Audition Date: Sunday, December 11th 12:00-2:00pm
Show Dates: February 23-26, March 3-4, 2017
Director: Bob Weintraub
Written by Sherman L. Sergel, adapted from the CBS Studio One television show by Reginald Rose, and made into a motion picture, the play has twelve primary male roles and three small parts. Eleven of the jury roles can be played by men aged 30 to 70. They range from business executives, professionals, small business owners and blue collar workers, a cross-section of American life. The twelfth is a European immigrant older than 60.
In 12 Angry Men a jury deliberates the case of a 16-year-old boy from a slum on trial for allegedly stabbing his father to death. If there is any reasonable doubt they are to return a verdict of not guilty. If found guilty, the boy will receive a death sentence.
The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. The film was selected as the second-best courtroom drama ever by the American Film Institute and is the highest courtroom drama on Rotten Tomatoes’ Top 100 Movies of All Times.
The twelve jurors (only identified by number) and the actors who played them in the movie:
1. (Martin Balsam) the jury foreman, judiciously patient but not imperturbable, somewhat preoccupied with his duties and never gives any reason for changing his vote; proves to be helpful to others. An assistant high school football coach.
2. (John Fiedler) a meek and unpretentious bank worker who is at first dominated by others, but as the climax builds up, so does his courage. Tongue-tied, unused to self-assertion, yet, when it counts, rising drolly to the occasion.
3. (Lee J. Cobb) a businessman and distraught father, opinionated, disrespectful, and stubborn with a temper. A close-minded Juror neither overdoing nor shortchanging his unlikability, and riveting in his final pathos. The main antagonist and most passionate advocate of a guilty verdict throughout the play.
4. (E. G. Marshall) a rational, unflappable, self-assured and analytical stock broker who is concerned only with the facts. Methodical, buttoned-up but unsweaty in this hot room, coolly yet unimaginatively reasoning.
5. (Jack Klugman) a man who grew up in a violent slum, does not take kindly to insults about his upbringing, endearingly revealing sound instincts.
6. (Edward Binns) a house painter, pugnacious, tough but principled and respectful.
7. (Jack Warden) a salesman and New York Yankees fan, a loudmouth and baseball addict full of crudely funny remarks, who is so eager to leave in order to attend a baseball game, that he becomes impatient with the deliberations, despite the fact that the defendant’s life is at stake.
8. (Henry Fonda) a sensible architect who helps to build a case for the defendant. He conveys inner uncertainties not allowed to undermine the pursuit of reasoned inquiry.
9. (Joseph Sweeney) a wise and observant retiree, his undimmed mind sturdily defying his enfeebled body.
10. (Ed Begley) a garage owner; a pushy and loudmouthed, vehemently spewed-out prejudices; his shirt heavily streaked with sweat, flails and bellows as a gum-chomping bigmouth whose amusing bluster gradually curdles into a revelation of utter bigotry.
11. (George Voskovec) a European watchmaker and naturalized American citizen, unerringly accented meeting raucous challenge with dignified poise. He is polite and makes a point of speaking with proper English grammar.
12. (Robert Webber) as a wisecracking, indecisive advertising executive, glibly girded with ad-agency phrases, yet easily buffeted this way or that. He is the only Juror to change his vote more than once during deliberations.
Further information on the play, the 12 roles and the auditions can be provided by Weintraub who can be reached at email@example.com. Copies of the play to borrow are available at AMP for those interested in auditioning.