Arts & Entertainment

Case Closed: McLean H.S.’s ‘12 Angry Jurors’ a ‘Wonderful Production’

McleanCappiesReviewPicOn the docket for today is a case about the brutal murder of a man. The accused: his son. After the case is presented in court, the Twelve Angry Jurors will determine the verdict. Guilty or not guilty?

 

McleanCappiesReviewPic

MCLEAN HIGH School’s Cappies performance of “Twelve Angry Jurors” was held on April 24. (Photo: News-Press)

On the docket for today is a case about the brutal murder of a man. The accused: his son. After the case is presented in court, the Twelve Angry Jurors will determine the verdict. Guilty or not guilty?

“Twelve Angry Jurors” is adaptation of the well-known play Twelve Angry Men, with the alteration of some male characters to female. Written by Reginald Rose, “Twelve Angry Jurors” tells the story of a jury coming to the verdict on whether a boy killed his father. The play was originally a teleplay on CBS in 1954, and later was adapted for the stage by Rose, who also had written the teleplay. The Broadway debut for the play came 50 years later, and opened in October 2004. Prior to its premiere there had been a London production in 1964, two movies in 1957 and 1997, and a Russian film adaptation entitled “12”.

McLean High School presented a case filled with intrigue and intensity. Each of its jury members was able to portray a real life situation seemingly effortlessly. Each character was distinct and unique and had an individual viewpoint on the case. These viewpoints were partially based on the characters’ personalities, that provided the diversity of opinions. The meticulous portrayal of these character choices and the contrast between them were what kept the play alive and interesting.

Actors who made especially skillful character choices were Meredith Bloom, Elliot Duffy, and Vanessa Bretas. All demonstrated that they understood their characters’ personalities, past experiences, and how these may have affected them in their vote. Both Bloom and Duffy provided comic relief amongst the tense scenes, and the audience grew to care about their characters. Bretas played her character with much vigor and intensity, but was also able to have a pleasant and agreeable quality. Her character’s constant drive was what kept the play moving at an engaging pace.

The set was skillfully thought out for a theatre-in-the-round portrayal. Though this style of theater can typically be difficult to design so that all audience members can see, McLean was able to have a large, simple, and realistic jury room visible from all angles. The make-up and costumes provided all actors with a mature appearance, but at times the clothing seemed slightly too modern. The glowing amber lighting quickly brought the audience to a stuffy and tense jury room. The lighting seemed to alter or intensify as time passed adding to the anxious and uptight atmosphere.

McLean High School’s production of “Twelve Angry Jurors” was brimming with drama, intensity, and passion. The vote is unanimous: McLean High School is guilty of putting on a wonderful production.

Case closed.

Marianna Barbosa is a student at J.E.B. Stuart High School and a member of the Cappies Critics and Awards program.