Thursday, June 6, 2013

12 Angry Men by Reginald Rose, City Theatre, May 24 - June 9, 2013

12 Angry Men Reginald Rose City Theatre Austin
alt review

by Jessica M. Helmke and Michael Meigs

A View Inside Deciding

Decisions. We make them everyday. City Theatre's production of 12 Angry Men by Reginald Rose gravely invited audience members to search for truth, as if they were jurors in the murder case.

Vividly depicted characters organized around a long wooden table wore their back stories on their sleeves, and actors balanced their portrayals against one another with the guarded cordiality of an intense game of poker.

This closed and sequestered group of twelve jurors touched on the diversity of all humanity, cornered into making a decision that could end a life. The cast answers an audience silently searching for reasons to establish reason for belief. 'Tell me why,' we star gazers ask when we fill the house. Watching events develop, we get our response, and the conclusion is satisfying and a job well done.

12 Angry Men Reginald Rose City Theatre Austin
Presented simply, humbly and truthfully, this production is a celebration of Rose's script. Something powerful happens as this ensemble explores its relationship with the text, opening a door for the audience. This is lean, stripped-down acting, theatrical work that's basically artistic commentary about a script and a world that still merits performance today. Nearly 60 years after its first presentations as a 1954 teleplay, a 1955 play and a 1957 feature film, the dialogue is still creating an impact with the artists and the audience.

Rose's characters are so sharply differentiated that the exposition of these twelve personalities seemed like presentations by actors working in chosen styles or disciplines.

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