When I think back on the types of shows I’ve directed in the past, I’ve focused my energies on either comedy or musical theatre. So, why did I choose Twelve Angry Men? Well, I think directors, like actors, want to tackle new and different challenges…. not that comedy isn’t a challenge….and Lord knows, a major musical is a massive undertaking on many levels. It’s just that a show like Twelve Angry Men is different. The quality of the script is superb. Its message is profound and it packs a real punch. And it achieves this through the diversity of the characters; how they deal with the situation they are in and the decision they must make. The task of understanding these very real characters; who they are and what makes them tick…and then working with the actors to bring all of that to life is exactly what made me choose this show. The audience identifying with these characters, seeing within them, a part of themselves and the people they know is what will drive the message and pack that punch. I’m looking forward to opening night!
“So, you want to direct a show with an all-male cast (virtually… but we’ll get to that later)? Twelve of them? Are you crazy? Good luck with that!” Those are the thoughts expressed to me when news of this show first got out. And, I can’t say that in the back of my own mind, I didn’t wonder just a little. But, as the saying goes “If you build it, they will come.”
What I mean to say is that I held to the belief that familiarity with/love of the classic movie, the quality of the script and the opportunity it presents to an actor would be enough to attract some of Red Deer’s finest. And that’s exactly what happened. I am thrilled to be working with this group of guys… and Vicki (our Court Clerk and the rose among the thorns!). And maybe even more exciting is that our cast is made up of many faces that Red Deer has either never seen, or hasn’t seen in a long while. And, an added treat has been the chance to involve Monica Bast as our judge. Here’s how the line-up looks:
I started my preparations on Twelve Angry Men last fall and it’s hard to believe we’re only a month away from this dream becoming a reality. Wow! Has it ever flown by!
From the conclusion of the casting process back in March, much of the focus has been on working with the script and the actors… and work hard, we have. But, we’ve had a lot of laughs along the way and have built a strong, cohesive team who has each other’s back and is really clicking.
This play is unlike any other I’ve worked on in that the core cast of twelve jurors remains on stage throughout the entire show. That, in itself ramps up the level of commitment and the challenge for each and every actor. But, rise to it, they have. And now, as we move into our last month of preparation, our production team is starting to kick into high gear, too. The set design is finalized, construction has begun and decorators are putting their creative minds at work. Costumes are being assembled and our lighting and sound designers are working on their craft so that they can add that final touch of magic to what will be the finished product.
The word has gotten out and scarcely a day goes by when there isn’t at least one person who is heard to exclaim: “Twelve Angry Men! Awesome! I love that show!” Oh, yes – ticket sales have commenced, too (available at the Black Knight Inn Ticket Centre: www.blackknightinn.ca )