men conspiring

History Plays

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.

Alvin Karpis: The Last Public Enemy #1

Directed by Chad Snyder

Written by Cynthia Schreiner Smith

(Portions based on The Trial of Alvin ‘Creepy’ Karpis by J. P. Barone and Steve Peterson.)

October 6th & 7th – 7 pm | October 9th – 2 pm


Alvin “Creepy” Karpis was the last 1930’s gangster to be named Public Enemy #1 by the FBI; the last major gangster to be captured; the only person ever arrested by J. Edgar Hoover and the only gangster chained to a radiator “like an animal” in Landmark Center. The play explores the life of Alvin Karpis, the Barker-Karpis gang and infamous kidnappings, how corruption helped his gang to be so successful and how he was finally brought to face justice in the Federal Courthouse in St. Paul.

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.

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.