hosted two of the most enjoyable parties I have ever attended at law school. Orrice Harron kept us in check financially with her excellent accounting skills and Rebecca Cuthbertson quietly contributed in many ways, as both office manager and as a dancer. I can’t begin to congratulate everyone involved for such a superb job.

As I think about all this, I have a question for myself. Was all the hard work and stress worth it in the end? Despite our success this year I wasn’t so sure. Because of all of the extra hours put in I’m tired, behind at school and working overtime to catch up.

I drove to Kids Kottage last Friday to deliver our cheque for $20,000 to them (yes $20,00 ... also a record for Law Show). It is not a lot, really, not compared to the one million dollars that is required annually to operate the facility. Despite this, as I sat in the office at Kids Kottage with development officer Pam Miller, she made me feel like some sort of hero. She explained that Law Show is one of the largest contributors to Kids Kottage, with donations totalling $45,200 over the past three years. Our contributions have been used to help children who need a safe place to be when families have problems. She invited me to take a tour and I accepted. I saw a 9 month-old infant under the care of the staff. I helped a 10 year-old girl who asks me to glue hair on a paper angel that she was making. The children’s rooms were bright, sunny, clean and tidy. There are rooms with two beds so that siblings are able to sleep in the same room. Each room has its own name like the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck rooms. There were fresh baked cookies in the large sunny kitchen and the children were all excited as they get in line to try Oma’s cookies. I saw a room full of children who are clean and happy and safe. I saw professionally educated adults who are providing them with attention, care and love. I had to blink my eyes and swallow hard as the tour ended.

Driving back to law school I realized that I had the answer to my question ... was Law Show really worth all the hard work and stress? Are you kidding? I wish I could do it all over again.

Copyright © 2002 - Mark Woltersdorf (3L), Producer, Law Show 2002

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2002 Spring-Summer Issue