A duty to participate : a dramaturg’s approach to Twelve Angry Jurors.


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In 1954 the teleplay by Reginald Rose Twelve Angry Men premiered on CBS’s Studio One anthology series. It was an immediate stand-out in the works of the already boundary breaking Rose. The story about the power of one person to stand up against seeming insurmountable odds to seek mercy for a stranger struck a chord with audiences that would carry it to a permanent place in popular culture. Like the rest of Rose’s work, it used the legal system as a device to examine the responsibilities we have to each other. Multiple stage versions were developed to bring the story to live audiences in the decades since. This thesis examines the production process surrounding the October 2022 Baylor Theatre production of Twelve Angry Jurors. It explores the playwright’s life and work, and the history of the development of the script from which we worked. It then details my role as the dramaturg in this process while explaining theory of dramaturgical practice.