Tiarra Dapo as Juror Three in "Twelve Angry Jurors."
Anna Soppelsa as Juror Five in "Twelve Angry Jurors."
Tiarra Dapo as Juror Three in "Twelve Angry Jurors."
Aethereal Jest Arts Council's production of “Twelve Angry Jurors” is a fresh take on a timeless classic.
Following the closing arguments in a murder trial, the twelve members of the jury must deliberate, with a guilty verdict resulting in death for the accused, an inner-city teen. As the conflicted dozen try to reach a unanimous decision while sequestered in a room, one juror casts considerable doubt on elements of the case. Personal issues soon rise to the surface, and conflict threatens to derail the delicate process that will decide one boy's fate.
As relevant as ever, this critically acclaimed play explores justice, prejudice and the power of every voice. Set in real time during an intense jury deliberation, this modernized production highlights the flaws and biases hindering our legal system. Audience members will leave with an enduring reminder about the importance of empathy and standing up for what’s right.
Director - Leo Bennett
Producer - Brian A. Palmer
Board Representative - Anthony Reitzel
Assistant Director - Hailey Marshall
Stage Manager - Ashley Zarzabel
Assistant Stage Manager - Mackenzie Biemer
Properties Designer - Jaimee Levitt
Special Properties Designer - Ivory Mazul
Stage Combat Coordinator - Hailey Marshall
Light & Sound Board Operator - Jordan Sauer
Foreperson/Juror Number One - Reina Watson
Juror Number Two - Drew Moore
Juror Number Three - Tiarra Dapo
Juror Number Four - Ivory Mazur
Juror Number Five - Anna Soppelsa
Juror Number Six - Julia Cannell
Juror Number Seven - Randi Morgan
Juror Number Eight - Justun Dorsey
Juror Number Nine - Mitchell Spiro
Juror Number Ten - Peyton Drake
Juror Number Eleven - Devon Mushalko
Juror Number Twelve - Gretchen May
Guard/Understudy - Dylan Sedam
Judge/Understudy - Madison Toulmin
Clerk/Understudy - Mackenzie Biemer
Twelve Angry Jurors is a show that has been adapted numerous times over and taught in schools around the globe. I was in 9th grade English when our teacher assigned us each a juror number and we read the play as a class, I was Juror Number Eight. The story stuck with me since then and I’ve been searching for a chance to either be in or direct it, and I am so glad it was with this cast and this production.
When I was given the opportunity, the points that attracted me the most were, a) Aethereal Jest Arts Council was using the public domain script from the original broadcast, giving us the unique ability to adapt the script as we see fit, and b) the producer wanted it to be unlike any production of this show that they have seen before, completely out of the box. And that is exactly what we aimed to do. Together, the cast and crew did numerous read throughs, putting the lines into our own words, riffing and ad-libbing off of each other, all the while maintaining the heart and story of this timeless classic.
This story is not one that is unfamiliar to anybody today, phrases like "I'm entitled to my opinion and you're gonna listen to me." and "a bunch of light-hearted snowflakes" were original lines from 1954 and are still seen today in any comment section for any news article, political event, movie review, selfie, video or anything else you see on the internet. Our modernization of this script and the amazing diversity of our cast, being predominantly female, queer, or BIPOC, helped to add a deeper level to the story that the original production lacked. Not many changes were made, but the ones that were, made the show all the better.
Thank you for joining us and we hope you enjoy the show.
Leo served as the director for tonight's performance. Since moving to Columbus in 2021, he has been a staple of the local theater scene. Leo’s worked with Imagine Productions, Little Theatre Off Broadway, Curtain Players and — most recently — Worthington Community Theatre, where he directed the musical Dogfight. Leo lives with his partner Jonathan, their dog Bowie, and their two cats Robin and Willow.
