By Sarah Pride
Patrick Henry College
This semester, Patrick Henry College’s student-run drama group, Eden Troupe, is putting on two plays instead of its normal, single production. Senior David Carver is directing Twelve Angry Men, with performances February 20-23 at 7pm, while seniors Kaylyn Carlson and Anne Corda are currently assembling cast and crew for Wodehouse’s Leave It To Psmith, which is scheduled for later in the semester.
Originally, Eden Troupe had intended Twelve Angry Men for Fall ’07, but after auditioning and selecting the cast, they found that it would take too long to obtain the rights for performance.
“It was a three-month project to get the rights,” says Carver, who is already displaying the hurried air typical of an Eden Troupe director. “When we found out over Christmas break that we had the green light, we decided, why not go ahead in the spring? One member of the original cast backed out, but we found a substitute. The guys started memorizing script on an intense time frame. It’s really encouraging to watch them improve.”
Twelve Angry Men, a short (less than an hour and a half) play by Reginald Rose, explores the importance of the American justice system. Twelve jurors hold in their hands the fate of a young man accused of murder. All that is keeping him from summary execution is the conviction of Juror 8 that justice must be preserved.
“The play is about how prejudice and bias can obscure rationality, and about how important it is to keep them out of the justice system,” Carver explains. “What’s at stake is someone’s life and property.”
Tickets are currently on sale in the PHC Bookstore, phone number (540) 338-8804. They cost $8 for the 20th and 21st, and $10 for the 22nd and 23rd. A limited amount will also be available for sale at the door, starting at 6:00, an hour before the show begins.
The semester’s other Eden Troupe production, Leave It To Psmith, is a romantic comedy by P.G. Wodehouse, involving feckless fops, lovely young ladies, a set of diamonds, and an entire rash of scheming persons intent on purloining the latter. Directress Kaylyn Carlson declares that it “provides a nice contrast” to Twelve Angry Men. More details will be forthcoming in late March, as play dates approach.