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.
- 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 | College Theatre | Community Theatre | Professional Theatre | Touring Group
- Genre Drama
- ISBN(13) 9780871293275
- "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
- "We did this in the round -- with an audience on two sidesÑand an aisle up through the audience at three o'clock. It was quite successfulÑintenseÑthe 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 microphonesÑdocumentary 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 setÑsmall 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
|Theatre Three||Port Jefferson||New York||4/7/2018||5/5/2018|
|Billboard Players||East Williston||New York||4/14/2018||4/29/2018|
|West High School||Iowa City||Iowa||12/1/2017||12/2/2017|
|Zao Theatre||Apache Junction||4/13/2018||4/28/2018|
|Stardust Theatre||Sun City West||Arizona||1/23/2018||2/4/2018|
|Be Be Theater||Asheville||North Carolina||10/4/2018||10/20/2018|
|Footlight Players, Inc.||Michigan City||Indiana||2/2/2018||2/11/2018|
|Ignite! Community Theatre||Spokane||Washington||11/10/2017||11/26/2017|
|1000 Island Village||Brockville||Ontario||12/15/2017||12/17/2017|
|Tartan Senior High||Oakdale||Minnesota||1/18/2018||1/21/2018|
|Hockinson High School||Brush Prairie||Washington||4/19/2018||4/21/2018|
|Washington Street Players||Boise||Idaho||12/8/2017||12/16/2017|
|Paris Performers' Theatre||Paris||Ontario||2/16/2018||2/25/2018|
|United Methodist Church||Shrub Oak||New York||5/11/2018||5/20/2018|
|Cadillac Senior High School||Cadillac||Michigan||4/6/2018||4/14/2018|
|Mid-America Nazarene University - The Bell Center||Olathe||Kansas||2/9/2018||2/10/2018|
|North Harrison High School||Ramsey||Indiana||2/9/2018||2/11/2018|
|Maplewood-richmond Hgts. High||Maplewood||Missouri||3/1/2018||3/3/2018|
|Niagara Arts and Cultural Center||Niagara Falls||New York||3/9/2018||3/18/2018|
|Bryant University||Smithfield||Rhode Island||12/1/2017||12/3/2017|
|Ghostlight Theatre||Sun City West||Arizona||2/22/2018||3/4/2018|
|Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute||New York||New York||12/7/2017||12/9/2017|
|Central Bucks Hs-east||Doylestown||Pennsylvania||12/8/2017||12/9/2017|
|Twin Cedars Jr-sr High School||Bussey||Iowa||12/21/2017||12/21/2017|
|New Town High||Owings Mills||Maryland||4/5/2018||4/6/2018|
|Amador High||Sutter Creek||California||3/6/2018||3/16/2018|
|Jenkintown Middle/high School||Jenkintown||Pennsylvania||3/15/2018||3/17/2018|
|Miami Dade College, Kendall Campus||Miami||Florida||12/7/2017||12/17/2017|
|Aliso Niguel High||Aliso Viejo||California||2/22/2018||2/24/2018|
|Dallas High School||Dallas||Oregon||2/22/2018||2/24/2018|
|Yucca Valley High||Yucca Valley||California||12/8/2017||12/9/2017|
|Assumption Church Hall||Fairfield||Connecticut||12/1/2017||12/1/2017|
|Archbishop Murphy HS||Everett||Washington||5/18/2018||5/19/2018|
|Bastrop H S||Bastrop||Texas||3/9/2018||3/9/2018|
|Dr Jack Cockrill Middle School||Mckinney||Texas||2/16/2018||2/22/2018|
|Arizona Lutheran Academy||Phoenix||Arizona||4/26/2018||4/29/2018|
|Briarwood Christian School||Birmingham||Alabama||1/4/2018||1/7/2018|
|Falcon High School||Peyton||Colorado||3/2/2018||3/3/2018|
|Fort Zumwalt North High School||O'Fallon||Missouri||2/1/2018||2/3/2018|
|A.C.T. Studio Theatre||Stuart||Florida||1/5/2019||1/13/2019|
|North Cobb High School||Kennesaw||Georgia||2/1/2018||2/3/2018|
|Joyce J. Cammilleri Hall||Los Angeles||California||3/1/2018||3/4/2018|
|Ellison High School Auditorium||Killeen||Texas||3/2/2018||3/23/2018|
|Hamburg High School||Hamburg||New York||2/2/2018||2/4/2018|
|Point Park University||Pittsburgh||Pennsylvania||12/1/2017||12/3/2017|
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