It’s all drama with ’12 Angry Jurors’

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Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
Rehearsing for Madison-Plains High School’s production of “12 Angry Jurors” are: (seated in front) Beabea Greenlee; (seated from left) Alisha Higbee, Abby Holbert, Dani Breen, Becky Grigsby, Annie Wethington, Michael Whitmoyer; (standing in back) Janelle Marks and Owen Phillips. Shows are set for Nov. 22-24.

(Posted Nov. 13, 2019)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Comedy or drama?

If you ask Owen Phillips and Janelle Marks, they’ll tell you they like to make people laugh, but what they really relish is serious roles.

Both seniors landed lead parts in Madison-Plains High School’s upcoming production of “12 Angry Jurors.” Both also played leads in last year’s production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” a comedy.

“I definitely think playing a dramatic character is a lot more interesting,” said Phillips. “In a comedy, with the jokes, the laughs are planned out for you. In a drama, it falls on you to really portray the gravity of what’s going on.”

“You get to explore more emotion for your character and subtlety, which you don’t get to do as much in comedy,” Marks added.

While the premise of “12 Angry Jurors” is simple, Owens said, the way in which the characters interact is complex.

“That’s the mark of a good show–when you don’t have to have anything flashy to make it interesting,” he said.

“12 Angry Jurors” is set in a jury deliberation room, where the jurors must decide the fate of a 19-year-old boy accused of killing his father. It appears to be an open-and-shut case until one juror votes “not guilty.” The play goes on to explore bias, personal motive, and the workings of the justice system.

Nine of the 13 members of the Madison-Plains cast are seniors, a few of whom are new to the stage. Director Ashley Woodard said the experienced actors are serving as excellent role models to the newbies. She also said the cast as a whole is embracing the material.

“You can really see their characters developing. They are doing a great job of telling the story and a great job of finding the details and nuances,” she said.

Phillips plays Juror #3 and Marks plays Juror #8. The other members of the cast are: junior Michael Whitmoyer, Juror #1; sophomore Beabea Greenlee, Juror #2; senior Nic Nye, Juror #4; senior Dani Breen, Juror #5; senior Abby Holbert, Juror #6; senior Alisha Higbee, Juror #7; sophomore Paul Errett, Juror #9; senior Annie Wethington, Juror #10; junior Becky Grigsby, Juror #11; senior Shelby Jones, Juror #12; and senior Dalton Dodds, the guard. Senior Fiona Stewart is the stage manager.

Shows are set for 7 p.m. Nov. 22-23 and 2 p.m. Nov. 24 in the Madison-Plains High School auditorium. Tickets will be sold at the door and are $7 for adults, $5 for senior citizens (age 60 and older), and $3 for students college-age and younger.

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