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Synopsis: Twelve Angry Men

It is 1957, and twelve men have been led into a jury room of a New York City court of law. They are given final instructions about determining the verdict in a murder case whose defendant faces the death penalty if found guilty.

Before deliberations begin, the men take a short break after filing into the hot and stuffy room. They gather around a long table to begin discussions about the case. The defendant, a young man, is accused of killing his father; and, after a preliminary vote, all but one of the jurors presume he is guilty. Juror #8 is the only one who feels differently. Because they must come to a unanimous decision, debates begin. Most of the men are upset and very vocal about the dissenting vote.

It is agreed to go around the table and have each man explain why he believes the young man is guilty, in hopes of convincing Juror #8 to change his mind. They heatedly discuss the known facts of the case; and little by little the personalities, opinions, and biases of each juror become evident. Subsequent votes are taken, and each time there are less and less who still believe the defendant is guilty.

Eventually Juror #3 is the only one left who maintains his original “guilty” vote. He is determined to holdout and make it a hung jury. Will this last juror obstinately stand his ground or can the others convince him otherwise?

Utah Shakespeare Festival
Welcome to the Utah Shakespeare Festival. We hope this Study Guide is helpful. As a note, it is for general knowledge and may not be specifically in reference to our production(s). While you’re here you may want to explore the Festival a bit further. You can learn about this Tony Award-winning theatre company, our plays, and so much more by visiting our home page.

What's On

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Henry VIII

June 17 - September 5, 2024

Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

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RADA 2024 Production

July 30-August 3, 2024

Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

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The 39 Steps

June 22 - October 5, 2024

Randall L. Jones Theatre

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The Taming of the Shrew

June 19 - September 7, 2024

Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

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Silent Sky

July 12 - October 5, 2024

Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

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Much Ado About Nothing

June 21 - October 5, 2024

Randall L. Jones Theatre

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The Mountaintop

July 13 - October 5, 2024

Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

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The Winter's Tale

June 18 - September 6, 2024

Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

© Utah Shakespeare Festival 2024 www.bard.org Cedar City, Utah