Angry Jurors Create True Emotion


Emilia Coles-Ritchie

Highland’s cast of 12 Angry Jurors performs on stage.

Halle Backman , Staff writer

12 Angry Jurors is a Highland adaptation of the American courtroom drama, Twelve Angry Men, written by Reginald Rose about the jury of a homicide trial. The play is 80 minutes of struggle between the 12 complex and diverse jurors, each one stubborn, and with their own rather loud opinion.

In the beginning of the play, the jurors are almost unanimous in their agreement of the accused being guilty, with votes ten to one. Throughout the play, the jurors argue and debate, trying to come up with a unanimous decision, with each one teetering back and forth upon their opinions, and influenced by their own personal experiences and values.

In the beginning, nearly all agree that the accused is guilty. By the end, they are unanimous in believing that he is innocent.

Each juror is a very opinionated individual who struggles to separate their own personal biases with the facts of the case. From the racist bigot to the lonely old lady, it makes for an incredibly organic experimentation of human interactions.

A powerful element is the uniqueness of each character, and the individual skills of each actor in portraying these characters.

Annie Pasmann, who plays Juror Number Ten, the Racist Bigot, gave an incredibly convincing performance, which is remarkable in the fact that Pasmann is so different from her character.

“It’s been really hard [to play this character] actually. I’ve never played an antagonist before, and I’ve had to like, definitely find ways to relate to the character, which is hard because my character is so evil so that’s a little taxing,” Pasmann said.

Pasmann talked about how she felt the need to perform well in this part because the way her character acts is still relevant today.

“People like my character exist in our world and stuff, which is unfortunate, but I think that’s been able to [help me] tie a lot of personal connections to the show,” Pasmann said.

And the show does have so much relevance. It’s entertaining, but it’s important. The ideas illustrated through the acting are echoed in everyday life. The play teaches about the importance of human life and highlights the fact that everyone is different.

It’s very hard to take a concept that is so important to everyday life, and have actors really make it come to life. And make it real.

Highland sophomore Sebastien Green played the lone dissenter among the jurors. His role illustrated the importance of remaining true to one’s convictions even in the face of severe social pressures.

It was a roll that he really felt.

“A lot of time in class was spent just learning how to be really in the moment, and to react naturally, so that everything that’s going on stage [so you’re not] over rehearsing all your reactions, and just being real and in the moment,”  Green said.