Theatergoers will soon have an opportunity to see an American classic on the UW-Green Bay campus as the UW-Green Bay theatre program presents Twelve Angry Jurors.
“The play itself has become very iconic,” said UW-Green Bay Theatre Prof. John Mariano who directs the play. Reginald Rose wrote the play that was originally known as Twelve Angry Men. The play was adapted to include female actors.
“No matter what the make-up of the cast is, it’s still a really interesting look into the jury process,” Mariano said. “It’s a perfect example of democracy and freedom in the most real sense of those words. Twelve people vote on the literal freedom of another and the process by which we do this is not an exact science and I think makes a very ripe subject matter for a play.”
The student actors say even though the play was written in the 1950s, it has plenty to offer people in 21st century.
“I think the great thing about this play is it’s a visual about different races and ethnicities and beliefs and values coming into one room and trying to make one decision,” said senior Dustin James, a history major.
“I think the show is just about cooperation,” added senior Jessica Breest, a theatre performance major. “Anytime you get 12 people in a room no matter what you’re deciding on it’s going to be messy and confrontational. You all really have to work together to meet the common goal. I think there are certain ways to do that. This show will show several ways that are the best ways to get to a certain goal without violence but it will also show the downsides of having 12 people in a room trying to come up with one decision.”
“Once you get them in the jury room they don’t have the option of continuing to be divided,” Mariano said. “They’ve got to find some way to talk to each other and make a decision. There’s no other choice. And I think it makes a very interesting experiment along those lines.”
Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 24, 25 and 26 and March 2, 3, 4, and 5 at the Jean Weidner Theatre in the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on the UW-Green Bay campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive.
Tickets for Twelve Angry Jurors are $15 in advance, $18 at the door for adults; $12 in advance, $15 at the door for children and seniors; and $10 for UW-Green Bay students. Order online at www.uwgb.edu/tickets/ or by calling (920) 465-2400.