'12 Angry Jurors' at Rockwood Summit High School

2011-11-11T16:48:00Z '12 Angry Jurors' at Rockwood Summit High SchoolBy Olivia Welby of Bishop DuBourg High School stltoday.com

What's the Verdict?

BANG! The gavel pounds. What will be the verdict; guilty or not guilty? Twelve jurors have to decide. Will they send a young boy to his death, or acquittal? Rockwood Summit's production of "12 Angry Jurors" provided a dramatic, suspenseful evening: a production worthy of its day in court. "Twelve Angry Jurors" was adapted for the stage by Reginald Rose and written by Sherman L. Sergel. Set in the 1950s, the story focuses on the jury's deliberation of a case in which a young boy is accused of murdering his father. The jury must unanimously agree, beyond a shadow of a doubt, whether he is innocent or guilty.

The action took place in one simple, well-designed room. The refined set let the audience focus on the action, rather than the flash of the background. Known only by number, the jurors were indeed the focus of the show: each had a unique personality to contribute to the mix.

The seemingly open-and-shut case was questioned by Juror #8 (Kyle Twomey). His inquiring nature began to create doubt in the minds of the other jurors. Twomey's performance presented a collected, calm man only focused on finding the truth. Oppositely, Juror #3 (Spencer Blow) was an angry, outspoken who believed there was no question: the boy was guilty. Blow's angry portrayal was intense: his actions became those of an irrationally angry man.

Ever questioning, the sassy Juror #10 (Elyse Bertani) never broke character. Her portrayal of a sick, impatient woman was lifelike and her bigoted speech showed the racist thoughts of the time. The foreman (Emma Walser) and Juror #4 (Annie Myers) also had realistic movements and attitudes onstage. While some actors were active and energetic, there seemed to be a general deficiency of energy among the cast. Though the jurors were supposed to be impatient, at times it seemed the actors themselves were bored. Sometimes, lines were hard to understand and could have been enunciated, but the lines delivered understandably seemed well-rehearsed.

The characters' hair was a delight: styled in period and sleek. The make-up was nice overall, however, the age-lines were overbearing and distracting for some characters. The lights were simple yet believable, and any problems were fixed expediently. Sound crew seemed to have some trouble with the mikes and volume balance, sometimes making difficult-to-understand lines even harder to hear.

So, what's the verdict? There's no hung jury: Rockwood Summit presented their audience with an enjoyable evening.

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