Actors of “12 Angry Jurors” reveal their raw talent and passion: Theatre Review

 From left to right is Yvonne Rubio (Juror #12), Ariana Sanchez (Juror #11), Ryon Soovajian (Juror #10), Krysta Tillett (Juror #9), Eddie Lillie (Juror #8), Olivia Ellis (Juror #7), Hailey Scott (Juror #6), Justin Lagunes (Juror #5), Andreia Sales (Juror #4), Jonathan Alaniz (Juror #3), Danielle Ortiz (Juror #2), and Mikaela Rios (Foreman aka Juror #1). Not pictured is Rashonda Taylor who portrayed the Guard

Daniel Pahutan

From left to right is Yvonne Rubio (Juror #12), Ariana Sanchez (Juror #11), Ryon Soovajian (Juror #10), Krysta Tillett (Juror #9), Eddie Lillie (Juror #8), Olivia Ellis (Juror #7), Hailey Scott (Juror #6), Justin Lagunes (Juror #5), Andreia Sales (Juror #4), Jonathan Alaniz (Juror #3), Danielle Ortiz (Juror #2), and Mikaela Rios (Foreman aka Juror #1). Not pictured is Rashonda Taylor who portrayed the Guard

Kaitlyn Valenzuela, Editor

The spotlight shined on theater’s stage on opening night bringing exciting energy and emotion to an anticipated audience. Although the theater department has faced numerous obstacles that could have taken a major toll on the fate of the play, the cast and crew worked together as a team and were able to successfully perform an outstanding show for the community. 12 Angry Jurors told a compelling story of one man’s doubt that transformed a jury’s decision to which the actors did an exquisite job of portraying their characters and bringing them to life.

A dialogue-heavy play is quite the challenge for performers to execute swiftly, especially with no scene changes. However, with a few months of rehearsal and research, the drama kids were practically living in their character’s shoes and showed no issue on stage that could have convinced an audience member otherwise. There was life on the stage that night, making it difficult to break the concentration and attention one had as he or she watched the jurors dispute with so much raw emotion.

Two talented actors stood out that night: Jonathan Alaniz and Eddie Lillie. These two phenomenal actors had the best chemistry on stage and very much let out true emotion on behalf of their strong characters —Juror #3 and Juror #8— which made the play an intense one to watch, making you hold your breath every time they interacted. Their talent and passion were apparent on stage, giving highly impressive performances that are unforgettable and will be the talk among students who witnessed it.

Daniel Pahutan
Juror #10 blocks Juror #3 from attacking Juror #8 as they are the pivotal rivals throughout the play. Jonathan Alaniz (Juror #3) and Eddie Lillie (Juror #8) stole the show on opening night. Their interactions with the other jurors made it an intense experience throughout the night.

Originally, the screenplay is titled 12 Angry Men, the same title as the 1957 film which only consisted of an all-male cast. However, Mrs. Deming took the diversity of the theater department into consideration and altered the script to gender-bend the story. Because it was now both female and male cast, a strong female lead made an impressive statement that reflects the current issue of the power of women in society today.

Andreia Sales (Juror #4) also gave a powerful performance to which she portrayed the female lead of the play. Her character stands up to Juror #3 who presented himself as the “alpha-male” of the jury and argued against anyone who went up against him. But that didn’t intimidate Juror #4. Andreia’s character crushed Juror#3’s pride which undermined his stature and attitude, implying that women can be just as powerful as men in this cruel gender-biased society.

Her amazing performance and power truly shined a spotlight on her as well. It was inspiring to see such a strong female on stage who pushed aside the awful male characters. Not only was it powerful to witness, but it was what made the play emotionally-driven which affected the audience positively.

Every single actor recited their lines in a manner that built a hostile environment that only grew bigger and bigger between their characters. This was all done by the smart choices that had to be made in order to make themselves more convincing and of course, the incredible directing techniques of director Mrs. Deming. It was made clear that her outstanding direction and guidance truly influenced the drama kids.

Daniel Pahutan
Director Annette Deming concentrates on the stage lighting and sound. She managed to do a fantastic job of directing her actors and modified the script to implement a modern twist to the story. The play wouldn’t have made it without her amazing modifications and critical decisions.

Kudos must be given to the entire theater department for withstanding every single obstacle that got in their way that threatened their chance of making it to opening night. From having actors that had the script for months to those who only had it for a week, from having a major leak on the roof of the MPR to losing actors months ago and a week prior to opening night, the cast and crew remained resilient to these troubling factors and still managed to give a breathtaking show for the audience. Through all of this, the actors’ passion was visible on stage and gave it their all in their performances.

12 Angry Jurors has been advanced theater’s best and most thrilling show yet. It is incredible to see what they are all capable of doing and it is no doubt that they are all now stronger as a class and program because of the tough situations they have been through these past few months. Because of its riveting nature of controversy and morality, it can only be wished that there be more show dates so more students and faculty would have had the opportunity to watch such an incredible story.

Daniel Pahutan
The cast bows during their curtain call after an extravagant performance. Their peers, teachers, and parents applause them for their incredible talents and for giving them a good show. The community is once again blown away by the theater department.

The talent of the advanced theater students goes unnoticed. With Reginald Rose’s magnificent story coming to life on the Don Lugo stage, there is no doubt the actors brought justice to its exceptional value. Eagerness for the next production is now at an all-time high and many students are ready to support such a talented group of individuals.