A director’s wish comes true

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By Kirsten Laskey

It appears to be an open-and-shut case. A 19-year-old man is being tried for stabbing his father and most of the members of the jury seem to agree that the man is guilty. All except for one.

When Courtney Lounsbury watched this plot unfold in the movie, “12 Angry Man,”  she knew that someday she needed to be a part of this story. “My basic reason, of all things, is the movie version is my all-time favorite movie,” Lounsbury said. Her wish was fulfilled when she became the director of the Los Alamos Little Theater’s production of “12 Angry Man.”

Lounsbury explained why this story appeals to her, which first appeared as a teleplay by Reginald Rose in 1954 and then adapted by Sherman Sergel, “it’s a phenomenal piece. It’s a piece that shows a very complex picture of the human mind.”

When the audience watches the play, they will be able to see pieces of themselves reflected in the 12 jurors.

Even though the original story was written in 1954, “it still echoes and resonates in the human mind,” Lounsbury said.

She added, “I want people to enjoy themselves. Come and see it and enjoy the show … secondly, if (you) are going to take any message away from this (it would be) nothing is black and white.”

TJ Severinghaus, who is co-producing the play along with Manuel Baca, added another message is “the guilty is not necessarily fact.”

He added it is a show of our own prejudices and our benevolent tendencies.

Although she has acted in numerous plays at the Little Theater, this is Lounsbury’s first time sitting in the director’s chair. “It’s been a great experience (and a) wonderful learning experience,” she said.

As for the cast, Lounsbury described them as “spectacular.”

“I couldn’t be happier with how things have gone,” she said.

Even though the movie is her favorite, Lounsbury was careful not to incorporate it into the LALT’s production.

She explained to do so would be an injustice to the actors and since the movie is such as classic, it cannot be reproduced.

The movie did play somewhat of a role in preparing for the performance. Lounsbury said a screening of the movie was held one night at the theater.

ßYet, she emphasized to the cast to make their performances their own.

“I want them to own the character,” she explained.

“12 Angry Men” opens at 8 p.m. Friday at the Los Alamos Little Theater. It will continue to performed Saturday and Jan. 22, 23, 29 and 30. There will be a 2 p.m. matinee on Jan. 24. Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for seniors and students.