HLSDS spins "Twilight" to get lawyers in the act

by Simon de Carvalho '14

Think Harvard Law School students don’t have fun?

You’re—uh—mostly right, says Kristi Jobson ’06 and HLS ’12. But there’s one event that allows the students to be silly for a few hours: the HLS Drama Society annual Parody Musical, which runs for one weekend each spring.

This year’s student-written and produced musical, Twilitem: De Novo Moon, is a parody of the ever-popular Twilight series, and ended a popular five-show run on March 5. [Read more about it in the Harvard Law Record.]

"One of the greatest things the show offers is the opportunity for all of us to step back and laugh at ourselves," says Jobson, a proctor at Harvard College who played two small rolls and sang in the chorus of this year's show.

And indeed they did, and quite extensively, at that. Audience members were provided with a 17-page guide to law school terms, references and inside jokes mentioned throughout the show. These included the names and descriptions of professors, definitions of legal terms and some legal terms that were transformed into innuendo or cheesy pickup lines (as in "ripe claims" -- let your imagination run wild).

The action of the show consisted of a love triangle for Edward Cold-Cullen and Jacob Blackstone and the lovely Libella Swan, for whose affection these men vie. Edward (whose name derives from the famous Socratic Method technique of "cold-calling") is a vampire, which in the context of this show means he’s going into the private sector after graduating. Jacob is a public sector student, and, thus, is a werewolf.

"While there is a bit of a divide between those who are interested in the private sector and those interested in the public sector, in the end, people generally get along, even if they gravitate to different career paths," says Jobson.

The massive presence of legal drama on TV seems to indicate that there is an aspect of the legal process that is tied intrinsically to acting. "I do think there’s an element of performance throughout law," Jobson says. "Whether it’s meeting with a client, negotiating a settlement deal, or even just meeting with your boss, we’re all performing a bit, aren’t we?"

What the Parody allows is for these students to do some of this acting in a low-stress, high-fun environment that is sorely missed at work.

"One of the biggest things 3L students [Law School seniors] struggle with before graduating," says Jobson, "is the prospect of not getting to act again once Parody closes—hopefully law firm jobs will still leave people time to do some community theater in life."