April 29, 2023

The Concordia Nebraska Theater Department performed three showings of “12 Angry Jurors” from March 31-April 2.

The play depicts a group of 12 jurors in a room as they debate whether a young man is considered innocent or guilty of murder. Emotions arise and the true personalities of the jurors come to the surface while they discuss their decision.

“We cast this spring mainstage at the end of the fall semester during the last week of classes,” said Director and Professor of Communication and Theatre Arts Bryan Moore. “We usually have two days of auditions for mainstage shows: a general audition for all students to try out, and a callback audition for those we need to see again.”

The “12 Angry Jurors” play was originally a movie, and movies use different tactics for audience engagement than a play. Movies are able to switch angles giving the audience different perspectives of a scene, whereas in theatre, the audience sees the entire cast from a singular perspective for the entire performance.

“The performance was a lot of fun and we received great feedback,” said junior Michelle Hernandez. “This is definitely the biggest role I have played, but Bryan Moore did a great job in not only helping me figure out exactly how to play the role, but how to memorize so many lines.”

The cast was challenged to not only understand their characters but to also keep the audience engaged throughout the performance. Rehearsals were five days a week and two hours long over a couple of months.

“I am so incredibly proud of how well our cast did,” said junior and assistant director Chloe Wells. “It took time to learn the lines but once it connected with the blocking and the audience, they did such an amazing job.”

Wells has been a stage manager in the past and received the opportunity to experience more of the work on the director’s side while also giving notes and helping out the cast.

“It was a challenging show when you consider the actors have to stay onstage for so long and maintain focus on the conversation around them,” said Moore. “The actors worked hard on their dialogue and the complexities of their characters, particularly to show the many interpretations of being ‘angry’. I’m proud of how well they shared this important story.”

Cast and Crew for 12 Angry Jurors

Cast: Luke Lang, senior, Brentwood, Calif., playing Foreman/Juror #1; Abby Van Velson, junior, Broken Bow, Neb., playing Juror #2; Leigha Meyer, senior, Fenton, Mo., playing Juror #3; Adam Prince, junior, O Fallon, Mo., playing Juror #4; Owen Anson, freshman, Staplehurst, Neb., playing Juror #5; Sara Erickson, freshman, Omaha, Neb., playing Juror #6; Laura Hellwege, senior, Edmonton, Ala., playing Juror #7; Michelle Hernandez, junior, Schuyler, Neb., playing Juror #8; Abigail Joers, senior, Lee’s Summit, Mo., playing Juror #9; Elizabeth Ascher, sophomore, Sioux Falls, S.D., playing Juror #10; Harley Storie, sophomore, Valley Park, Mo., playing Juror #11; Jaden Graczyk, freshman, Rockville, Neb., playing Juror #12; and Micah Henschen, sophomore, Bancroft, Neb., playing Guard

Crew: Alexa Hatcher, staff, Costume Design; Hannah Kruse, freshman, Hutchinson, Minn., Sound Design and Show Crew (lights and sound); Harley Storie, sophomore, Valley Park, Mo., Poster Design; Robert Olson, staff, Scenery and Props Head Supervisor; Eleanor Clausing, junior, Seward, Neb., Technician for Scenery and Props; Ernest Clausing, freshman, Washington, Mo., Technician for Scenery and Props; Katherine Hare, freshman, Bennington, Neb., Technician for Scenery and Props; Chloe Wells, junior, Concordia, Mo., Assistant Director and Technician for Props; Esther Langness, senior, Englewood, Colo., Technician for Scenery and Props; Anne Aschmann, sophomore, Seward, Neb., Technician for Costumes, Hair and Makeup; Lydia Eliason, senior, Grand Island, Neb., Technician for Costumes, Hair and Makeup; Julie Oetting, sophomore, Belvidere, Ill., Technician for Costumes, Hair and Makeup; and Krishanti Jones, sophomore, Wood River, Ill., Stage Manager and Show Crew (backstage)

Concordia University, Nebraska, founded in 1894, is a fully accredited, coeducational university located in Seward, Nebraska, which currently serves more than 2,500 students. Concordia offers more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in an excellent academic and Christ-centered community that equips men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world. For more information, visit cune.edu.