Emerging Talent Theatre Marketing

Theatre Western’s gender blind Twelve Angry Men

Theatre Western, a club on campus at Western University, are presenting “Twelve Angry Men”, the play adapted from Reginald Rose’s 1954 teleplay for the CBS “Studio One” television series.

Sarah D’Aurizio is producing “Twelve Angry Men.” I spoke to her about why Theatre Western chose “Twelve Angry Men,” how the group decided on gender blind casting, and how the 62-year old play connects to current issues in society.img_5227-copy

1)  When did you first become interested in theatre?
I’ve been involved with theatre since High School. I’ve always loved telling stories, and the stage is one place I’ve been able to exercise that passion. I’ve always worked behind the scenes, in lighting, stage managing, assisting, and now, producing, roles. When a story is told and told well, when it makes an audience feel something, there is magic in that.2) How were you first introduced to “Twelve Angry Men?
I first read the teleplay in my grade 11 English class, as many students do. I loved it. I loved the humanity of it.
 
3) How did you become involved with Theatre Western?
I got involved in Theatre Western in my 2nd Undergraduate year at the University. I was the Costumes Assistant for their Fall Play, and I loved the community so much that I joined as a Hair and Makeup Assistant in my 3rd year for the Spring Musical. And now, in my 4th year, I’m fortunate enough to be in a producing position.
 
4)  Why did you decide to bring “Twelve Angry Men” to Theatre Western?
The decision to put Twelve Angry Men on stage was an easy one. My co-producer and I knew that we wanted Theatre Western to do something different than what’s been done in years’ past. On our short list was a lot of murder-mysteries (think Agatha Christie) and court room dramas. But a natural winner emerged in “Twelve Angry Men”, whose social and cultural themes at its heart are so important to reexamine today. The number of high profile cases that stem from injustices within our legal system demonstrates the relevance of this play, even today, in 2016.
 
5) Your production has implemented gender blind casting. How did you come up with that decision?
We were never going to put on a show that was only open to one gender. Theatre Western is a community theatre service at its core and all of our events are produced to involve the largest number of individuals as possible. We want to give everyone a chance to act on their passion for performance.
Trisha Kershaw, as Juror #5, looking over in Theatre Western's "Twelve Angry Men"

Trisha Kershaw as Juror #5

6) How else is Theatre Western’s production of “Twelve Angry Men” unique?
Our directors were chosen in part because of their vision. The production is visually driven, and every piece, be it costumes, props, or set, was designed in cohesion to reflect a singular point – what is reasonable doubt? The show is performed in the round, and there’s a lot going on with every character. Every audience member’s experience is going to be somewhat different depending on their vantage point. 
 
7) Along with your aforementioned points, why else should people check out your production of “Twelve Angry Men”?
People should come see our production if only for the reason that this kind of prejudice, bigotry, racism, and injustice didn’t only occur in jury rooms in the 50s – it’s happening now. It’s happening in court rooms and politics and these hateful biases have systemic roots today. I want people to see this production because now more than ever before, this is a story that needs to be told.

Jack Copland as Juror #3 lighting a cigarette in Theatre Western's "Twelve Angry Men"

Jack Copland as Juror #3

Details, Details 
“Twelve Angry Men” runs until Saturday, November 19 at Western’s University Mustang Lounge in the University Community Center (UCC).
Tickets are $18.65 online or $15 at the door, if available. Click here to purchase tickets.
10% of all ticket sales will be donated to Aboriginal Legal Services Toronto, which supports Aboriginal community justice issues. The organization also offers controlled and culturally based justice alternatives.
The cast includes:
Paul Scala as Juror #1
Nick Wolfe as Juror #2
Jack Copland as Juror #3
Zerina Francis as Juror #4
Trisha Kershaw as Juror #5
Sasha Luna as Juror #6
David Dibrina as Juror #7
Alex Gaistman as Juror #8
Kevin Heslop as Juror #9
Alexandra Floras-Matic as Juror #10
Kyle Stark as Juror #11
Jess Orchin as Juror #12
Ali Al Rohani as Gaurd
 
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