The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis launches its own production Feb. 6. Martin Platt directs the 90-minute jury-room drama on the Rep's Mainstage, with a cast that includes Peter Van Wagner, Gary Wayne Barker, Greg Thornton, Richmond Hoxie, Rich Pisarkiewicz, James Anthony, R. Ward Duffy, Jeff Talbott, Dane Knell, Steve Brady, Jerry Vogel, Craig Wroe and Greg Johnston.
According to The Rep, "It is the summer of 1957. Twelve jurors from 12 walks of life are gathered for their deliberations while a troubled young man accused of brutally killing his aggressive father awaits his fate. Twelve men discuss the verdict, each by turns bigoted, receptive, hostile, rational, impatient, conscientious and, yes, angry, and with only two ways to rule: guilty or not guilty.
"Corralled in a sweltering New York jury room, one man among the jurors feels that there is a 'reasonable doubt' of the defendant's guilt — to the considerable frustration of his eleven colleagues — thereby preventing a quick verdict. During the heated debate, the hidden preconceptions and assumptions of the jurors are revealed. When faced with playing the hangman, each juror is forced to face himself."
Twelve Angry Men was originally written as a teleplay that appeared in 1954 on CBS' drama series "Studio One." The story was subsequently made into a major motion picture in 1957 starring Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, John Fiedler, E.G. Marshall, Jack Warden, Ed Binns, Martin Balsam, Jack Klugman, George Voskovec, Robert Webber and Joseph Sweeney.
Writer Rose would go on to create and write scripts for the television series, "The Defenders." He wrote the stage version of Twelve Angry Men in 1964. The first Broadway production of the play was staged by the Roundabout Theatre Company in 2004 to critical acclaim. The extended production earned three Tony Award nominations and subsequently toured (with Richard Thomas as Juror #8). Scott Ellis directed.
The Rep production's artistic team includes Judy Gailen (scenic designer), Claudia Stephens (costume designer), Dan Kotlowitz (lighting designer), Glenn Dunn (stage manager) and Shannon B. Sturgis (assistant stage manager).
Rep performances of Twelve Angry Men continue to March 2 on the Browning Mainstage of the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts, 130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves, in St. Louis.
For more information, visit www.repstl.org.