A 19-year-old man has just stood trial for the fatal stabbing of his father. "He doesn't stand a chance," mutters the guard as the 12 jurors are taken into the bleak jury room. It looks like an open-and-shut case—until one of the jurors begins opening the others' eyes to the facts. "This is a remarkable thing about democracy," says the foreign-born juror, "that we are notified by mail to come down to this place—and decide on the guilt or innocence of a person; of a man or woman we have not known before. We have nothing to gain or lose by our verdict. We should not make it a personal thing." But personal it is, with each juror revealing his or her own character as the various testimonies are re-examined, the murder is re-enacted and a new murder threat is born before their eyes! Tempers get short, arguments grow heated, and the jurors become 12 angry men. The jurors' final verdict and how they reach it—in tense scenes that will electrify your audience and keep them on the edge of their seats—add up to a fine, mature piece of dramatic literature, an experience you'll be proud to present.
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- Type of Show Full-length Play
- Product Code T42000
- Cast Size 15
- Min. Royalty Rate $100/perf
- Cost $10.95
- Approx. Run Time 80 min
- Target Audience High School | College and Adult
- Performing Group High School | Community Theatre | Touring Group
- Genre Drama
- ISBN(13) 9780871293275
- "This is an old story but one that is relevant still today. How quickly we are to judge someone before we really listen and look at the facts. "
- Review by Stacy Clawson, Zane Trace Players, Zanesville, Ohio
- "This is an incredible script which allows twelve actors to interact all at once. It allows a director to showcase a great variety of actors with a spectrum of skills. There is nothing to change about this. "
- Review by James Spencer, Greenville High School, Greenville, Ill.
- "The performance was enjoyed by all who attended. The students worked very hard and had fun putting the show on. "
- Review by Brian Herman, St. Laurence High School, Burbank, Ill.
- "One of the most intense yet best plays I've seen. Great story."
- Review by Susan Lisle, Little Theatre of Gastonia, Gastonia, NC
- "In a community where it is assumed that a drama will never play as well as a comedy or musical, this one was VERY well received. Word spread after our first weekend, and the second weekend people were lined up out the door and down the block!"
- Review by Shirley Baker, Apollo Civic Theatre, Martinsburg, WV
- "At the beginning of our rehearsal period, I had 13 students who were skeptical about being able to perform anything but comedy. Seven weeks later, I had 13 students who were convinced that serious drama is well worth the effort. The results of their many hours of character development and hard work were absolutely awesome!"
- Review by Judi Spitzer, Westlake High School, Westlake, OH
- "This play presents a great challenge to actors. It's not about breathtaking sets or special effects. It's about capturing the passion and intensity of your characters."
- Review by John Ashenmacher, Northland Lutheran High School, Mosinee, WI
- "It is a compelling drama that challenges both the audience and the actors. Our production was powerful, thought-provoking, and sold out."
- Review by David Payne, Logan School, Denver, CO
- "Excellent challenge for student actors. All thirteen characters have an opportunity to develop specific characterizations and be featured in a pivotal moment of their own."
- Review by Rob Gleason, Holt High School, Wentzville, MO
- "This production went off very well. We filled every seat and the students enjoyed the experience so much they can't wait to do another. This was our school's first production ever!"
- Review by Matthew C. Hartman, G. W. Community School, Springfield, Va.
- "Tightly written with solid stage directions. Great show for good actors. Demands ensemble acting."
- Review by Ed Cornely, Cornely Productions, Sturbridge, Mass.
- "This production was a deeply enriching experience for our cast. It prompted thought and discussion from our audience. Our cast received a standing ovation each night."
- Review by Judith Manley, Bishop Hartley High School, Columbus, Ohio
- "Performed in our historic Courthouse on the Public Square, this powerful production peers into an insulated environment and shows the rawness of human interaction, personal power, secrets and emotions. The community turned out full force for this experience."
- Review by Candy Roberts, Murfreesboro Little Theatre, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
- "The subtlety of the dialogue was compelling and very interesting for our students to work with. Most students are used to "over the top" acting, but this asked more of them as young actors and us as young directors. It was a wonderfully challenging experience!"
- Review by Alison Mizen, Euclid High School, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
- "We used both scripts (combined) as we had men and women in the cast. The lines in the scripts are timeless! Our audiences loved it! It's a wonderful ensemble piece, and our company had a lot of fun with it."
- Review by Barbara Fatum, Calvary Theater Group, San Francisco, Calif.
