On Oct. 30, 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated the tristate area, especially Long Island. Through the devastation that Sandy caused, a dedicated group of 13 actors made it their business to travel to the Parish Hall at the Community Church in East Williston to put on a performance. Twelve Angry Men opened as scheduled on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2012, to a small audience until the third weekend when word got around town about the success of the play. Afterwards, people who couldn’t attend asked if the Billboard Players would ever consider reprising the play at a later date. Six years later, Twelve Angry Men will return once again to East Williston.
Reginald Rose who made history on television during the 1950s and 1960s has written a hard-hitting play in his Twelve Angry Men. Rose wrote mainly for the television audience and first presented this play in 1954 as a teleplay for the CBS Studio One Anthology television series. The play’s Broadway debut came 50 years later on Oct. 28, 2004, by the Roundabout Theatre Company at the American Airlines Theatre where it ran for 328 performances.
The drama depicts a jury forced to consider a homicide trial. A 16-year-old boy is accused of killing his father with a switch blade knife. There are two very important witnesses: an old man who lives in the apartment beneath where the murder took place, and a woman who lives directly across from the apartment where the murder took place. The jury comprised of twelve men from various backgrounds and education come together and must decide if this young boy is guilty. If he is found guilty, he will be faced with the death penalty. If there is any reasonable doubt on the minds of the jury, they must find him not guilty. A poll is taken after a couple of minutes of entering the jury room and the vote is eleven to one in favor of guilty.
Bob and Charlene Eckhoff are producing the play while Louis V. Fucilo will be directing.
“This is a labor of love,” said Fucilo. “Mainly because of the terrific cast of actors who not only stand tall on talent but because of the teamwork of this group of actors who hail from Queens and Nassau County.”
The jurors are played by Joe Anfora, Andy Minet, Raymond A. Taliercio, Joe Pepe, Joseph Schweigert, Joseph Montano, John Rowe, John Carrozza, Al Carbuto, Michael Wolf, Jonathan Baker and Robert Hertz. Nathan Bischoff appears as the guard.
The play will be uniquely performed in the round with the audience seated around the actors on three sides. The play opens on Saturday, April 14 at 8 p.m. The play will run for eight performances on Fridays and Saturdays, April 14, 20, 21, 27, and 28, at 8 p.m., and on Sundays, April 15, 22, and 29, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 and $12 for senior adults.
As an added feature, on Saturday, April 21, a dinner and theatre package will be available for $25. Dinner will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Church’s dining room followed by the play in Parish Hall.
For reservations for this package as well as all the other performances, call Mark Danielson at 516-746-7356 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Submitted by the Billboard Players