by Lorie Lewis Ham
On Thursday, November 4 the play, Twelve Angry Jurors, is once again hitting the stage at Reedley High School.
In this play, 12 jurors are asked to decide the guilt or innocence of a 19-year-old accused of murdering his father. On the surface, the young man appears guilty. However, through thoughtful sifting of the evidence by one steadfast juror, reasonable doubt begins to creep in. Through the course of their deliberations, each member of the panel reveals some hidden sides to their personalities and lives as the tension in the jury room boils over.
Written by Reginald Rose, Twelve Angry Men was originally presented as a televised play on CBS’s Studio One. The teleplay was broadcast in 1954. By 1955, Rose’s drama was adapted into a stage play. In 1957, Henry Fonda starred in the film adaptation. In the 1990s version, Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott co-starred in an acclaimed adaptation presented by Showtime. The play has also been slightly revised as Twelve Angry Jurors in order to accommodate a gender-neutral cast, which is the version that will be presented at Reedley High school. Many may remember reading this exciting, drama filled play in school.
“This show is a great challenge for performers, especially young ones,” said director Mark Norwood. “To sustain dramatic tension over the course of an entire play takes tremendous focus. Some of the characters have large line loads, some smaller, but each actor is on stage the entire show and must work within the ensemble giving non verbal cues throughout.”
Twelve Angry Jurors was first performed at RHS in 2002. There were actually two productions—one with an all female cast and one with all men.
The current cast includes many names now familiar to those who have attended shows at RHS over the past few years such as Seniors Jessica Ham, Stephanie Barnett, Jesikah Chafa and Aimee Lewis. Juniors Megan Turner and Peter Boldt have also been in several RHS shows. There are also many newcomers to the RHS stage.
Cast list is as follows:
Foreman Stephanie Barnett
Juror #2 Franky Chapa
Juror #3 Abby Elrod
Juror #4 Peter Boldt
Juror #5 Shelby Trott
Juror #6 Meg Clark
Juror #7 Ari Alvarez
Juror #8 Jessica Ham
Juror #9 Megan Turner
Juror # 10 Jesikah Chafa
Juror #11 Johnny Carrick
Juror #12 Aimee Lewis
Twelve Angry Jurors will be performed at the Reedley High School Performing Arts Theater in Reedley on November 4, 5, 6, 11, and 12 at 7:30 p.m. and November 7 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $7 for students and $10 for adults, and are available at the RHS finance office and at the door. Seating is limited.
In the spring, RHS will be performing the musical Annie.