(Cheviot, Ohio) Sellout performances are becoming more and more frequent at Cheviot’s own community theatre, The Drama Workshop.
Over the last three productions, the award-winning theatre company has sold out 13 times, with attendance running a staggering 40% over last season. The trend is continuing with their current production, the highly acclaimed courtroom drama, “Twelve Angry Men”, by Reginald Rose. The production is headed up by Don Volpenhein, and is produced by Betsy Obermeyer.
Before such programs as “CSI” and “Law and Order” became popular, “Twelve Angry Men” took us inside the courtroom. Originally aired as a live broadcast in 1954, “Twelve Angry Men” was quickly adapted to feature film in 1957, starring Henry Fonda, Jack Warden and Lee J. Cobb. The play and film have been restaged a number of times over the intervening 60 years, including a 1997 TV movie starring George C. Scott. It remains no less relevant today.
The defense and the prosecution have rested and the jury is filing into the jury room to decide if a young man is guilty or innocent of murdering his father. Locked into the small, claustrophobic jury room on a stifling hot summer day until they come up with a unanimous decision, this compelling, provocative play examines the twelve men’s deep-seated personal prejudices, perceptual biases and weaknesses, personalities, cultural differences, ignorance and fears – all of which threaten to taint their decision-making abilities, cause them to ignore the real issues in the case, and potentially lead them to a miscarriage of justice.
Cheviot resident Jim Meridieth plays Juror Number Six. “I am very impressed with the talent that surrounds me in this production,” he said. “Although it has been years since I have been on stage, I cannot recall being part of a process where each practice improved from each session to the next. Everyone has been very friendly, supportive, talented and professional.”
Bill Keeton, appearing as Juror Number Eight, agrees. “Don’s direction is an inspiring mix of guidance and suggestion, and the overall chemistry is electric. It’s been a great experience.”
“Twelve Angry Men” concludes this weekend, with performances on March 21 and 22 at 8 pm, and a matinee performance on March 23 at 2 pm. Tickets may be purchased through the TDW ticket line at 598-8303, or online at thedramaworkshop.org. All seats are $15.00.
The Drama Workshop’s 2013-2014 season concludes with the hilarious hotel comedy, “Suite Surrender”, running May 2 through 18.
The Drama Workshop performs at The Glenmore Playhouse, formerly the Glenmore Bowl, at the corner of Glenmore and Gamble in the heart of the Cheviot Business District. There are many options for dinner and drinks within a short walk from the Playhouse. TDW received a prestigious Rehabilitation Award from the Cincinnati Preservation Association last November for their efforts to save the building from demolition and repurpose it. The Glenmore Playhouse also recently installed new theatrical seating for the audience’s comfort.
THE DRAMA WORKSHOP was founded in 1954. TDW is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to advancing education and promotion of the theatrical arts. Based at the newly renovated Glenmore Playhouse in Cheviot, The Drama Workshop is widely recognized as one of greater Cincinnati’s most accomplished community theater organizations, garnering dozens of awards annually from the Cincinnati Association of Community Theatres. TDW productions have been regularly selected to represent the Southwest Ohio region at the Ohio Community Theatre Association annual conference, and TDW was also honored to represent the state of Ohio at the American Association of Community Theatre conference in 2013. Prospective members, and individuals or businesses interested in becoming involved or in helping advance TDW’s mission are encouraged to contact the group through our website at thedramaworkshop.org, or by phone at 513.598.8303.