Teachers take the stage

HVRHS teachers in “12 Angry Jurors” March 28.

Patrick L. Sullivan

Teachers take the stage

FALLS VILLAGE — Students and members of the community had a chance to see teachers and staffers in a new light during the Housatonic Faculty Theater Society’s staged reading of “12 Angry Jurors” at Housatonic Valley Regional High School Thursday, March 28.

The play, originally called “12 Angry Men,” was written by Reginald Rose and first performed in 1954. It follows jury deliberations in a homicide trial, and addresses topics such as race, prejudice, capital punishment and the burden of proof.

John Christinat (Technology Education) played Juror No. 8, the only juror to vote against conviction at the start of the play.

The primary antagonists are Juror No. 3, played by English teacher Damon Osora, and Juror No. 10, handled by Social Studies teacher Deron Bayer.

The reading took place in Room 133, which is a small amphitheater-style room, or a “thrust stage” in theater terms, with a minimal set. The performers and audience were thus very close.

The show was a fundraiser for the Class of 2027. Bayer is the faculty adviser for the class.

In a phone interview Sunday, March 31, Bayer said as class advisor he is always brainstorming with the students on how to raise funds for senior year activities.

He had also been thinking about establishing a faculty and staff theater group.

This year the stars aligned.

“It was a good excuse” to get the ball rolling on the theater group. Thinking about material, he realized he had the components of the cast of “12 Angry Jurors” at hand.

Bayer shrugged off the title of “director,” preferring “facilitator.”

He said the cast rehearsed a couple days a week for a total of six or seven rehearsals.

The advantage of a staged reading as opposed to memorizing the script is that the show can be ready to go much faster. Plus, the actors all have busy lives.

Bayer said that teachers with little or no formal dramatic experience are more ready to make the leap than they might think.

“Teachers are on stage all the time.”

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