A jury of twelve men will decide the fate of a fictional 18-year-old boy accused of murdering his own father.
Act 1 Theatre Productions is taking its own twist on the classic 12 Angry Men, a story that has been recreated more times than can be counted.
The play will be performed for three weekends this month.
Right from the beginning, Artistic Director Petra Karr told the actors not to watch the movies.
“We want our work to be distinguishable,” Karr said.
It is very easy for an actor to watch this classic and begin imitating the original characters. In this version of 12 Angry Men, that is not the case.
The fact that this story has been recreated so many times though isn’t the only difficult thing about it, Jordan Fermstad said.
“No one has names,” Fermstad, who plays Juror 8, said. Juror 8 is the only character that votes not guilty in the start of the play.
The script only has the juror numbers in it and “the numbers are scattered around the table.”
Another difficulty is that this play has almost nothing to it visually. It is essentially one scene of 12 men arguing around a table in a small room.
What this play lacks in visuals, the cast easily makes up with its acting.
“Acting is critical,” Karr said. “We have an amazing cast.”
Sometimes it can be hard to get into character though.
In general, Fermstad tries to “bring the goal of the character into every part of the play.”
“As an actor, it’s hard to feel so strongly about voting not guilty in the beginning when there is so much evidence against it,” Fermstad said. “It’s hard to feel so strongly when you haven’t made your point yet.”
Karr decided to perform 12 Angry Men because it is highly relevant, despite being written in the 1950s.
“It’s extremely relevant,” Karr said. “You can’t listen to the news without hearing about crime.”
“I just really like the story,” she added.
The play will run for the next three weekends. It will be performed 7 p.m. on Fridays and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Usually Act 1 plays are performed at night on Saturday and Sunday, but Karr is hoping to get more people on Friday.
Also, Lakewood Playhouse donated seats to Act 1.
“We have real seats now,” Karr said.
Act 1 Theatre Productions presents 12 Angry Men