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C-N alumni help bring “12 Angry Jurors” to life on the stage

A local  theater production inspired by the award-winning “12 Angry Men” teleplay and feature film brings the talents of three C-N alumni together.

Presented by Jefferson City’s Legacy Theatre, “12 Angry Jurors” opens Aug. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Heritage Fellowship Church. The performance is directed by 2021 theatre graduate, Iris Otley, and features 2018 alumnus Caleb Dean and 1996 alumnus Scott Waisner as two of the 12 cast members.

For Dean, who also serves as Carson-Newman’s administrative assistant for institutional effectiveness, acting in such a performance is a first. He says the opportunity to be a part of the production was just too hard to resist.

“I felt like it was something God led me to do. Over the years I’ve seen shows at Carson-Newman, Encore in Morristown, and every time I would see a show, I would think ‘Gosh! I want to do that.’ But then I never do” Dean said, citing bad timing or other circumstances that prevented him from taking part.

This time it was different. “I felt like it was something God led me to do,” Dean said. It was a church sermon on Peter’s walk on the water from the Book of Matthew that got his attention. “The angle our presented was when the Lord may be calling us out of the boat in faith and to step into something that we might not normally do.” He recalls that it was after that sermon that he approached Otley about auditioning.

Dean says stepping out of his comfort zone resulted in an opportunity he’s not likely to forget.

“Iris is a great friend of mine. So, to get to be under her directing has been really awesome,” he said. “Just seeing creativity coming out of me that I didn’t know I has been such a blessing. It’s been so much fun.”

“12 Angry Men” appeared as a teleplay in 1954 and was rewritten a few years later into a feature film under the same name. The film was selected by the American Film Institute as the second-best courtroom drama ever, behind only “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The play contemplates the huge responsibility of 12 ordinary people as they consider the guilt or innocence of a young man accused of murder.

Along with the Aug. 5 opening, the play will also be presented at 3 p.m. on Aug. 6-7 and Aug. 13-14. A 7:30 p.m. performance is offered on Aug. 12. Tickets can be purchased by calling or texting 865-476-8282, or by visiting: www.legacytheatre.us

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