Gripping court room drama coming to Brampton stage – at Cyril Clark Theatre

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’12 Angry Jurors’ is a 1954 teleplay that is still relevant today because it touches upon issues of inherent prejudices

Your verdict means an automatic death sentence – are you ready?

The Hive, presents Reginald Rose’s classic 12 Angry Jurors, opening March 28th, 2020 and March 29th 2020 at the Cyril Clark Theatre, Brampton.

Based on the Emmy award-winning television movie “12 Angry Men”, this adaptation by Sherman L. Sergel is a gripping examination of twelve jurors as they deliberate after hearing the arguments in a clear open-and-shut case.

A murder trial has ended; closing arguments have been made; now it’s up to a jury of twelve to decide the fate of a 19-year-old boy accused of murdering his father. It is an open and shut case.

Or is it? Tensions rise as racism, classism, and twelve very different personalities interact to obstruct their intentions of reaching a unanimous decision. Can one juror, in his pursuit of justice, save the life of a young man by changing the minds of 11 other jurors, one vote at a time?

In his maiden Canadian production, Artistic Director Jimish Thakkar is excited to work with an ensemble cast of nameless jurors that features Anu Chopra, Shalaka Sardesai, Sarabjeet Singh Arora, Anjum Siddiqui, Amlan Das, Prashant Madan, Puneet Bawra, Mannu Bhandal, Naimesh Nanavathy, Dhruva Dwivedi, Prince Sharma and Anubha Jha, who are all Passionate actors and regular with Community theatre here in Canada.

“I simply love the unique energy everyone brings on at every rehearsal and could not have asked for a better team for my Canadian directorial debut,” says Jimish, the director.

“The show, which started as a teleplay in 1954, is still relevant today because it touches on issues of personal prejudice. We make judgments about other people, people from other countries, states, neighborhoods, religions or social backgrounds.

“We bring those judgements into our everyday lives and let our prejudices influence our decision-making. And that continues even today! Even more within people from the same country. We think we know people too well” . “With a very intimate and minimalistic set, audiences can expect to be on the edge of their seats; completely immersed in a naturalistic courtroom drama that plays out in real time”

“I am excited to see Jimish’s take on this classic. Together, we’ve been associated with over 30 productions in Dubai and over the years many have won us awards, recognition and (importantly) love in the theatre scene in Dubai. Now, we can’t wait for the magic of theatre to lead our way here in Canada. 12 Angry Jurors is our first play here in Canada so it’s always going to be the most memorable one.” says Darshana Thakkar, The Hive’s Founder and Producer. “I feel extremely humbled and thankful for the help and support already coming for our first production here in Canada”

Sarabjeet Singh Arora, a Brampton based veteran actor and Director and prominent member of Punjabi Theater Group who playing the role of Juror 3, the main antagonist of the play says “In my theatre school days, I had learnt the fine difference between living a character and just performing as one. Jimish, as a director, always emphasizes that actors must be able to breathe the character, often helping us with subtle prompts. To me, that is a very powerful aspect of a director. I am very excited to be working with Jimish and the entire cast of the Twelve Angry Jurors.”

Mannu Bhandal, another Brampton based actor who play Juror # 8 the protagonist in 12 Angry Jurors says “My character is the first of all jurors to vote “not guilty”. His doubt is what gives rise to the ensuing events in the play. Although his viewpoint is initially ridiculed and he is significantly outnumbered, he remains strong and tenacious. I love playing this character because his arguments really bring out the humanity in this wonderful story. This play is over sixty years old, but its life-affirming themes still resonate with audiences today”

“Though Jimish has set the play 1990s, the period is not very important as it is the message — about evidence, probing beneath the surface, critical thinking — that is quite relevant in this era of populist appeals”, says Dhruva Dwivedi, who plays Juror No 10. “It is challenging to play Juror 10. She is openly bitter, racist with strong bias and has prejudice that fuels her arguments.”

“By incorporating 6 women in a cast of 12, our version makes the story more relatable and accurate by modern standards”, says Anu Chopra, who plays Juror 12.

Naimesh Nanavaty, who is veteran of Gujrati theatre in Toronto says “We have had a tremendous amount of freedom to play our roles as we see fit and are only occasionally corrected if our choices didn’t quite fit the context or theme. This has allowed us to really focus on making this a character-driven production. We have spent a lot of time working on our motivations, intent, and relationships with the other jurors. The end product is hopefully a more realistic depiction of personalities, rather than process of jury-trial.”

“Why do you have to watch 12 Angry Jurors? Well, on one side of the table, there is the Righteous indignation in the question of whether they we can really let a 19 year-old boy face death penalty. And on the other side is the question of if we can let a murderer go free. Come give us your verdict.” Jimish concludes.

Hive is welcoming all to witness 12 Angry Jurors,  a gripping jury-room drama about ordinary people who together must come to a life-or-death decision. This profoundly relevant classic play is at once clever, dramatic, and deeply compelling. At the Cyril Clark Theatre, Loafers Lake.