The case never gets cracked. The innocent don’t get redeemed and the guilty don’t get punished. It’s more intimate than that.
At its core, 12 Angry Jurors is about rooting out our own corruption: the hate, frustration and convenient prejudices that we use to make the complex comfortingly simple.
The kid probably it.
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His type are usually guilty of something.
But supposing we’re wrong?
Within that question – that doubt – lies the essence of both the legal system and the play.
Next Thursday at Inlet United Church on Spring Street, the Ioco Players are set to stage 12 Angry Jurors. Originally written as a television play in the 1950s, the story remains pressing, says Mike Arsenault, founder of the Ioco Players community theatre group.
“I think the themes in the show are as relevant if not more relevant today than they were in 1955,” he says. “How have we changed over the years? Are we still judging people by the colour of their skin, by what they wear?”
Speaking to the Dispatch eight days before opening night, Arsenault says he has most of the details worked out, with one notable exception.
“We’re still figuring out if it will work,” he acknowledges. “We actually may have the audience – if we can get the seating set up correctly – have them switch sides.”
It’s about seeing things from a different perspective, he notes.
The show is also set to feature original music and period costumes for the 1957-era play.
In the iconic film version with Henry Fonda, director Sidney Lumet used camera lenses with longer focal lengths, giving the audience the feeling the jurors were almost squished by the jury room.
The Ioco players’ version will integrate video in order to show the hot weather and underscore the feeling of claustrophobia, Arsenault explains.
Besides Port Moody Mayor Meghan Lahti making a small appearance via voiceover, the play is set to include a few surprises, according to Arsenault.
“But I’m not going to give it all away for you because you have to come and see it.”
For more information or tickets, click here.