by Lorie Lewis Ham
If you enjoy a good mystery, or are fascinated by the judicial system, don’t miss 12 Angry Men currently on stage at the Selma Arts Center, presented by the Raisin’ Cain Players.
The plot of this play is pretty simple. Twelve jurors gather together in the jury room to decide whether a young man is guilty or innocent of killing his father. It seems pretty straightforward at first, but one man (Juror #8) grinds the whole process to a halt when he is the only one of the twelve who doesn’t vote guilty. Juror #8 just isn’t convinced beyond a reasonable doubt of the boy’s guilt, and proceeds to explain his reasons. As the show continues, you learn more about the personality, backgrounds, and prejudices of each of the other jurors and a complex mystery is laid out before them, and us, as Juror #8 goes over each point of the trial. There are a lot of arguments, rants, and flared tempers throughout the show, giving it a nice, realistic edge. You also get a lot of insight into what it might be like to be on a jury for a murder case.
The cast of this show does a good job of bringing to life this diverse cast of characters and this interesting story. Giovanni Navarro was especially impressive as Juror #8. Director Juan Guzman had to step in and take on the role of Juror #10 due to a last minute health issue, and you would never know that he wasn’t originally in the role–he never missed a beat. Other jurors are played by the following: Greg Garner, Christopher Borden, Claudio Laso, Bryan Debates, Jonathan Waltmire, Andrew Reetz, Adam Chavez, Mike Griffiths, Ely Hage, and Thomas Nance. I’ve been told that the original actor for Juror #10 will be back this weekend, his name is Kenny Stephenson.
If you enjoy a good play, and especially if you enjoy a good mystery, don’t miss this final weekend of 12 Angry Men-it will have you on the edge of your seat, and at times even make you laugh.
12 Angry Men is performed at the Selma Arts Center at 1935 High St. in Selma. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. The final performance is on February 27.
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