CHS ready to present ‘Twelve Angry Jurors’

Above, juror Haley Peterson (second from left) argues that the knife used in the murder is not unique after presenting a similar knife during a rehearsal for “Twelve Angry Jurors.” Other jurors are, from left: Nicole Johnson, Kaitlyn McDonald and Malik Buckner. The production takes place at Central Nov. 8-10. Submitted photo

By Brian Isles
CHS Director

‘Twelve Angry Jurors’ is a drama adapted from a television broadcast written by Reginald Rose that aired in 1954.

The next year it was successfully adapted into a performance on the stage where it has had varying names depending on the cast, including “12 Angry Men and Women,” “12 Angry Women,” and “12 Angry Jurors.”

In 1957 it became a famous film starring Henry Fonda, and was nominated for multiple Academy Awards, including Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Writing of Adapted Screenplay.

In the play, a 19-year-old man has just stood trial for the fatal stabbing of his father. It looks like an open-and-shut case until one of the jurors begins opening the other jurors’ eyes to the facts. Things become personal as each juror reveals his or her character as various testimonies are re-examined, the murder is re-enacted, and a new murder threat is presented before their very eyes.

This tense play is an exceptional piece of dramatic literature that is sure to keep audiences talking well after the curtain has closed.

For my first production at Central (actually … first production period), I wanted to do an “actor’s show.” Corey Hunt, the previous director, told me that I’d have a strong cast to work with on the first show, and I jumped at the opportunity to showcase our strong drama department. Casting was a breeze, and watching the evolution of the actors since day one has been a constant pleasure and motivator for me.

I want audiences to know coming into this show that they are going to experience something special, unique and realistic. The actors have gone to great lengths to fall into their characters, and it certainly shows. I’ve had a lot of help from family members (both the cast and crew as well as my actual parents and wife), and we have a show I am very proud to show the community.

The show runs Thursday, Nov. 8, Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 10. Each show starts at 7:30 p.m. Adult tickets are $6 and student tickets are $4. Come and see the show!
The cast includes jurors Libby Baumgartner, Alyssa Heher, Alex Kayser, Nicole Johnson, Kaitlyn McDonald, Malik Buckner, Devan Mellgren, Haley Peterson, Hope Robertson, Erich Dettmann, Whitney Carlson and Joshua Hendel.

Also part of the cast are judge Matthew Huepenbecker and clerk Nathan Goetze. The crew includes Emily Cardinal on lights, Joe Lemmers on sound, Dani Schmieg as the stage crew, stage manager Sydney Harner and program designer Sara Marschall.

Music will be provided by the CHS Jazz Band.