’12 ANGRY JURORS’ TO OPEN AT THE PAC

CAMERON COSTANZO, Staff Writer

With high-profile trials recently in the news with their disorienting details that are equally hard to ignore and follow, perhaps your mind is primed for a play that is illuminating about trials. If it is, Brookdale has just the thing.

“The play is about people who come from all different walks of life, from lower class to upper class, working class and privileged class. You get this 95-minute window to their discussions, arguments, fights. All the concepts are relevant to 1957 and 2020,” said theater Professor John Bukovec, director of the upcoming production of “12 Angry Jurors.”

Adapted by Sherman L. Sergel from the television movie “12 Angry Men,” which was written by Reginald Rose, “12 Angry Jurors” has firmly planted itself in American culture. If you have ever been on any kind of committee tasked with making a decision, and one person firmly holds a belief that everyone disagrees with, they are likely to say, “Am I going to have to ’12 Angry Men’ this thing?”

For those who aren’t familiar, the original version tells the story of 12 men in a New York county courthouse deliberating on whether to convict or acquit an 18-year-old man charged with the murder of his father. At the start, only one man believes the teenager is innocent, and he is set on changing everyone’s mind. “12 Angry Jurors” is a slight modernization of the original to include women as part of the action.

The cast will also be a mixture of students and non-students. “We needed to cast 12. I had 29 audition from 17-years-old to 75-years-olds, which is standard in the Brookdale make-up. We have everyone here,” Bukovec said.

Bukovec also mentioned the importance of a diverse cast, pointing to the goal of creating 12 distinct characters, which is easier when you have 12 unique and individual cast members.

The director is excited for the show to open and highlights the challenges that had to be overcome to put the production together. He and the cast will put in a total of at least 120 hours of work in the span of eight weeks by the time the first show comes around, and he cites scheduling that time as one of the biggest hurdles. That being said, they have put in the time required and will be raring to go come opening night.

“He is very good at what he does,” said theatre major Ed Brown. “I think there will be dynamic characters and each personality will be clear.”

“12 Angry Jurors” will be performed 8 p.m. Feb. 14, 15, 21 and 22 and 2 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Performing Arts Center on Brookdale’s Lincroft campus. Ticket prices are $15 general admission, $10 for seniors on Sunday, and $5 for students. For more questions, call the box office at (732) 224-2411. Bukovec’s favorite part of the play is the long story arc and the display of a civil discourse. He can be reached at [email protected]