By Delaney Tufts, Staff Writer
“12 Angry Jurors,” presented by Asbury University’s Theater and Cinema Performance Program, focuses on a murder trial, challenging the audience and characters in the play to pay close attention to evidence presented throughout. It is one of the many adaptations from the original 1954 teleplay “12 Angry Men” written by Reginald Rose. As the play unfolds, the jury attempts to reassess the evidence given to bring true justice to the court.
In preparing for the play, the actors have been pushed physically and mentally and have accepted the challenges facing them head on. Instead of taking on the role of her character and moving on, senior Brooke Butterworth, the 8th Juror, has opened herself up to the lessons her character has taught her. “What has stretched me the most is that while the 8th Juror stands up for democracy against all the opposition, it is usually with a calm, but direct demeanor. This is slightly opposite of myself. I’ve learned a lot of self-control from her,” Butterworth said.
It’s a wonderful cast. It’s great getting to work with them. Whenever you’re in a show, you want the cast to feel like family. This cast is becoming a good family.
This role for Butterworth has not only stretched her as an actor but has caused her to think bigger when faced with opposition. “My character is who I would want to be in that situation. She lets people gradually decide for themselves what they think is right.”
Sophomore Emily Buonocore, the 9th Juror, has faced physical challenges in portraying her character. The 9th Juror is in a wheelchair, causing Buonocore to rely only on her arms and torso, instead of using her legs. Another physical challenge for Buonocore was mastering the New York accent. “Everyone has some type of New York accent and that has been hard for me to grasp,” she said.
Although facing physical challenges, the play has been a growing experience for her. “What the play has reminded me is to look at everyone as equals,” Buonocore said. “The play is about how prejudice can blind us, which is something I need to be reminded about when dealing with people of different beliefs.”
Overall, the experience for both lead actors has been something they can later reflect on. For Buonocore, the play has been hard, but the cast has been a source of support for her.
“It’s a wonderful cast. It’s great getting to work with them. Whenever you’re in a show, you want the cast to feel like family. This cast is becoming a good family. I think they’re all keepers,” she said.
For Butterworth, the play will remain something she can later pull from.
“The technicality of the lines has been a learning curve. Most of all, the subtle physical differences of the 8th Juror’s demeanor hold drastic varying emotions internally…. The amount of focus I need throughout each rehearsal is paramount and it has taught me a lot,” Butterworth said.
The play will take place in the Greathouse Theater on Nov. 10-12 and 17-19, each show beginning at 7:30. Tickets are available for purchase at $5 per person.