The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Around Stanly County

October 19, 2012

Uwharrie Players prepare for ‘12 Angry Men’

Friday, October 19, 2012 — The Uwharrie Players (UP) have hired their director, completed auditions, and are now rehearsing for their upcoming production of the drama, “12 Angry Men,” which will open Nov. 2 at the Stanly County Agri-Civic Center.

The director for “12 Angry Men” will be Rod Almond.

Almond has been actively involved with the Uwharrie Players for over a decade. He has appeared in nine UP productions and has previously directed three shows: “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Don’t Cry for Me Margaret Mitchell” and “A High Country Christmas.”

Almond also initiated the Uwharrie Players’ annual holiday radio show in 2004 and has directed six of these productions/broadcasts. Assisting Almond are Kelly Almond as stage manager and Bob Baker as set builder.

“12 Angry Men” was originally written in 1954 by Reginald Rose as a teleplay for the CBS anthology television series, “Studio One.” Rose did not adapt his work to an actual stage play until 2004, when it opened for a successful run on Broad-way.

However, “12 Angry Men” is probably best known for the 1957 motion picture directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb.

“12 Angry Men” tells the powerful and suspenseful story of a jury that is charged with determining whether a young, 18-year-old man is guilty of killing his father or not. What starts out as an obvious guilty verdict for the majority of the jury turns into a much more complicated situation as the play develops. Along the way, this show examines our American judicial system and gives a detailed look at 12 very different characters and how their thinking process evolves.

This show will also mark a first for the Uwharrie Players. In the 37 year history of the Uwharrie Players, they have performed four productions with an all female cast: the two productions of “Steel Magnolias” in 1997 and 2010, and the productions of “Nunsense” in 1995 and “Nunsense II” in 2005. However, “12 Angry Men” will be the first full cast all male show ever produced by the Uwharrie Players. The Players did perform “Greater Tuna” in 2001 as a special two person show, featuring two men. However, “12 Angry Men” will feature a total cast of 13 males.

In fact, there was some concern that the Players would have a difficult time finding 12 men to cast in this show. However, much to director Rod Almond’s delight, 18 men auditioned for roles in “12 Angry Men.” While Almond admits that it was some of the most difficult decisions he has ever had to make in casting a show, he is thrilled that he was able to end up with such a strong and talented cast.

“12 Angry Men” will run Nov. 2-4 and again on Nov. 9-11 at the Stanly County Agri-Civic Center. Friday and Saturday evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. The two Sunday matinees will start at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for adults (ages 22-59) and $12 for seniors (ages 60 and up) and juniors (ages 21 and under).

Advanced tickets are available at Starnes Jewelers in Albemarle and at B&D Book Store in Burleson Square. Tickets will also be available at the Stanly County Agri-Civic Center box office, beginning one hour prior to each performance.

For more information about “12 Angry Men” or the Uwharrie Players, go to www.uwharrieplayers.org or call (704) 983-1020.

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