TWELVE ANGRY MEN Opens At Palm Beach Dramaworks On December 9

PBD's production is set during the Eisenhower era, in 1954, the year the teleplay premiered.

By: Nov. 22, 2022
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TWELVE ANGRY MEN Opens At Palm Beach Dramaworks On December 9

The strengths and flaws of the American jury system are laid bare - as are the prejudices and social attitudes of those standing in judgment - in Reginald Rose's classic Twelve Angry Men, which opens at Palm Beach Dramaworks on December 9 (8pm). Performances continue through December 24, with specially priced previews on December 7 and 8 (7:30pm). J. Barry Lewis directs.

Rose made a name for himself in the 1950s as one of the preeminent writers for the Golden Age of Television. He had a passion for social justice, and his best work tended to focus on controversial issues - the kind that could, and often did, make networks uncomfortable, like prejudice and torture.

12 Angry Men (the numeral is used in the title of both the teleplay and subsequent film) was written for the prestigious anthology show Studio One in 1954, and follows 12 New York jurors who deliberate the fate of a teenager accused of killing his father. Eleven of the men are instantly ready to convict, but the lone holdout, Juror 8, compels them to carefully examine the evidence. The teleplay received accolades, and three years later Rose adapted and fleshed out the script, and coproduced the film with Henry Fonda, who played Juror 8. The film script served as the basis for the play, which premiered in London in 1964. It took an additional 40 years for the play to make it to Broadway - two years after Rose's death in 2002.

PBD's production is set during the Eisenhower era, in 1954, the year the teleplay premiered. Although women and people of color were permitted to serve on juries in New York at that time, the jury pools were overwhelmingly made up of white men - and subsequently, so were juries. Rose very deliberately made the choice of an all-white, male jury, and PBD is following his lead. Producing Artistic Director William Hayes and director J. Barry Lewis believe that the makeup of the jury serves to illuminate the fervid battle for gender and racial equality in America in 2022, and illustrate how far the country has and hasn't traveled in the 68 years since the teleplay premiered.

Twelve Angry Men features a cast of PBD veterans: Cliff Goulet (Guard), Tim Altmeyer (Juror 1), Michael McKeever (Juror 2), William Hayes (Juror 3), Gary Cadwallader (Juror 4), Jim Ballard (Juror 5), Matthew W. Korinko (Juror 6), John Leonard Thompson (Juror 7), Tom Wahl (Juror 8), Dennis Creaghan (Juror 9), Rob Donohoe (Juror 10), David Kwiat (Juror 11), and Bruce Linser (Juror 12). Scenic design is by Victor A. Becker, costume design is by Brian O'Keefe, lighting design is by Kirk Bookman, and sound design is by Roger Arnold. David A. Hyland is the fight choreographer.

12 Angry Men launched the film career of director Sidney Lumet, who had directed over 60 TV episodes prior to making his big-screen debut. The movie has inspired many legal professionals, including Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who has said, "It was a very important film in terms of developing me both as a lawyer and subsequently as a judge."

PBD has updated its COVID-19 safety protocols for the 2022-23 season. Patrons are encouraged, but no longer required, to wear masks while in the theatre. Actors will continue to be tested a few times a week, as Actors' Equity Association has rigorous protocols in place for its members. Health documentation is not required, but everyone should make responsible decisions. Anyone who feels unwell should stay home, and contact the box office for ticket exchange options. PBD will continue to monitor the situation and update these policies when necessary. If a mask mandate needs to be reinstituted at any time, ticketholders will be notified in advance of their performance, and the information will also be posted on our website.

Palm Beach Dramaworks is a professional, nonprofit theatre company founded in 2000 and located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach. Each season, the award-winning company produces five mainstage shows and offers a wide variety of programs for students at the theatre, in schools, and online. Committed to fostering the future of theatre, PBD has become a hub for playwrights in Florida and around the country to nurture their work through initiatives including Drama(in the)works and the annual New Year/New Plays Festival. PBD is a member of Theatre Communications Group, Florida Professional Theatres Association, and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.

Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm (except August: Osage County, which are at 7:30pm), and select Sundays at 7:30pm. Matinee performances are on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2pm. Post-performance discussions for all shows except August: Osage County follow Wednesday matinee and Sunday evening performances. Tickets for all performances are $84, except for opening night of each production ($99) and previews ($64). Student tickets are available for $15, and anyone under 40 pays $40 (no additional fees) with a photo ID. Tickets for educators are half price with proper ID (other restrictions apply). Group rates and subscription packages for four or five plays are also available. Tickets can be purchased through the box office, in person or by phone (561.514.4042 ext 2), and online 24 hours a day at

The Don & Ann Brown Theatre is located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach, at 201 Clematis Street. For ticket information contact the box office at (561) 514-4042, or visit