Libertarians, comics and thespians of Central Mass and the North Quabbin prepare to take on 12 Angry Men

  • Liberty Productions players rehearse the justice-themed staged reading in space provided by the Congregational Church of Grafton. Pictured from left: Justin Costa of Warwick; Terry Reed and Ann Reed of Orange; Kyle Hargrove of Worcester; Mark Branson of Westborough; Brian Zakrajsek of Ayer; Jeffrey Labbe of Worcester; Lou Ramos of Clinton; Thomas Sargent of Fitchburg; Scott David Gray of Marlborough; and Director Vivian Eliza Nichols of Grafton. Contributed photo

Staff Report
Published: 8/12/2022 10:50:06 AM
Modified: 8/12/2022 10:46:52 AM

LEICESTER — The idea to do the play had begun with an idle quip from a Massachusetts political official engaging with colleagues. He was likely poking good-natured fun at their third-party’s ostensible demographics. Within a few short months, however, the traveling zinger had become a plan taken on by a wider community, according to a press release.

On the evening of Sept. 10, the Town Hall curtain is poised to rise upon a dramatic debut: fledgling Liberty Productions’ staged reading of “12 Angry Men.”

While Hollywood casting had drawn from its biggest names for feature film versions, Director Vivian Eliza Nichols of Grafton has gathered performers from less predictable realms. Converging from parts of Central Massachusetts and the North Quabbin region, the 14 castmates include fellow active Libertarians, colleagues from Worcester’s standup comedy scene, musicians and theater actors.

The stirring courtroom drama, written by Reginald Rose, had been introduced in 1954 as a teleplay. It was soon adapted for the stage by Sherman L. Sergel, subsequently released in 1957 as a feature film directed by Sidney Lumet, and, 40 years later, remade by director William Friedkin.

The upcoming staged reading aims to approximate a play performance, although not off-book.

Nichols, a long time theater professional, announced auditions for “12 Angry Men” in June. Upon hearing that the political official’s facetious brainchild had taken flight, a delighted associate expressed interest in pursuing the “typecasting” opportunity. He passed the audition.

The Foreman will be played by Terry Reed of Orange; Juror Two, Justin Costa of Warwick; Three, Mark Branson; Four, Kyle Hargrove; Five, Lou Ramos; Six, Charlie Larkin; Seven, Brian Zakrajsek; Eight, Jeffrey Labbe; Nine, Pat Ford; Ten, Thomas Sargent; Eleven, Scott David Gray; Twelve, Ethan White; the Guard, Steven Beck; and the Judge, Ann Reed of Orange.

Town residents Aimee Brigham and Mike Brigham manage business as co-producers and spearheads of the newly formed Liberty Productions.

Leicester Town Hall is located at 3 Washburn Square. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, and — including an intermission — will run until about 10 p.m. General admission tickets cost $10 and, for seniors and students younger than 12, $8. They can be purchased at the door or in advance by visiting https://liberty-productions.ticketleap.com/liberty-productions-presents-12-angry-men/ The intense subject matter may be preferable for mature persons.


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