Four Archbold residents have been seated for the Archbold Community Theatre production of “Twelve Angry Jurors.”
Internet research shows the play was originally known as Twelve Angry Men. Written by Reginald Rose, it was adapted from a teleplay, a play originally written for television, which was broadcast in 1954.
It made it to the stage in London in 1964, but didn’t debut on Broadway until 2004, 50 years after the original broadcast.
It ran for 328 performances on Broadway.
The jurors have heard the case of an 18-year-old man accused of stabbing his father to death; a guilty verdict will result in an automatic death sentence.
The case appears to be open-and-shut. A knife the man said he lost is found at the crime scene, and several witnesses heard screams, or saw the killing or the accused fleeing the scene.
The not-overly-bright jury foreman, played by Bill Phelps, Archbold, agrees to start the deliberations with a vote, and that vote comes back 11-1 for conviction.
Juror 8, played by Paul Spencer, Defiance, casts the lone “no” vote, explaining he can’t send the defendant to die without discussing the case.
The rest of the play revolves around the interaction of the jurors as they weigh the case. The interaction is sometimes manic, and sometimes emotional.
Some are steadfast for conviction, including hotheaded Juror 10, played by Karen Bower, Toledo.
Juror 3, played by Ken Bower, Toledo, dominates the conversation and is ready to convict.
The cool, collected, and well-spoken Juror 4, played by Susan Dominique, Archbold, is part of their group.
But as Juror 8 explains why he feels there is reasonable doubt opinions begin to change, and other jurors begin to open up.
Juror 2, played by Scott Reeb, Stryker, is meek and hesitant. Juror 5, played by Angelina Sorge, Wauseon, is naïve and frightened, but relates to the defendant’s rough childhood.
David Lantz, Archbold, is Juror 6, an honest but dull-witted man who takes a while to reach any kind of decision.
Samantha Sorge, Wauseon, is the opinionated and quick-tempered Juror 7.
Juror 9, a mild-mannered man, is played by Randy Stuckey, West Unity.
Juror 11, played by Jeff Patterson, Archbold, is a European refugee.
Juror 12, played by Elizabeth Bower, Toledo, is a superficial snob who works in advertising.
Will they ever reach a verdict, or will they end up as a hung jury?
Archbold Community Theatre presents “Twelve Angry Jurors” over two weekends, Friday and Saturday, March 4-5 and 11-12, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, March 13, 2:30 pm.
All performances are at Giffey Hall in the Ridgeville Corners Theatre District.