Monday, September 14, 2009

Hard Road Theatre Delivers the Drama With 12 ANGRY MEN

Beginning on Oct. 2, Hard Road Theatre Productions, in association with the Highland Arts Council, and sponsored by Tom Hill and Burroughs, Hepler, Broom, MacDonald, and Hebrank of Edwardsville will be presenting the classic piece of American drama, 12 Angry Men.

The show is directed by Tom Varner, with assistance from Sarah Connor. The cast includes Jami Hirsch of St. Jacob, Philip Herlitz of Maryville, Adam Betz of Alton, Gentry Herlitz and Megan Rauh of Collinsville, John Goldsmith and Linda Collman of Greenville, and Highland residents John Volker, Elaine Guillot, Jeff Eye, Bill Sullivan, Rob Bowman, and John Taylor.

Varner said that, “One of the great things about this play is that it really shows what a great system we have in this country and how wise the founders were in establishing the 7th Amendment in the Constitution. It might not be a perfect system, but most of the time it works.” A former English teacher, Varner used the play as part of the curriculum in some of his classes. “The original teleplay for 12 Angry Men was written in 1954. When I first taught it in my classes I thought most of the students would be turned off. Instead, it ended up being one of their favorite things we studied. A lot has changed since 1954, but the show is just as relevant now as it was then. It really speaks to people no matter where they come from or where they are in life.”

Performances of 12 Angry Men are scheduled for 7:30p.m.on Oct. 2, 3, 9, & 10 and for 2:00p.m.on Oct. 4. All shows will be held at the Highland Elementary Auditorium at 1800 Lindenthal Ave., Highland, IL.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $6 for children. Tickets are available at the auditorium one hour prior to each performance. All seating is general admission.

Adapted by Sherman Sergel from the Oscar-nominated movie by Reginald Rose and starring Henry Fonda, 12 Angry Men is an intense drama set in July 1959. A jury gathers after a murder trial to deliberate and decide the verdict of an accused teenager. The case appears to be open-and-shut as most of the jurors seem convinced the accused is guilty. However, one juror isn’t convinced beyond a reasonable doubt and begins to open the others’ eyes to the weakness of the case. The jury room soon becomes a tense and heated place as each of the jurors face their own prejudices, failures, and shortcomings as they struggle to reach a unanimous verdict.

Hard Road Theatre Productions is a non-profit theatre organization committed to providing the larger Highland area with high-quality, affordable, live productions. For more information about 12 Angry Men , Hard Road Theatre, or further ticket information, visit the Hard Road website at or call 618-654-7748.

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