CP High School presents Twelve Angry Jurors play
By Sue Ellen Ross Post-Tribune correspondent November 12, 2013 12:20PM
Student actors at Crown Point High School rehearse for their upcoming performances of "12 Angry Jurors" at the school, 1500 S. Main St. Performances are 7 p.m. Nov. 15, 16, 22 and 23. | Photo provided
IF YOU GO
“Twelve Angry Jurors”
7 p.m. Nov. 15, 16, 22 and 23
Crown Point High School Auditorium, 1500 S. Main Street
Tickets (all seats reserved): $10 adults, $8 students and senior citizens
Reservations and other information: 663-4885, Ext. 11604 or www.cphstheatre.com
Tickets can be reserved in person between 2:40 and 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday at the auditorium box office.
Updated: November 15, 2013 9:39AM
The character traits of 12 jurors for a homicide trial come to the forefront as the Crown Point High School theater department presents “Twelve Angry Jurors,” written by Reginald Rose.
The drama was initially broadcast as a television play in 1954. The following year, it was adapted for the stage, and in 1957, was made into a film. Since then, it has been adapted and remade numerous times to tell the story of a 19-year-old man who stood trial for the fatal stabbing of his father.
“‘12 Angry Jurors’ is an extremely popular play to present at the high school level,” said CPHS theater director Kit Degenhart. “I chose this play because it deals with the sensitivity of racism and prejudices.”
He added that jury members are representatives of society as a whole, and it’s interesting that the topic of race remains a sensitive subject more than 50 years after the movie premiered. “I also wanted to do a play that challenged the student actors,” he said.
There are 15 cast members and 55 students will work backstage on scenery, lighting, sound, costumes, make-up and hair, and serve on publicity crews.
Sophie Reiners, 17 is the student director/stage manager.
“The most challenging part of this play is deciding on the confusing blocking and intertwining lines between characters. With a little, unchanging set, it is difficult for actors to catch their breath and relax,” the CPHS senior said. “Stage time is 100 percent, leaving little room for mistakes and time to reflect or improv messed up lines.”
Brandon Myers, 18, will fill the role of Juror #3. There are some tough things to face in serving on the jury, according to the CPHS senior.
“The most challenging thing about playing my character is balancing the level of expressed emotion to be the most effective,” he said. “I feel as if I want to be angry from point A to point B, but I, in reality, need to be like a roller coaster - moving back and forth throughout the emotional level.”
Julia Thorn, 17, agrees that there is more than meets the eye as she and her castmates portray the various jury members. Her concern in playing Juror #4 is finding the “in-between.”
“My character wants to listen to what other jurors have to say, yet she constantly wants the other jurors to understand why she is right.”
Once the play unfolds on stage, it looks like an open-and-shut case — until one of the jurors begins opening the others’ eyes to the facts. Matters become personal, as various testimonies take place and the murder is re-enacted.
Tempers get short, arguments grow heated, and 12 angry jurors must reach a decision. The jurors’ final verdict and how they reach it make for a fine, mature piece of dramatic literature, according to Degenhart
“We have had several discussions about how the members of the jury are simply representing the variety of people living in our country,” he said. “The arguments and tragedies that exist in the jury room in the play are not that different from conversations happening anywhere in America today.”