Twelve impassioned women read ‘Twelve Angry Men’

MIDDLEBURY — On Sunday, April 7, at 2 p.m., an all-star cast of women will lend their impassioned voices to a reading of the classic play, “Twelve Angry Men” by Reginald Rose as part of the 12,000 Voices project. Women all over the country will read a play about the power one person can have when they speak with conviction in our judicial system, for this project.
Director Erica Furgiuele is collaborating with Town Hall Theater and Middlebury Community Players’ Company Be for this special project. Furgiuele, a Middlebury College graduate, has performed on the Town Hall Theater stage and with Middlebury Community Players. She also works with Courageous Stage, bringing Shakespeare to schools all over Vermont. “Twelve Angry Men” is particularly appealing to Furgiuele. 
“This play demonstrates that it’s not enough to be staunch in your beliefs. You have to defend them articulately, compassionately, and tirelessly,” she said.
Producer Haley Rice agrees. “Women have a voice in the legal process and a vote now, but there’s still work to be done. When ‘Twelve Angry Men’ was written, women couldn’t be jurors. They had no say in that part of the legal process. So we’re going to flip the script. It’s important to be heard and it’s crucial not to take it for granted.”
The reading will take place in the Town Hall Theater’s Byers Studio in Middlebury.  Admittance is free, but donations are always appreciated.
The cast currently includes: Mary Laidlaw, Suzanna Miller, Victoria Luksch, Stephanie Gallas, Alise Certa, Carol Reed, Anne Taylor, Kathleen Walls, Sarah Stone, Kerianne Severy, Burdena Hopps, Debra Fulton, Revell Allen, Brenda Logee, and Julie Banach.
Following the staged reading on April 7, audience members, cast, and staff will have the opportunity to update their voter registration. Information will also be given about how to increase voter registration and voter turnout.
About “Twelve Angry Men”
The play was adapted from Reginald Rose’s 1954 teleplay of the same name for the CBS Studio One television series. The success of the made-for-television courtroom drama resulted in a film adaptation directed by Sidney Lumet. “Twelve Angry Men” was Lumet’s first feature film, and the only producing credit for Henry Fonda (who also starred in the film). Viewed as a classic, the film was nominated for three Academy Awards, including “Best Director,” “Best Picture,” and “Best Screenplay.” The Broadway debut of “Twelve Angry Men” came 50 years after CBS aired the play, opening on October 28, 2004 at the Roundabout Theatre Company’s American Airlines Theatre where it ran for 328 performances and was nominated for three Tony Awards, including “Best Revival of a Play,” “Best Actor in a Play,” and “Best Direction of a Play.”
In the story, a 19-year-old man has just stood trial for the fatal stabbing of his father. It looks like an open-and-shut case – until one of the jurors begins opening the others’ eyes to the facts. Sequestered in a small room, each juror reveals their own character as the various testimonies are re-examined, the murder is re-enacted and a new murder threat is born before their eyes. Tempers get short, arguments grow heated, and the jurors become Twelve Angry Men.
For more information visit townhalltheater.org or call (802) 388-1436.

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