ACT is getting ready to hold auditions for its spring production of “12 Angry Women”, which will actually feature 13 female roles.
The play is an adaptation by Reginald Rose and Sherman Sergel of Rose’s famous “12 Angry Men”, which was a hugely popular film and stage production. It is gripping jury-room drama — set in a grubby and steamy courthouse in New York in the 1950s — about the ordinary people who together must come to a life-or-death decision.
Director Terry Pratt says, too often, women not been chosen after a fine audition, simply because so many pieces of classic theatre favour male roles.
“What wonderful variety ‘12 Angry Women’ offers,” he says, as there are three larger roles, five medium and a few fairly undemanding ones — but all of the actors are on stage working their characters throughout the entire play.
There is wide scope for different character types. In fact, the authors purposefully set the jury up to reflect the diversity of society — in terms of age, ethnic background, socio-economic and educational class, political leanings and so on. And while one can’t confidently generalize, this play seems suited to demonstrate that these women express anger, aggression and disagreement differently, and often more subtly, than “12 Angry Men” might do.
The drama will play from April 26 to May 10 at four Island venues — in intimate spaces in Summerside, North Rustico, Charlottetown and Georgetown.
“This is ideal for theatre-in-the-round,” says Terry Pratt. “The jurors sit and move around a central table, and so, surrounded by the audience, there is a cockpit or sports-arena effect that heightens the intensity of the drama.”
Rehearsals begin in mid-February. There will be three a week, but they are carefully planned so that typically most players will not have to be at every rehearsal until the late stages of preparation.
Auditions are Dec. 29, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-4 p.m., and Dec. 30, 2-5 p.m. and 6-8 pm. For audition expectations and a 20-minute time-slot, contact the producer, Richard Haines, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Arrangements can be made, if necessary, for special audition timing before the holidays.