"One man is dead. The life of another is at stake."
Twelve Angry Men is the gripping, penetrating, and engrossing examination of a diverse group of twelve male jurors who are uncomfortably brought together to hear the 'facts' in a seemingly open-and-shut murder trial case.
They retire to a jury room to do their civic duty and serve up a just verdict for the young male defendant whose life is in the balance --- but is there a reasonable doubt?
The Twelve Jurors: (Also small walk on part for the guard - 3 appearances and a couple of lines.) All Jurors are on-stage for the entire play, which is in 2 acts.
The Jurors are know only by their voting order numbers.
* Juror #1: (The Foreman): A high-school assistant head coach, doggedly concerned to keep the proceedings formal and maintain authority; easily frustrated and sensitive when someone objects to his control; inadequate for the
job as foreman, not a natural leader and over-shadowed by Juror # 8's natural leadership.
* Juror #2: A wimpy, balding bank clerk/teller, easily persuaded, meek, hesitant, goes along with the majority, eagerly offers cough drops to other men during tense times of argument; better memory than # 4 about film title.
* Juror #3: Runs a messenger service (the "Beck and Call" Company), a bullying, rude and husky man, extremely opinionated and biased, completely intolerant, forceful and loud-mouthed, temperamental and vengeful;
estrangement from his own teenaged son causes him to be hateful and hostile toward all young people (and the defendant); arrogant, quick-angered, quick-to-convict.
* Juror #4: Well-educated, smug and conceited, well-dressed stockbroker, presumably wealthy; studious, methodical, possesses an impressive recall and grasp of the facts of the case; common-sensical, dispassionate,
cool-headed and rational, yet stuffy and prim; often displays a stern glare; treats the case like a puzzle to be deductively solved rather than as a case that may send the defendant to death; claims that he never sweats.
* Juror #5: Naive, insecure, frightened, reserved; grew up in a poor urban neighborhood and the case resurrected in his mind that slum-dwelling upbringing; a guilty vote would distance him from his past.
* Juror #6: A typical "working man," not quick-witted, experiences difficulty in making up his own mind, a follower; probably a manual laborer or painter; respectful of older juror and willing to back up his words with fists.
* Juror #7: Clownish, impatient salesman, a flashy dresser, gum-chewing, obsessed baseball fan who wants to leave as soon as possible to attend evening game; throws wadded up paper balls at the fan; uses baseball metaphors
and references throughout all his statements (he tells the foreman to "stay in there and pitch"); lacks complete human concern for the defendant and for the immigrant juror; extroverted; votes with the majority.
* Juror #8: Instigates a thoughtful reconsideration of the case against the accused; a liberal-minded, patient truth-and-justice seeker who uses soft-spoken, calm logical reasoning; balanced, decent, courageous,
well-spoken and concerned; considered a do-gooder (who is just wasting others' time) by some of the prejudiced jurors.
* Juror #9: Eldest man in group, white-haired, thin, retiring and resigned to his advancing years but has a resurgence of life during deliberations; soft-spoken but perceptive, fair-minded. A decent man.
* Juror #10: A garage owner, who simmers with anger, bitterness, racist bigotry; nasty, repellent, intolerant, reactionary and accusative; segregates the world into 'us' and 'them'; needs the support of others to reinforce his manic rants.
* Juror #11: A watchmaker, speaks with an immigrants accent, a recent refugee and immigrant; expresses reverence and respect for democracy, its system of justice, and the infallibility of the Law.
* Juror #12: Well-dressed, smooth-talking business ad man with thick black glasses; doodles cereal box slogan and packaging ideas for "Rice Pops"; superficial, easily-swayed, and easy-going; vacillating, lacks deep convictions or belief
system; uses advertising talk at one point: "run this idea up the flagpole and see if anybody salutes it".
Note on Accents - Although the play is originally set in New York City and we may well have a Manhattan skyline showing through the window I will attempt to minimize the use of specific accents. I want to try for a natural sounding
production that only uses specific accents where necessary.