Saturday, September 23, 2023

12 Angry Jurors on a live stage in Bethesda


Until about three weeks ago, drama students at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland, didn’t know whether they would perform their fall play, 12 Angry Jurors, in front of a live audience or through a Zoom-mediated event. But Covid stayed away enough to allow a live audience, and the play was performed live last week, Allison Xu reports in The Pitch student newspaper.

(Nicole Weaver/student newspaper)

The play was adapted from the classic 1950s courtroom drama “12 Angry Men,” but it was chosen, Allison noted, for its simplicity and the ease with which it can be adapted for both live and recorded performances. It’s easy to shift because the play has only one set: the inside of a jury deliberation room.

“In the beginning, we thought [that] because of the pandemic, people were going to stay away and we weren’t going to have much of an audience,” director Colleen McAdory was quoted as saying. “But fortunately, we had a larger crowd than what we thought we were going to have.”

Drama students at The Weber School in Atlanta, Georgia, a Jewish community high school, had to go the livestream and recorded route with 12 Angry Jurors last month.

On the luckier side, students at Brush High School in Lyndhurst, Ohio, took to the stage in November. In the courtroom drama, 12 of the 13 cast members stay on stage for the entire one-act play.

From the senior who played the pivotal Juror #8 at Brush, The Fort Morgan Times quotes her thus: “Not everything is as black and white as it seems. There’s always that little room for marginal error.”

Back in Bethesda, Juror #8 was quoted in The Pitch as saying this: “The character that I play is described as someone calm and a bit quiet. I put my passion into the words I said, without being mean or being a stereotype, which was hard but fun.”

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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