- "The opportunity for an actor to remain onstage for an entire production is a challenge. To offer that challenge to 12 students was a great experience for me as the director and [for] the strong ensemble that emerged as a result of our production."
- Review by Honore Schiro, Brookfield Central High School, Brookfield, Wis.
- "The show was an amazing piece of drama. It's a classic of American theatre."
- Review by Tom Varner, Hard Road Theatre, Sorento, Ill.
- "One of the great character pieces of recent years. Community members by the score have expressed how excited they were to see this show, citing it as one of their favorites."
- Review by Mitch Travis, Elizabeth High School, Elizabeth, Colo.
- "We performed the play as a reader's theatre-radio drama. Received countless positive comments about the play and conflict resolution and civility. The cast were from the community and college personnel. Wonderful experience."
- Review by Susan Sutton, Cloud County Community College, Concordia, Kan.
- "This was the perfect choice for our first play of the year. Not knowing how many girls and how many boys I would have, this play allowed for flexible casting. The show had relevancy to our judicial system and constitutional rights learned in history and government classes."
- Review by Rita Powers, Marcus High School, Flower Mound, Texas
- "A fast-moving, behind-the-scenes courtroom drama, ideal for a high school with a variety of talent and/or minimal men. Easily adaptable to virtually any space, can be done in the round, fully-staged, or with minimal costumes, props and scenery requirements. Engaging, tightly paced, and one of the classics of the American theatre."
- Review by Pat Burr, Northeast High School, Goose Lake, Iowa
- "Twelve Angry Jurors is a perfect show to do with high-school students. It is easy to understand and portray "real" characters facing their own discriminations."
- Review by Laura Woods, California High School, San Ramon, Calif.
Hints, Tips, and Tricks
- "One challenge was the two matching switch knifes but we ordered switch combs from Amazon and cut the tip at an angle then painted. They looked so real even with the audience being so close to the performers."
- Tip by Debbie Prost, Johns Creek High School, Johns Creek, Ga.
- "The very last scene when only #8 & #3 remain I had 8 get 3's coat from the closet. 3 opens and looks at the knife holding it like someone who would stab from above and like a knife fighter. He then hands the knife to 8 while 8 hands him is coat. After 3 says, "Not guilty!" 8 waits til 3 is off stage and stabs the knife into the Foreman's table (I set the tables in a V-shape rather than one big table and a small Foreman's table btw the V) and says, "Not guilty" softly the lights dim as he walks off and a spot light is all that's on the knife while the stage goes black simultaneously. That light remained on the knife for 2 beats then the stage went black. VERY dramatic ! "
- Tip by Stacy Clawson, Zane Trace Players, Zanesville, Ohio
- "We were able to get permission from our local county judge to film the judge instructing the jury at the judge's bench in the county courthouse's main courtroom. It added to the production and allowed a normally offstage actor to be "onstage" instead, with a multi-media approach. We used two 6 foot wooden library-type tables on the stage. We had 6 actors facing the audience, two at each end, with only four jurors starting with their backs to the audience. Two moved to the front corners and the other two performed more or less facing each other in front of the tables. We used 2 pieces of balsa wood with a cork base (all glued together), so we could easily drive the switch knives "into" the table without damaging it or worrying whether they would stay in place. The audience could not see them. "
- Tip by James Spencer, Greenville High School, Greenville, Ill.
- "Since the entire cast is on stage for the entirety of the production it would be helpful to get your cast off book as quickly as possible. "
- Tip by Brian Herman, St. Laurence High School, Burbank, Ill.
- "We did this in the round -- with an audience on two sides and an aisle up through the audience at three o'clock. It was quite successful...intense...the audience was right there with us!"
- Tip by Rusty DeLucia, Steamboat Community Players, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
- "It demands an intimate arrangement. We left the stage and did it in the middle of the gym under two gym lights and without microphones...documentary style."
- Tip by Judith Manley, Bishop Hartley High School, Columbus, Ohio
- "It is a fun challenge to combine the scripts. Production notes suggest male characters for Jurors 3 and 8. Today's gender roles in society do not limit Juror 3 from being an aggressive, angry female. Any combination is workable."
- Tip by Phillip Bentley, Willamette Valley Christian School, Brooks, Ore.
- "Simplicity and authenticity are key. Using a real courtroom was powerful. Lighting made the production intense at times; softer as needed. The cast must bond as people first to allow the natural reactions to be genuine."
- Tip by Candy Roberts, Murfreesboro Little Theatre, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
- "We set the jury tables in a combination U/U set-up with the jurors facing the audience. This allowed actors walking space in front of the tables."
