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.
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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