Standing Room Only (SRO) Theater Group’s production of “12 Angry Men”
– Dazzling drama sizzles The Triad Theater’s stage
Yelm Community Theater keeps evolving, getting better and better, and nowhere else was this demonstrated than what I witnessed last night in the final dress rehearsal of Reginald Rose’s “12 Angry Men.” Although all of the shows here deserve a standing ovation, I reserve that for truly stand-out productions and this was one that received my accolade. Not since 2011’s Annie Get Your Gun have I given a standing ovation.
Produced by Kellie Petersen, Directed by Kevin McManus in his first SRO Directorial stint, this show dazzled in the complexity and focus required of all of the actors’ performances, as this was an immensely dialogue-heavy script, requiring each to be on-queue with their lines. Most all of the performers are known to Yelm audiences, yet there were several new faces that took commanding roles and did remarkably well among the talent of such veterans as Dave Champagne, Daniel Wyman, and Bob Corl. Each of these 12 performers studied their characters well and authentically executed their nuances for the audience. And the New York accents that emerged from some of the cast added to the show’s authenticity. The use of background sound from busy New York streets heard from the open set window was a subtle and effective prop.
McManus told the Yelm Community Blog that he designed the set to be drab yet all-encompassing, not unlike the conditions as set forth in the 1954 television show and subsequent 1957 movie. He wanted the audience to be part of the room, feel the tensions and heat in the confined space with those 12 jurors before air conditioning was widespread, conveyed brilliantly with The Triad Theater’s close-to-the-stage seating. This was McManus’s first directorial position here since 2003-2004 with another production company and in that time, he has become quite the talented thespian, with such skills translating perfectly to his outstanding directorial debut for SRO! McManus added that there is a big difference in working with inexperienced actors vs. the vast experience of this cast, who knew what they were doing and could easily integrate his knowledge and direction in such demanding performances. Indeed, Champagne and Wyman, who both have a huge stage presence, were cast in roles requiring them to be more reserved than with previous characters they have played, which demonstrated the diversity of their talents. And Bob Corl’s character required him to utilize all of his experience for a very emotional performance, which he accomplished brilliantly. I was very pleased to see Shilo Wilson and Ian Montgomery continue to evolve their stage presence in this play, with Montgomery enunciating his character absolutely precise in his timing, the way he walked, his expressions, and demeanor. He really shined in this role.
– Yelm Community Theater garners the attention of locally-owned businesses & City Hall
Standing Room Only (SRO) Theater Group’s founder Nancy Tribush Hillman was beaming in the audience last night. She told this blogger she is very proud of what this cast and crew have accomplished. Hillman has been an uncompromising champion for creating and marketing the talent here in Yelm community theater for over 2 decades now. While most of the former leaders of this town turned their backs on this fine asset in their midst, such is no longer the case, as Interim Mayor JW Foster penned a very nice acknowledgement in the program about the value of community theater. FINALLY, we have a mayor in our River City as proud of our local talent as Mayor Shinn in Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man. And locally-owned Crowe Law again sponsored this show, where City Councilor Molly Carmody is employed alongside her husband Dan Crowe, which demonstrate a synergy is finally coming to fruition that was always Hillman’s dream – the performing arts supported by our town’s government leaders and local business owners. Hillman never gave up. BRAVO Nancy, as she also deserves our standing ovation!
– This is the 60th Anniversary of the release of Reginald Rose’s “12 Angry Men”
“On a hot summers day twelve men and women, middle-aged, white and generally of middle-class, are uncomfortably brought together. After hearing the facts they must deliberate in a seemingly open-and-shut murder trial. As the jurors try to reach a unanimous decision, one juror casts considerable doubt on elements of the case. Personal issues rise to the surface, and conflict threatens to derail the delicate process that will decide the fate of a 19-year-old man from the slums. Will he live or will he die?
Sponsored by Crowe Law, Directed by Kevin McManus and performed at The Triad Theater, in Yelm,” quoting SRO.
Show dates & Times: Fri/Sat May 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 at 7:30pm; Sun May 7, 14, 21 3pm.
Click here to purchase tickets.
– DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!
This show must close on Sunday, May 21 and will not be extended. Buy your tickets now!