Make us your home page
Instagram

Stage West opens season with look inside a jury room in 'Twelve Angry Men'

From left sitting, Thomas Garton as Juror No. 5, Chris Hubner as Juror No. 6, Jay Ingle as Juror No. 7 and Sam Petricone as Juror No. 8 listen while Dennis Duggan, standing as Juror No. 3, gets emotional during rehearsal for Twelve Angry Men, which is being presented at Stage West Community Playhouse.

Courtesy of Carol Ballard

From left sitting, Thomas Garton as Juror No. 5, Chris Hubner as Juror No. 6, Jay Ingle as Juror No. 7 and Sam Petricone as Juror No. 8 listen while Dennis Duggan, standing as Juror No. 3, gets emotional during rehearsal for Twelve Angry Men, which is being presented at Stage West Community Playhouse.

SPRING HILL

It's been awhile since Americans have been glued to their television sets watching nail-biting courtroom trials like that of, say, O.J. Simpson, Ted Bundy or Casey Anthony.

Even so, fascination with the inner workings of a trial — the accused, the witnesses, the judge, the jury — remains steady, which may account for the devoted fans of Twelve Angry Men, the 1954 teleplay set inside a jury deliberation room.

Playwright Reginald Rose's fictional telling was made into a movie in 1957 and a television movie again in 1997 and hit Broadway in 2004. Since then, it's become an amateur and professional theater favorite, sometimes done as Twelve Angry Jurors with both men and women in the jury room.

Stage West Community Playhouse will present the all-male version Sept. 15 to 18 and 23 to 25 in the intimate Forum theater. Directed by multi-HAMI winner Paul Wade, who himself has performed a lead role in an earlier production of the play in Pasco County, it features nine HAMI winners, the winner of Creative Loafing's Best of the Bay Best Actor award, two actors who have performed in the play elsewhere, and a theater newcomer who plays the jury room guard (Patrick Caropeppe).

In the play, a 19-year-old man, who is never seen, has been accused of murdering his father. It looks like an easy conviction. After all, several reliable witnesses have come forward, including a woman who claims to have watched the murder with her own eyes.

Another says he himself sold the murder weapon to the young man. And, perhaps most convincing, the accused has a criminal record and was known to have had shouting matches with his father.

Indeed, this should be a quick, easy decision for the 12 jurors.

Except that Juror No. 8 (Sam Petricone, HAMI as Ali Hakim in Oklahoma!) has a reasonable doubt. Nothing solid, just a feeling that a rush to judgment doesn't feel right to him.

Thus begins a long night of anger, quarrels, arguments and examinations of the personal conflicts and motives of the 12 men holding the life — a guilty verdict will mean the electric chair — of the 19-year-old in their hands.

Juror No. 8 doesn't find receptive ears to his doubts. The most vicious is Juror No. 10 (Pete Clapsis, HAMI as Pseudolus in Funny/Forum), a loudmouthed bigot spoiling for a fight. And there's Juror No. 3 (Dennis Duggan, Creative Loafing's Best Actor), the most cynical and vocal of the men, resolutely convinced of the defendant's guilt and not willing to budge an inch.

In between these extremes are Juror No. 1 (Mark Dunham), a serious, non-confrontational man who is quickly elected to be foreman of the jury; Juror No. 5 (Thomas Garton), who doesn't want to express an opinion either way; Juror No. 2 (David Stenger, HAMI as Moonfaced in Anything Goes), so timid he will just go along with the crowd; Juror No. 11 (Dalton Benson, HAMI as Edna in Hairspray), a refugee from Europe who has been the victim of injustice and doesn't want to perpetuate another by convicting an innocent man or releasing a guilty one; Juror No. 9 (Maurice Batista, HAMI as Judge in Harvey), a mild, gentle man who is horrified by Juror No. 10's open bigotry; Juror No. 6 (Chris Huber, HAMI as the Rev. Lee in The Foreigner), who is reluctant to see the good in anyone; Juror No. 12 (Bill Dimmitt, HAMI as Alfred Doolittle in My Fair Lady), an arrogant, impatient advertising executive who just wants to vote, get it over with and go back to his business and social life; Juror No. 4 (Sam McCall, HAMI as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird), an articulate, logical stockbroker who needs to be thoroughly convinced before he makes each decision; and Juror No. 7 (Jay Ingle, HAMI as Billy Bibbit in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), who just wants to get it over with so he won't be late to his baseball game.

It's an intriguing look at what might go on behind the closed doors of a jury room. The dialogue is intense, most suited for ages 13 and older.

>>fast facts

'Twelve Angry Men'

Twelve Angry Men, a drama, at the Forum at Stage West Community Playhouse, 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill, Sept. 15 to 18 and 23 to 25. Shows are at 7:30 p.m., except Sundays and the second Saturday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20, reserved seating. Call (352) 683-5113.

Stage West opens season with look inside a jury room in 'Twelve Angry Men' 09/07/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 7, 2016 6:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Prep meals for a week with tacos, pork tenderloin and rosemary chicken

    Cooking

    Some see a resemblance to Japan's popular bento boxes. Some just call it meal prepping. And some prefer to think of it as bringing lunch to work in Tupperware containers.

    For simple meal prep, you can’t go wrong with this classic: ground beef tacos, black beans and homemade Spanish rice.
  2. 'Swag Surfin' producer: 'It's very weird… they're still playing the song' eight years later

    Music & Concerts

    TAMPA

    Kevin Erondu doesn't often go to night clubs. Yet, across America, he drives people to the dance floor. He's 31 years old, but he still has the ear of college students, and while he's no pro athlete, they leap to their feet when he joins them in the gym.

    Originally from Dade City, music producer Kevin Erondu, 31, rose to prominence after creating the beat to Swag Surfin’, a 2009 club hit that still inspires viral videos today.
  3. 5 things to do under $5: Type artists, shuffleboard, toy train show, Wildflower Walk

    Events

    1 Letterheads Typefest: The muralists who run Illsol Space, a gallery in Tampa Heights, said their respect for handmade fonts and sign painting techniques moved them to curate this exhibit featuring type-based muralists, hand-style lettering designers, sign painters, letterpress studios and type designers. …

    Colm O’Connor, a Dublin sign writer, is among the 22 artists featured in the Letterheads Typefest exhibit at the Illsol Space gallery.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Aug. 23

    Events

    The Art of the Brick: An elaborate display of more than 100 pieces of Lego artwork including the life sized sculpture of a man ripping open his chest, a 20-foot-long T. rex skeleton, a giant skull and replicas of famous works including Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night and Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona …

    Nathan Sawaya with a sculpture from his The Art of the Brick exhibition coming to Tampa June 23- Sept. 4. It will be open for free Wednesdays through Sundays,  from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 802 E Whiting Street, Tampa. No tickets are required.[Courtesy  of the Art of the Brick]
  5. I give you a fish, you give me back my man

    Blogs

    The B-52s are a band with such a distinct visual look that you could tell it was them with just a glimpse of a picture. But was it always beehives and bright clothes for the hipsters from Athens? You can find the different looks of the B-52s in their video for the irresistible Give Me Back My Man.