- Tip by Jim Pautz, Two Rivers High School, Two Rivers, Wis.
- "This play absolutely screams to be presented in the round. Put your jury table in the middle and your audience on three sides."
- Tip by Lorna Stratton, ICHTHYS Theatre Productions, Brantford, Ontario, Canada
- "We used switch-blade combs, since real knives are banned in schools; [they are] available on line."
- Tip by Ben Benbasset, Massapequa High School, Massapequa, N.Y.
- "Keep it small. Perform it in a blackbox, not your big auditorium. We performed it in our library (which is old), and it was intimate and powerful. The audience needs to be close to see faces."
- Tip by Katherine Miller, Paul VI Catholic High School, Fairfax, Va.
- "We used a trapezoid-shaped table because performing "in the round" wasn't possible. It allowed the optimal visualization of each character while maintaining the feel of a jury room."
- Tip by Brittainy Shaw, Morehead Theatre Guild, Morehead, Ky.
- "Simple set...small stage in large group instruction room gave a magnificent intimacy. Used historical prints and flag to give it a courthouse feel."
- Tip by Sheila Thompson, Yorkville High School, Yorkville, Ill.
- "I think that the key to success is the casting of actors, to find and define their personalities and merge them with the roles of the play. Good performances are as essential as the creation of a claustrophobic atmosphere is."
- Tip by Empar Lopez Ortiz, Teatre del Raval, Barcelona, Spain
|Sara Belle November Theatre||Richmond||Virginia||8/7/2020||8/9/2020|
|Lynn Classical High School||Lynn||Massachusetts||5/13/2021||5/15/2021|
|THS Fine Arts Auditorium||Tupelo||Mississippi||11/5/2020||11/7/2020|
|Barstow Community College||Barstow||California||7/24/2020||8/2/2020|
|Western Guilford High School||Greensboro||North Carolina||11/12/2020||11/13/2020|
|San Leandro Museum/Auditorium||San Leandro||California||7/18/2020||8/16/2020|
|Muskogee Little Theatre, Inc.||Muskogee||Oklahoma||5/6/2021||5/9/2021|
|Robert Stuart Jr High School||Twin Falls||Idaho||7/24/2020||7/25/2020|
|Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston||Houston||Texas||12/3/2020||12/6/2020|
|The Arctic Playhouse||West Warwick||Rhode Island||9/10/2020||9/27/2020|
|Center for Education and Performing Arts||Pell City||Alabama||9/11/2020||9/13/2020|
|TheatreWorks Community Players||Martinsville||Virginia||10/15/2020||10/25/2020|
|Springfield Middle School||Springfield||Tennessee||10/1/2020||10/25/2020|
|30 by Ninety Theatre||Mandeville||Louisiana||8/29/2020||9/13/2020|
|Nick Rodriguez Community Center Theatre||Antioch||California||9/25/2020||10/4/2020|
|The Amato Center for Performing Arts||Milford||New Hampshire||3/5/2021||3/14/2021|
|Milton Hershey School||Hershey||Pennsylvania||10/29/2020||10/31/2020|
|The Portland Players||South Portland||Maine||1/22/2021||2/7/2021|
|Port Tobacco Players Theater||La Plata||Maryland||4/9/2021||4/18/2021|
|Aberdeen Community Theatre||Aberdeen||South Dakota||8/7/2020||8/9/2020|
|Goodrich Little Theatre||Fond du Lac||Wisconsin||11/18/2020||11/22/2020|
|Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute||Seattle||Washington||11/5/2020||11/8/2020|
|Hogan Regional Center||Danvers||Massachusetts||10/23/2020||10/25/2020|
|Kildonan East Collegiate||Winnipeg||Manitoba||11/25/2020||11/27/2020|
|Jenison High School||Jenison||Michigan||9/12/2020||9/12/2020|
|Smoky Valley High||Lindsborg||Kansas||3/11/2021||3/13/2021|
|Butler Little Theatre||Butler||Pennsylvania||11/13/2020||11/21/2020|
|Glenbard West High School||Glen Ellyn||Illinois||10/15/2020||10/17/2020|
|Star Rep Theater||Escondido||California||11/6/2020||11/8/2020|
|Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School||Indianapolis||Indiana||10/15/2020||10/17/2020|
|File Description||File Format|
|Twelve Angry Men Performance Poster||Download|
|Twelve Angry Jurors Performance Poster||Download|
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