Back in 1954, when Reginald Rose wrote the classic courtroom drama 12 Angry Men, the title was meant to be taken literally: Women were not allowed to serve on juries in many US states. When the play is performed nowadays, it’s usually presented with a mixed-gender cast. But from April 5 to 8 this year, schools, community centers, universities and regional theaters all across America are going to be staging all-female performances of the play with the aim of increasing voter registration and empowering women as participants in local, state and national politics.
In our region, the Department of Theatre Arts at SUNY-New Paltz is getting on board the national “12,000 Voices” movement with a single performance of 12 Angry Men at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 7 in the Studley Theatre, located in the Old Main Building on campus. Under the direction of faculty adjunct Sandie Luna, the cast will include Sandy Christian, retired psychotherapist and wife of college president Donald Christian, as well as four Theatre Arts faculty members, seven current students and two alumnae.
Following the reading, volunteers from local and national organizations will be on hand to work with attendees to file or update voter registrations, and to facilitate conversations about increasing voter turnout and supporting women’s direct participation in the political process. Admission is free and all are invited.
All-female cast performs 12 Angry Men, Sunday, Apr. 7, 3 p.m., Free, Julien J. Studley Theatre, Old Main Building, SUNY-New Paltz. For information about the nationwide 12,000 Voices campaign, visit https://12000voices.com.