men conspiring

History Plays

* Landmark Center is following all applicable COVID-19 mandates. Please note we require all guests to present proof of either full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours prior to attending. Please read to the bottom of this page for all COVID-19 safety guidelines and protocols for history play performances. Please check website prior to your visit for updates. *

Tickets are available at the door the evening of the performances. Please bring proof of full vaccination or negative COVID-19 test result to show upon arrival.

The History Plays and Trial Reenactments recall major events in a way only Landmark Center’s theater series can – with lawyers and judges, taking on the roles of the corrupt and criminal! The plays feature prominent members of the Twin Cities legal community.

Obscenity On Trial: The Case Against Dr. Charles Malchow

October 7 & 8 – 7 pm | October 10 – 2 pm


History Plays return to Landmark Center this fall with “Obscenity On Trial: The Case Against Dr. Charles Malchow,” written by Thomas Fabel. Set in 1904, this production explores the repercussions of the Comstock Act of 1873, which prohibited the use of U.S. Mail for any “obscene, lewd, lascivious, immoral or indecent” publications. When Dr. Charles W. Malchow, a respected physician and Hamline University Medical School faculty member, wrote a clinical book titled “The Sexual Life” he intended it to be used by physicians to alleviate the widespread ignorance of sexual functioning, especially among women. However, when a mailed pamphlet promoting the sale of the book was brought to the attention of the United States Attorney, whose office happened to be in room 301 in Landmark Center, he was prosecuted by the federal government.

Landmark Center’s History Play performance series is a theater program designed to bring to life many of the trials, court decisions, legal ramifications, and other related events that were relevant to Landmark Center when it was the Federal Courts Building. Noted Twin Cities judges, legal practitioners, and academics often trade robes for costumes to bring the events to life.

Please note this play references mature themes and is recommended for ages 16 and up.

“Obscenity On Trial” is based on an article by Ryan T. Hurt and Paul Nelson from the Fall 2020 issue of Ramsey County History.

History Plays are produced by Landmark Center and recorded by SPNN. Want to see past History Plays and Trial Reenactments? Visit Landmark Center’s YouTube channel – Trial Reenactment playlist.

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines and Protocols

The health and safety of our audience members, staff, and artists is our top priority, and we are following public safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health.

Below are the steps we are taking to ensure we proceed with live performances in the safest way possible.

In light of the highly transmissible Delta variant and increasing case numbers in Minnesota, we require all guests to present proof of either full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours prior to attending a Landmark Center sponsored event in the F.K. Weyerhaeuser auditorium.

Being fully vaccinated means completing your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before the performance date. Proof of vaccination or a negative test result must be shown when entering the auditorium venue. Proof of vaccination includes bringing a physical card or showing a digital photo of your vaccination card. Proof of a negative test result includes bringing a printed or digital copy of your test results.

Below are resources to schedule your vaccination or COVID-19 test:

Schedule your free COVID-19 vaccination

Schedule a free COVID-19 test.

Per current Ramsey County requirements, all guests and staff will be required to wear masks inside Landmark Center, except while eating or drinking.

We ask that guests stay home if they are sick or exposed to COVID-19. Please contact Minnesota Landmarks to transfer your tickets to another performance, donate your tickets or request a refund. There will be no fees or penalties for making changes to your tickets. You can contact Sydney at or 651.292.3063 to make changes to your tickets.