The dozen parts in 12 Angry Women have been cast, and rehearsals got under way in late February. This is a production of ACT (a community theatre), directed by Terry Pratt and produced by Richard Haines. Almost thirty skilled actors came out to audition, and casting was a challenge. It needed to be tailored not only on the basis of acting ability, but with a view to presenting a broad range of character types such as would make up a jury in New York City in the 1950s. The play is a portrayal of the group struggling to come to the life-or-death decision on the guilt of a young man on trial for murdering his father.
The line-up of ‘angry women’ is Pamela Rowe, Justeann Hansen, Laura Stapleton, Barbara Rhodenhizer, Tamara Steele, Jennifer Shields, Marla Haines, Catherine MacDonald, Kate Martin, Margaret Brady, Nancy MacNevin, and Robyn MacDougald. With the ‘not-so-angry one’—the court guard— played by Stage Manager, Sharon MacDonald.
The play doesn’t name the women; the script only shows their numbers — as in Two, Three, Eleven, Twelve. They create their identities by developing their character through the dialogue and acting prowess. “This is exciting…and maybe a bit terrifying,” says Barbara Rhodenhizer. “A dozen characters all on stage for the entire play, with literally no place to hide…you can’t let your character wander, even for a second.”
ACT’s production of 12 Angry Women will be staged from April 26 to May 10 in Charlottetown, North Rustico, Summerside and Georgetown.
Shows: Beaconsfield’s Carriage House, Charlottetown, 7:30 pm (April 26–28, April 27, 2 pm); Watermark Theatre, North Rustico, 7:30 pm (May 2); Eptek Gallery, Summerside, 7:30 pm (May 4); Kings Playhouse, Georgetown, 7:30 pm (May 10).
Ticket information on ACT’s Facebook page, website www.actpei.ca or firstname.lastname@example.org.