There are many reasons why I really wanted to be a part of 12 Angry Men and I am still discovering new reasons each week. Having worked with Richard before, I fell in love with his way of directing. Yes, he can be grouchy at times but he has a way of couching that with a patient and deliberate method of encouraging his actors. Asking them how they felt about their scenes and their characters is a refreshing change from some of the detail-oriented and helicopter parent styles of directing I have experienced in the past.
During the last production, I was a part of, Spider's Web, which was also directed by Richard. I had the pleasure of being on stage with my daughter during her first big role. Richard took an immediate liking to her and by the end of the play was so appreciative and complimentary, going so far as to hope that "he lives to see her accept her first Tony award." I couldn't have been more proud of her and more thankful to Richard, the cast, and the Parker Players for providing her the opportunity and positive environment to experience stage acting for the first time. Lots of very proud Dad moments and happy shared memories that will stay with us forever.
I am part of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion focus group at the company I work for. I've found that being a part of this play really adds to the commitment I feel toward equality and civil rights in my community. The visceral feelings I get as my character stands up for his beliefs while arguing against the racism and derision spouted by jurors 3 and 10, affirms my belief that if we stand up to those ugly ideas and people, we can change our world for the better.
Being the Treasurer of The Parker Players and having the privilege of acting in their productions means that I get to be a part of the company's success, other than just accounting for debits and credits. The Board and I have a shared vision of the future for Parker, and we are just getting started on our journey. We have big plans and even bigger goals, not just for ourselves but for the future generations of actors and board members to come.
Finally, the cast. There isn't enough hyperbole to describe these wonderfully talented and supportive gentlemen. I'd like to thank them all for their support during the rehearsal process. Due to my other commitments as my daughter's softball team coach, I missed a lot of rehearsal time, and more importantly, time learning from their expertise. It's truly been an honor.
I cannot wait to get this production on stage and for you, dear reader, to come and see how powerful we are.
Joe Bateman - Juror 11