Posted in Indianapolis theater: reviews

Indiana Repertory Theatre: “12 Angry Men”

Indiana Repertory Theatre”s “12 Angry Men”

What could potentially be a static and tedious production is instead a dynamic, enthralling courtroom drama thanks to director James Still and 12 excellent actors. Set in the jury room, one brave juror declares “not guilty,” going against the rest of his peers. Heated debates and even a brawl break out over the next 90 minutes as the lone juror does the job the defense attorney should have and digs deeper into the prosecution’s often-faulty arguments.

Underlying the case is the fact that the defendant is “other.” It’s never outright stated, but you can infer that he is probably black, given the play is set in 1957. Sadly, this prejudice holds true today, making the play just as current as it was when it was first produced.

Seth Andrew Bridges, Scot Greenwell, Craig Spidle, Henry Woronicz, Demetrios Troy, Casey Hoekstra, Michael Stewart Allen, Mark Goetzinger, Robert Ierardi, Patrick Clear, and Charles Goad create distinct, dynamic characters that work with and against each other to create realistic, emotional, and spirited interactions.

Still keeps his actors in motion instead of having them sit still throughout, and the table is set on a turntable, so we aren’t always faced with the backs of half the actors’ heads. Instead, we can catch facial expressions and gestures that emphasize the dialogue.

While there is no intermission, the time flies by because the cast keeps you invested in the process of evaluation and their individual philosophical musings.

This is a top-notch opening for the theater’s 48th season.

  • Dates and times vary
  • Check the website for special events related to the show
  • Tickets start at $25


freelance editor, writer, and theater critic

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