There’s something about a play that sucks you in. It transports you though time and space into a new and exciting moment in time.

It just so happened that Heritage Gateway’s latest play, 12 Angry Jurors, took you to Jury Duty in the summer of 1963. The case seemed clear: a slum kid buys a knife and stabs his father. It was obvious he was guilty, right?

Not exactly.

From the second Juror Eight raised her hand voting Not Guilty in response to eleven votes guilty, you knew this was gonna be rough. You were on a roller-coaster ride through evidence and arguing with so many facts and claims that it was hard not to get swept into things.

An action packed first act found its way into a demonstration given by Eight that completely changed what we had once knew. Everyone was on the edge of their seats when suddenly, Three exploded with a pounce and an echoing “Shut up or I’ll Kill You!”.

Despite the silence inside of the 15 minute intermission following that outburst, we were thrust right back into the action and chaos with a now perfectly split Jury: six votes guilty to six votes not guilty. One by one the final “Guilty” voters admitted the doubt, with Three being the final to fall.

So the boy that once seemed undeniably guilty had, in the end, been given freedom. The thirteen actors in 12 Angry Jurors (twelve jurors and one guard) took a story that no one in the audience knew and convinced them of a reasonable ending, only to have the complete opposite win. Thirteen kids who have never had the misfortune of being in a jury perfectly displayed something so familiar yet so original. And because of their intense rehearsal and brilliant director/teacher Mr. Garner, they captivated everyone who stepped into their Jury Room.

So if you didn’t get the chance to see this monumental production, you missed one heart-stopping show. But this has become the standard of the Heritage Gateway actors, and we’re not gonna let you down any time soon. It only get bigger from here, with next semester’s Moby Dick – Rehearsed. You won’t want to miss this.

Here the cast of 12 Angry Jurors poses for a cast picture after another successful show. The cast is Front: Bella Cleveland as Number 11, Madi Cleveland as Number 2, Lanie Cook as Number Five, Stacy Brinson as Number 4, Faith Petersen as Number 8. Back: Shea Johnson as Number 7, Tristan Manha as Guard, Victoria Smith as Number 1, Connor Kunz a stagehand, Daniel Tietjen as Number 9, Brennan Reh as 12, Joy Wheeler as Number 6, Landon Bowman as Number 3. Very Back: Jonas Francis as Number 10.