“12 Angry Jurors” brings courtroom drama to La Sierra stage

La Sierra University senior accounting major Kendall Trood discusses case facts as Juror #8 in “12 Angry Jurors.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (www.lasierra.edu) Innocent or guilty? Death or freedom? A production by La Sierra University’s Society of Dramatic Arts will portray the individual and collective struggles entangling individuals deciding a homicide case in the classic play, “12 Angry Jurors.”

The production will take place at La Sierra’s Matheson Hall on Sat., May 11, Sun., May 12, Thurs., May 16, and Sat., May 18. The curtain goes up at 8:30 p.m. View photos from a recent dress rehearsal on La Sierra’s Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/10AnoXb

La Sierra University freshman pre-dentistry major Joan Wanjau makes her argument as Juror #3 in “12 Angry Jurors.The play, based on the 1954 teleplay “12 Angry Men” written by Reginald Rose, features both male and female characters. The cast is comprised of La Sierra faculty, staff and students. Rose’s teleplay, written for a CBS live drama, became a Hollywood feature film in 1957 with acting legend Henry Fonda. The story follows the drama and intense interplay between 12 jurors who must decide the guilt or innocence of a young man charged with murdering his father. The 12 jurors must reach unanimous consensus on a guilty verdict which will result in a death sentence for the defendant. The jurors grapple with their own biases and prejudices stemming from race, background and their family relationships. Near agreement on a guilty verdict is thwarted by one juror who pushes a reasonable doubt argument.

The film “12 Angry Men” is now considered a classic and garnered three Academy Award nominations including Best Picture. In 1964, Rose adapted the story for the stage, and it made its professional theatre debut on London’s West Side. The play experienced a surge in popularity during the 1990s thanks in part to the O.J. Simpson trial. During this time Harold Pinter directed a revised version on the London stage and Showtime aired an updated version starring Jack Lemon. However, despite numerous regional and international productions, the play did not make its Broadway debut until 2004, 50 years after Rose first put the idea down on paper and two years after the prolific writer’s death.

Jerry Entze, a Master of Fine Arts student at the University of Portland, Ore. recently directed an award-winning production of the teleplay. He serves as an artist-in-residence at La Sierra and is directing the drama society’s production of “12 Angry Jurors.”

General admission is $10. For further information or ticket reservations call the Box Office at 951-785-2241 or email drama@lasierra.edu.

Cast members are as follows: Foreman of the Jury, Zachary Hotchkiss; Juror #2, Becca Smith; Juror #3, Joan Wanjau; Juror #4, Melissa Totten; Juror #5, Ryan Yrigollen; Juror #6, Sara Raquel Pinto Da Silva; Juror #7, Filipe Reis de Carvalho, Alyssa Doyle; Juror #8, Kendall Trood; Juror #9, Marjorie Ellenwood; Juror #10, Sarah Lancaster; Juror #11, Kelly Reed; Juror #12, Rebecca Kern; Guard, Alyssa Doyle, Jonathan Payne; Judge, Chris Sepulveda.

  • Last update on  May 14, 2013