Justice on the stage

An actor portrays the Crown prosecutor at during a Justice Theatre performance at the Senator Allen Bird Memorial Centre Tuesday. Arthur White-Crummey/Daily Herald

Mark said he meant it all as a joke – the defamatory Facebook page, the nasty comments, the email threats.

Jason didn’t see it that way. He told the court about his struggles with cyber-bullying.
“Someone posted a comment that nobody likes me and I should kill myself,” he said.

But the defence lawyer ripped him apart on the stand.

“You were trying to provoke my client,” the lawyer railed.

It turned into a shouting match. The lawyer argued about free speech, and called on his client to testify.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” said Mark. “I don’t even think I should be here right now.”

Mark, Jason, the lawyers, the judge – they’re actors. The Vancouver-based Justice Theatre is in Prince Albert this week to educate people about the value of restorative justice. On Tuesday, they performed at the Senator Allen Bird Memorial Centre with more stops scheduled at St. Michael’s and Queen Mary schools.

Act two played out the same case, but in a restorative justice conference. The judge became the coordinator, and Mark and Jason talked it out. Their parents, a coordinator and an RCMP officer helped them along the way.

“I think I understand fully how serious everything was,” Mark said. “I hurt Jason and his family. I think it was a really bad, terrible thing that I did.

Marcella Garson, of the Prince Albert Grand Council’s alternative measures program, said the act perfectly captured the work she does on a daily basis.

“In speaking with the offender, we talk about what they did and why they did it, but we also have a discussion about what got them to that point,” she said. “It’s a complete healing process.”

For more on this story, see the April 27 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.