As February approaches, so does Stella Maris College Play. Considering how involved I was in our 2010 and 2011 productions, it was strange to sit in the audience for the 2012 play. It is equally disconcerting to watch as my juniors carry on the tradition, without me and my batchmates, and – I would think – do an excellent job without us in the 2013 edition.
At least this time, I know only one-third of the cast and crew. We made the Edouard Michelin Auditorium of the Alliance Francaise of Madras our own in 2010, and maintained that sense of ownership until last year; this year, they’re moving to the Museum Theatre, Egmore. The script is not a self-scripted comedy, a marked difference from the three productions I just mentioned – instead, it’s a story touching on matters of law and justice, democracy, and the personal motivations of twelve ordinary individuals who have less interest in doing their duty than in getting on with their own lives. It’s an adaptation of much acclaimed TV drama 12 Angry Jurors.
Now, I’ve never watched this show. Don’t tell anyone, but I’d never even heard of it. I can tell you what I’ve been told about the script, and that’s about it:
A 19-year-old boy has just stood trial for the fatal stabbing of his father. “He doesn’t stand a chance.” mutters the guard as the 12 jurors are taken into the bleak jury room. It looks like an open-and-shut caseâ€”until one of the jurors begins opening the others’ eyes to the facts. “This is a remarkable thing about democracy,” says the foreign-born juror, “that we are notified by mail to come down to this placeâ€”and decide on the guilt or innocence of a man, of a man we have not known before. We have nothing to gain or lose by our verdict. We should not make it a personal thing.” But personal it does become, with each juror revealing their own character as the various testimonies are re-examined, the murder is re-enacted and a new murder threat is born before their own eyes!
I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a strong story to me. It’s a winning premise, and I’m not surprised that this TV drama was acclaimed. I don’t know how my juniors have adapted it, I haven’t watched the play yet or even read the script; but I have nothing but faith in the directors, cast, and those members of crew that I know for sure are involved in this production.
On the basis of that faith, I strongly recommend watching 12 Angry Jurors. After all, you presumably have no bittersweet emotions connected to this franchise. You presumably have not spent your two really good years of life loving the play with all your heart, only to have to leave it behind when you graduate. You, presumably, care at least a little about theatre, as do I and the current students of my former college, my juniors.
That would be why you should go for 12 Angry Jurors. Because I can’t promise a barrel of laughs, as I did in 2010, 2011, and 2012, but the Stellar Players will put up a good play, at least up to the general theatre experience you could expect in Chennai, if not higher. That much, on the basis of my faith in my juniors, I can promise.
So come for 12 Angry Jurors! Details below:
Venue: The Museum Theatre, Egmore
Date: 2nd and 3rd February
Time: 7:30pm (2nd) 3:30pm & 7:30pm (3rd)
Tickets: Rs. 150, Rs. 250 & Rs. 500
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/12AngryJurors.SMC?ref=stream
In association with: Crea-Shakthi
Directorial Guide: Dushyant Gunashekar
And, as always, good luck to them!