Justice takes the stage in “Twelve Angry Jurors”


“Twelve Angry Jurors” cast members Laura Dickey, senior, and Natalie Workman, junior, practice scenes for their upcoming performance.

Annika Houck, Editor-in-Chief

Guilty, or not guilty? That is the question this fall semester. The BHS Drama Department has been putting in long hours of hard work to put together this fall’s production of “Twelve Angry Jurors,” which opens this weekend at the Parker Performing Arts Center.
The play, based upon Reginald Rose’s “Twelve Angry Men,” features the return of live performance to the Burroughs stage following the 2019 earthquakes.
Set in the 1960s, the play follows twelve ladies and gentlemen of the jury as they debate the fate of a young boy. What seems like an open-and-shut case is more than it appears, and what results is a long night of heated debate and short tempers.
The play takes the audience through the trial and various pieces of evidence. The jury is tasked with reaching a verdict, and one particular juror works hard to make her controversial opinions heard.
“The twelve strangers, a disparate group, confront issues of culture, wealth, and privilege as they work toward a verdict,” said Drama Adviser and English teacher Eileen Poole. “It is engaging and subtle, the audience isn’t hit over the head with preachy, tired lines. For me, the exciting thing about ‘Twelve Angry Jurors’ is that while it is set in the Sixties, and the language is clear evidence of this, it is wholly relevant today.”
Tempers flare and voices are raised. The crime must be considered from all angles; after all, a life is at stake. But the jury is at each other’s throats.
“There is one part where my life gets threatened,” said senior Deanna Belt. “It is pretty fun to act out.”
“There’s this one scene that since the very beginning has just been perfect,” said cast member Elaine Stewart, a senior. “We have this set of friends that I have the ability to put years of friendship aside, and express it as anger. It’s just exhilarating to watch.”
Poole shares the enthusiasm — and high praise for her performers..
“Each of the acts has its own dramatic scene that literally gives me goosebumps, but my favorite part of the entire play is the cast,” said Poole. “We just came off a couple of tough years, and these kids are challenging themselves, pushing through the tedium of memorizing lines, taking notes from me again, and again, and encouraging each other. We have rehearsal four times a week, and it is draining, but the energy of these students is contagious. I am very lucky.”
Poole took over the Drama program this year from Tristan Kratz, who is now focusing on art and English.
“A debut is always exciting, and a little nerve-wracking, but these kids have been giving it their all in rehearsals, so I know anxiety is unnecessary,” said Poole. “I can’t wait for the everyone to see the talent these kids have.”
But who is right? Is the boy guilty or innocent? Come find out at 7 p.m. in the Parker Performing Arts Center on Nov. 5, 6, 12, and 13. Tickets can be purchased early for $7 from Drama Club and cast members or at Red Rock Books. Admission is $10 at the door.
Come support these hardworking Burros and spend a night on the edge of your seat!
As cast member and BHS freshman Ada Aston so eloquently puts it, “Expect drama.”