written by Reginald Rose
directed by Stephanie Hickling Beckman
A 19-year-old man has just stood trial for the fatal stabbing of his father. “He doesn’t stand a chance,” mutters one of 12 jurors. It looks like an open-and-shut case—until another of the jurors begins opening the others’ eyes to the facts. “This is a remarkable thing about democracy,” says the foreign-born juror, “that we are notified by mail to come down to this place—and decide on the guilt or innocence of a person; of a man or woman we have not known before. We have nothing to gain or lose by our verdict. We should not make it a personal thing.” But personal it is, with each juror revealing his or her own character as the various testimonies are re-examined, the murder is re-enacted and a new murder threat is born before their eyes! Tempers get short, arguments grow heated, and the jurors become angrier and angrier. The jurors’ final verdict and how they reach it—add up to a fine, mature piece of dramatic literature.
Originally set in 1956 and titled 12 Angry Men, the once all-white, all male play has been updated to a more modern setting and features diverse cast of men and women