The Black Is Beautiful Project, comprised of cast members from Broadway’s Beautiful, will kick off the upcoming nationwide 12,000 Voices initiative with a staged reading of 12 Angry Men (performed by 12 Impassioned Women) on April 4. Their performance will be the first all-Black reading in support of the voter registration campaign that calls on women across the country to raise their voices—scripts in hand.
Inspired by last fall's star-studded, all-female staged reading of Twelve Angry Men, the 12,000 Voices campaign incites women in law schools, universities, high schools, community and regional theatres, and community centers across the country to raise their voices—scripts in hand—in readings of Reginald Rose's play over the weekend of April 5-8.
The Black Is Beautiful Project's reading of 12 Angry Men (performed by 12 Impassioned Women) will take place at Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day School on April 4 at 3:30 PM.
Schele Williams will direct a cast made up of Ashley Blanchet, TyNia René Brandon, Gabrielle Elisabeth, Tiffany Evariste, Shonica Gooden, Alex Hairston, Bahiyah Hibah, LaQuet Sharnell Pringle, Gabrielle Reid, Ashley Alexandra Seldon, Housso Semon, Kimber Sprawl, Salisha Thomas, and Jasmin Walker.
12,000 Voices is a grassroots effort led by Broadway producer Lauren Class Schneider. So far, the initiative has inspired readings from over 60 different groups, in 23 states and Canada. Each reading will include voter registration and a panel discussion.
"Harnessing the power of storytelling by simultaneously presenting this timeless play around the country, we’re stimulating community engagement on a local level” said Schneider, who has also served as campaign staff on several presidential campaigns along with her experience as a Broadway producer. “Because the play makes a powerful argument for the value of civic involvement, it’s a great platform for a voter registration event.”
Written in 1954, Twelve Angry Men tells the story of 11 jurors who are convinced of an accused murderer's guilt, while one holdout convinces them to look at their consciences and prejudices.