'12 Angry Jurors' takes audience for ride

Contributed photoTyler Stauffer photoThis Halloween weekend proved to be a very intense one for Mercyhurst College actors. David Matthews, along with the Drama Club, presented “12 Angry Jurors,” Mercyhurst’s only play for the year.

The show was presented Oct. 29 through Nov. 1 in Taylor Little Theatre.

The one-act play was full of drama from the very beginning.

There were fights and tears, as well as bonds created between the characters in such a short time period that the audience was taken on an emotional and intellectual roller coaster.

“12 Angry Jurors,” written by Reginald Rose and Sherman L. Sergel, takes place in a jury room in New York City in the present.

The jury is debating whether a teenage boy is guilty of murdering his father.

At the beginning of the play, it looks as if the case will be open and shut.
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All of the jurors agree that the evidence overwhelmingly proves that the boy is guilty, except for one who thinks that there might be doubt.

As the jurors go on discussing and fighting, we see each individual character.

Some are angry, some are compassionate, some are sarcastic and some are rational. Over the course of the 90 minutes, the ratio of guilty to not guilty votes changes, as they check and re-check all of the facts of the case.

Eventually, though not without conflict, all of the jurors come to the conclusion that there is reasonable doubt that the boy killed his father. They then pronounce him not guilty.

When asking the cast about how they thought their opening night went, freshman Alison Palmeri responded, “I think it went very well. We have improved so much from when we started.”

Audiences responded very well to the efforts of the actors.

“All the actors were really good,” senior Kayla Nash said. “There really were no weak performances.”

“I even saw the movie, and I thought this version was better,” junior Narayan Dhakal said.Contributed photoTyler Stauffer photoContributed photoTyler Stauffer photo