12-Pack of Anger

In the vintage courtroom drama Twelve Angry Men, a dozen jurors from all walks of life are charged with the task of sentencing a young Latino man accused of murdering his own father. The case appears to be open-and-shut: The defendant has a weak alibi; the knife he claimed to have lost was found at the murder scene; and several witnesses saw the boy fleeing the scene. After very little deliberation, 11 of the 12 jurors quickly settle on a guilty verdict. Juror No. 8, however, is reluctant to make such a hasty decision without making absolutely sure that the young man is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, seeing as a guilty verdict means an automatic death sentence. As the story unfolds and deliberations continue, it becomes clear that each of the 11 jurors has arrived at a guilty verdict based on prejudice and conjecture rather than any genuine examination of the evidence and testimony.

Originally penned in 1954 by American film and television writer Reginald Rose as a teleplay for Studio One — a CBS drama series — Twelve Angry Men was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Henry Fonda three years later. Rose didn't write a stage version until 1964, and it was tailored for a Broadway stage for the first time in 2004 by Roundabout Theatre Company. Roundabout brings a new touring production of Twelve Angry Men to town for an eight-show run at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center; The Waltons alumnus Richard Thomas stars as Juror No. 8.

Twelve Angry Men, 7:30 p.m. Tues.-Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri., 2 and 8 p.m. Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sun., Oct. 9-14. Carol Morsani Hall, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa, $26.50-$62.50, 813-229-7827, tbpac.org.

Scroll to read more News Feature articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.