12 Angry Jurors


Photo by Syd Alexander

The 12 Angry Jurors Set.

15 students, 2 teachers, and MANY hours. These three things created the theatrical masterpiece that was 12 Angry Jurors here at Bingham High School. The play began with a warning from the judge, played by Elizabeth Hooper, that jurors must be entirely truthful in how they feel, it must be a unanimous decision, and above all else, there cannot be a reasonable doubt in their decision. The jury did not have to prove this troubled boy innocent, just that he was guilty without a reasonable doubt.

It’s a hot summer day. Twelve jury members are locked in a single room with a long table, 12 chairs, 12 yellow notepads, and a small window. They are all being watched over by a bailiff who is ready to supply them with any needed evidence. These 12 people come from different backgrounds and all have their own lives to live and stories to tell; with such an unsteady group like this an argument can start on the basis of nearly anything. However, the jury’s first argument wasn’t about whether the boy was innocent or not, it was about whether the window should be opened in the stifling room. The jury was tasked with deciding the fate of a young boy with a troubled past, put on trial for his abusive father’s murder. The jury knows that on the night of the murder the boy had an argument with his father and went out to the movies. He also purchased a new pocket knife at a convenience store, and the owner remembered him there. Allegedly this boy was seen stabbing his father through the heart by an old lady across the street whose window faced him. An old man below also heard the loud thump of a body fall to the ground. Then 15 seconds later, he got to his door to see the young boy running down the stairs. Some of the jury questioned if the witnesses were even credible. This was due to the old man needing two canes to walk and the old woman who couldn’t see without eyeglasses. How are these jurors going to come to a conclusion about this young boy’s life when they can’t even decide if the window should be open without an argument? 

The jurors had a wonderful time performing this amazing show, just as the audience loved watching it! MJ Stowell, who played Juror 6, said, “At the beginning of the rehearsal process, our director told us we do theater to teach the human heart something. I think the wonderful message of this show was to show compassion and patience to anyone. It doesn’t matter what they did, or who they are, you still must show compassion, because if you don’t, nobody will.” This play truly showcased human nature and the beauty of it. All of the cast and audience loved the show and how funny it was; in fact, the cast didn’t expect to get so many laughs! Noah Callister, who played Juror 5, stated, “Honestly, I wasn’t expecting as many laughs as there were. This show is a drama and the fact that there were so many laughs confused me at first. It was then that I knew we were conveying the right tone for this show.” The audience was able to follow the characters easily and enjoy the overall mystery and drama that the two acts gave them. Overall, the 12 Angry Jurors had an amazing cast and they performed very well!