Saturday, August 3, 2019

12 Angry Jurors

Having sketched a dress rehearsal for 12 Angry Jurors based on 12 Angry Men written by Reginald Rose I decided to also sketch on opening night. The jury box was reserved for audience members who wanted these front row seats. I decided I wanted to sketch the jury box and the cast, so I sat where media once sat during trials of the past. Behind the jury box, a small stage was set up for photographers and presumably court artists.

For this performance I knew when members of the jury would change seats so it gave me an advantage to catch each member of the cast in my sketch. Again the jury had to deliberate about the fate of a youth who was being tried for the murder of his father. When the jurors first entered they immediately took a vote with 11 votes of guilty and 1 vote not guilty. Elaitheia Quinn gave a strong performance as juror 8 who had doubts about the prosecutions case. She was seen as a bleeding heart liberal by Juror 3 (Rich Somsky) he got so angry at her reasoning and doubts that he could have punched her had others not stopped him.

Director Robin Olson did an amazing job casting this show. The show was set in the 1970s and the costuming reflected that time period. These were no longer just 12 angry men but an evenly split 6 men and 6 women. Each jurors age and cultural background brought a fresh perspective to the facts as presented in the trial. For instance when discussing how a switch blade is used juror 5 (Scott Browning) came from a disadvantaged neighborhood and had witnessed a knife fight in his back yard.

An added layer of drama came because I was seated next to the History Museum's chief curator, Pam Schwartz who is in charge of preserving this courtroom which is considered an delicate artifact from Orlando's past. The courtroom had been lovingly restored after a fire in the past. Some fire damage could still be seen on the floor. When a cup of water spilled on the table during jury deliberations she cringed. Elaitheia quickly mopped it up with tissues incorporating that into the natural flow of the show. When juror 3 punched the wall Pam cringed again. These jurors were so angry, they just might start throwing chairs, but it never went that far. After the show she inspected the table to be sure there was no damage.

Every juror was on edge. Anger bubbled over and they fought bitterly with the youths life in the balance. Racism and bigotry surfaced in Juror 10 (Rose Lamarre) and the rest of the jurors drew away from her as she spit out her monologue of hatred. Our president is embracing hatred and racism as the foundation of his campaign in 2020 making this show incredibly resonant. Thunder rumbled and ran pelted the courthouse. Outside the pavement was wet.

This is a great show in a great space with an important message. Don't miss it.

12 Angry Jurors
The Orange County Regional History Center 65 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801.
Remaining show dates:
Saturday,  August 3 – 7:30pm 
Sunday,    August 4 – 3:00pm 
Thursday, August 8 – 7:30pm 
Friday,     August 9 – 7:30pm 
Saturday, August 10 – 7:30pm 
Sunday,   August 11 – 3:00pm
Tickets are $20 General Admission and $40 for Jury Box Seats. 

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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