12 Angry Jurors: A Synopsis
November 11, 2018
The Drama department presented its first performance of “12 Angry Jurors,” directed by Junior Mariah Gonzalez, on November 7th, 2018. The play is based on a jury deliberation that takes place after the trial of an African American teenager. Twelve jurors quarrel back and forth about their own judgments and biases as they try to reach a verdict on whether or not the teenager should be found guilty or innocent of killing his own father. At the beginning of the deliberations, all but one of the jurors believes the young man is guilty. However, as the jurors painstakingly deliberate the facts of the case for hours, the innocence of the man begins to appear.
Juror #8, played by Ashley Sanchez, exhibits an unwillingness to give in to her initial doubts of the man’s guilt even though all of the other eleven jurors seemed quick to find the man guilty. Juror #8 begins to explore the inconsistencies of the testifying witnesses, which little by little causes other jurors to cast doubt on their initial decisions to vote for a guilty verdict. As the jurors deliberate, it becomes evident that many of them are basing their decisions on their own personal experiences and racial biases. This further complicates their ability to reach an unanimous decision.
Juror #3, played by Mariah Gonzalez, is the most outspoken juror trying to find the defendant guilty. It is hard for the audience to believe that she would ever give up her quest to convict a young man. Her emotionally charged performance seemed to be fueled by a deep rooted personal anger, which at one point brought her close to a fist fight with Juror #8. Towards the end of the deliberation, Juror #3 finds herself as the only juror willing to cast a guilty vote on one of the many times the jurors voted on the matter. After multiple inconsistencies are brought up about the witnesses’ testimonies, Juror #3 finally gives in and agrees to flip her guilty vote to one of innocence. The play ends as the jurors leave the deliberating room ready to announce their “not guilty” verdict.
The performance ran from November 7th to November 9th. Each night provided the audience a different presentation of the play with two different cast ensembles performing on alternating nights.