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Rendition of teleplay ’12 Angry Jurors’ comes to Campus Theatre

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The Campus Theatre will be the home to a production of the classic teleplay “12 Angry Jurors.”

According to director and part-time El Camino professor Scott Alan Smith, the play is an adaption of both scripts from “12 Angry Men” and “12 Angry Women.”

Smith also shared that the play is a “study of group dynamics.”

“The reason I was attracted to (12 Angry Jurors) is it makes a strong statement of how we deal with bigotry,” Smith said.

Smith feels as though the plays historical background adds to the production’s singularity.

“We set (12 Angry Jurors) in 1964 so when the Civil Rights Act was passed and we have a very racially diverse cast so we’re exploring that theme very much in this production.”

Juror No. 11 Katherine Shilenko, 20, theatre major, interprets the play as a declaration of differing viewpoints.

“It’s a play about people who have strong opinions. All of them, every single character has strong beliefs and opinions and that’s what makes this play so exciting,” Shilenko said.

Shilenko adds that the plays theme provides the play it’s on singular narrative.

“We all believe in something and we all fight for it. I feel like not every play has that,” Shilenko said.

In a typical production the audience would be seated in the “house” of the theatre or the seats designated for the audience in front of the stage.

In Smith’s adaption of “12 Angry Jurors,” Smith made the decision to seat the audience in a “round” on stage so that the audience is on stage with the actors.

“We wanted the audience to be watching each other and so often in a theatre like (the Campus Theatre) I could be asleep and it won’t affect any of the other audience,” Smith said.

Smith wants the audience to become immersed and engaged in what was going on in the production by placing them in close proximity to one another and the actors.

“In the round you have to be present because you’re being witnessed by the person across from you,” Smith said.

Smith hopes that the play being set in a round will allow the audience to hone in on what’s happening on the stage in a new way.

“I think everyone’s attention is going to be that much more in tune because they are in a way kind of on stage.”

Juror No. 8, Brandon Daryll, 24, theatre major, agreed that having the audience sit in a round adds another level of enthrallment for the audience.

“You’re in there with (the jurors). Every moment that happens, every beat that changes (the audience) feel it and it’s right there in (their) face,” Daryll said.

Smith shared that what makes the cast unique is their sense of togetherness.

“They are all wonderfully focused young actors who have a great respect and admiration of each other,” Smith said.

Smith believes the cast’s sense of togetherness helps them come together to create a community within one another.

“They are very supportive of each other as actors and they created this sense of ensemble,” Smith said.

Smith hopes that the audience creates their own interpretation of the play upon seeing it.

“There’s the play that’s written, there’s the play that’s performed, but there’s also the play that’s heard,” Smith said.

Smith believes the play that is heard is the version that the audience should rely on the most.

“The play that’s heard is really the truth of the play. So the audience hearing the play and the journey they’re taking is everything. There’s no way to make them all have the same experience,” Smith said.

“12 Angry Jurors” opens Friday, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. and will run until Sunday, Nov. 12. A complete list of show dates and times is available online. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Marsee Auditorium Ticket Office.

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About the Writer
Faith Petrie, Opinion, Arts, Social Media, and Managing Editor

Faith Petrie is a second semester, Journalism major at El Camino College. This is her second semester on The Union newspaper. She enjoys listening to a wide variety of music, rewatching classic movies, and buying books she’ll never read in her spare time. She hopes to transfer to California State University of Long Beach in the fall of 2018 to become a music journalist.

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Rendition of teleplay ’12 Angry Jurors’ comes to Campus Theatre