'12 Angry Jurors'
By Frenche` Brewer, email@example.com, 803-777-3691
A production manager switches roles to direct the provocative courtroom drama “12 Angry Jurors” set to be performed by the University of South Carolina Department of Theatre and Dance Feb. 28-March 3.
The play will be held at 8 p.m. each evening at the Benson Theatre, 226 Bull St.
"This is a play that will definitely challenge each audience member’s beliefs,” says K. Dale White, director of “12 Angry Jurors.” “I hope it leaves them talking about the play, about the Fifth Amendment and about the death penalty. I hope it inspires people to start a conversation about their beliefs.”
The production is adapted from the Emmy Award-winning 1954 play “12 Angry Men” by Reginald Rose. Later renamed “12 Angry Jurors,” the storyline revolves around the jury deliberations for a 19-year-old accused of fatally stabbing his father. What appears to be an open-and-shut case explodes into a tense fight among the 12 men and women, as they struggle to decide the fate of the young man.
“This is definitely not a tired, old piece, especially when I look at today’s headlines,” White says. “Just recently, I read about a few guys who, thanks to modern DNA testing, were found to have been wrongly convicted and were released from death row. Like those headlines, this play really gets you thinking about our justice system and the immense weight of how the decision of 12 people can cause a potentially innocent person to be sentenced to the ultimate punishment.”
White says the play also reveals societal prejudices, which impact how the jurors interact with each other as they struggle to reach a unanimous verdict.
“Each character on this jury is an easily identifiable stereotype, and that’s on purpose. You've got the conservative, the liberal, the bigot. Ultimately, the conflict of the play centers on the jurors’ individual judgmental attitudes and their struggles to simply get along," White says.
Student actors cast in the role of jurors and alternates are: Megh Ahire, Mason Branham, John Floyd, Kamille Hayes, Sarah Hearn, Elizabeth Houck, Katie Middleton, Kristina Montgomery, Emily Olyarchuk, Rachel Player, Grace Stewart, Maryam Tehranie, Kelsea Woods and JordanYoumans. The stage manager is Lacey Taylorand Bakari Lebby is in charge of soundscape.
Tickets are $5 and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
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