This week, Blessed Trinity Theatrical Alliance presents Twelve Angry Jurors by Reginald Rose, adapted by Sherman L. Sergel. The show times are 7:30pm on Thursday, 5:30pm on Friday and 7:30pm on Saturday.
The premise of the play surrounds a 19-year-old man who has just stood trial for the fatal stabbing of his father. “He doesn’t stand a chance,” mutters the guard as the 12 jurors are taken into the bleak jury room. It looks like an open-and-shut case — until one of the jurors begins opening the others’ eyes to the facts. Reginald Rose’s classic transcends the courtroom melodrama, with each juror revealing his or her own character as the various testimonies are re-examined, the murder is re-enacted and a new murder threat is born before their eyes.
Tickets will be available during lunch on Thursday only. Tickets are $10, and are free for students, faculty, and staff. Tickets will also be sold at the door. This show will be presented in our “black box” format – tickets are limited.
BT Drama Director Allan Dodson took a few moments this week to answer some questions concerning the play.
Why did you pick this particular play? I’ve always loved the old TV movie, and several classes here at BT use the movie to illustrate various concepts. I also had just the right amount of students auditioning to do this particular piece, so I thought it would be a great opportunity, Reginald Rose’s script is one of the all-time greats.
How receptive have the kids been? Any funny reactions to the story line? The kids seem to really like it – lots of opportunities for interesting characterizations, and they love all the “angry” moments. The one thing they did find funny was the music. I picked music that was evocative of an old TV series, and it’s kind of over-dramatic. Fun, though.
What has been the biggest challenge doing this play? Rarely do I say this, but line and cue memorization has been the hardest part of this piece. They have to be sure they say everything in just the right order, and it’s hard to remember your cue lines when there are eleven other people talking. We had to have a few extra rehearsals to get it down.
What do you hope the audience reaction is when they live the theater? If the kids have the energy they should, the audience will find it quite gripping. It moves really fast, and the story is great.
Could you explain the black box format? A black box theater is a smaller theater that traditionally has black walls. We create a “black box” by placing risers and chairs directly on the stage. It creates a much more intimate environment and makes the emotional moments really pop. In this case we’re using what’s known as “corral” seating, where half the audience sits on each side of the stage. It really makes you feel as if you’re at the juror’s table.