Assistant Stage Manager, Clerk/Understudy
Mackenzie is excited to be a part of Aethereal Jest Arts Council’s first full length show. Some of her favorite roles have been P.B in One Slight Hitch [Eclipse Theatre Company], Irene Rudolph in Radium Girls, and Snug in A Midsummer’s Night Dream [Curtain Players]. She would like to thank her parents for their continued support and hopes you enjoy the show.
Juror Number Six
Julia is excited to be a part of another show with Aethereal Jest Arts Council and will be playing Juror Number Six in tonight's performance. Past credits include: Joanna in Present Laughter [Curtain Players], Nicky in Smell of the Kill, Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest, and Mariana in The Girlhood of Shakespeare's Heroines.
Juror Number Three
Tiarra will be portraying the role of Juror Number Three in tonight’s performance. This is the first production that she has done with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. Past credits include: Daphne Rain in The God’s of Comedy [Curtain Players], Ensemble/Blind Woman in Disaster [Imagine Productions] and Marie Louise Ducotel in My Three Angels [Curtain Players]. Tiarra would like to thank her husband, mom, family, and friends.
Juror Number Ten
Peyton will be portraying the role of Juror Number Ten in tonight’s performance. He is very excited to be making his debut performance with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. His past credits include: Cliff in Cabaret [Imagine Productions], Mr. Pinchwife in William Wycherley’s
The Country Wife and Sorin in Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull for The Ohio State University's Theatre Department. Peyton would like to thank his family and friends for their continued support.
Jaimee served as props designer for tonight's performance. This is the second production that she has done with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. Past credits include: Props Designer for Jerry Finnegan’s Sister [Eclipse Theatre Company], Props Designer for The Sound of Music [Westerville Civic Theater], and Props Designer for Matilda [Blendon Middle School]. Jaimee would like to thank Menelik for being an amazing partner, Lady for being the best mom a girl could ask for, and Phoebe for always being awesome.
Assistant Director, Stage Combat Coordinator
Hailey is a Wright State University graduate with a BFA in acting. This is her first community production as an assistant director and is having a blast. She is so thankful to Lenny, Ashley and Brian for making this opportunity a great one. She is so happy she could help with this amazing show and cast and is excited for what comes next with Aethereal Jest Arts Council.
Juror Number Twelve
Gretchen will be portraying the role of Juror Number Twelve in tonight’s performance. This is the first production they have done with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. Gretchen was previously in Imagine Production’s production of Disaster! as an ensemble member. Gretchen would like to thank their family and their friends and peers in theatre for their love and support.
Juror Number Four, Special Properties Designer
Ivory is excited to make his Aethereal Jest Arts Council debut with this show as Juror Number Four. New to the Columbus area, but he's definitely not new to the theater scene having 38 years of experience. He's directed, produced, choreographed and acted in countless productions all over the world, including three national tours. Some of his favorites include Evil Dead the Musical, Cabaret, Take Me Out, and A Year with Frog and Toad. Recently, he won a Silver Davie Award for You People, a production for BLM. Pre-covid he served as Master Carpenter and Scenic Designer for a large professional theater company. Currently, he works in Controls for AWS, as well as lending his many talents to various theatres in our area. He wants to thank his fellow cast mates for an awesome and sometimes intimate time with a special shout out to the production team for their support and endless patience.
Juror Number Eight
Justun will be portraying the role of Juror Number Eight in tonight’s performance. This is the first production that he has done with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. Some of his past credits include: Chuck in She Kills Monsters [The Ohio State University], Anon in Anon(ymous) [Arts and College Preparatory Academy], and a ruffian in Mr. Scrooge [Columbus Children's Theatre]. Special thanks to his fiancé Jaylen, his mother, and his Nana.
Juror Number Two
Drew is thrilled to be working with Aetherial Jest Arts Council for the first time with one of his favorite shows. He has been working on and off stage for years now. Some of his credits include: Private Fector in Dogfight, Stokes in Carrie the Musical, and Giles Ralston in The Mousetrap. When Drew is not in shows he can be found at OSU the James working as a Senior Patient Access Coordinator. Drew wants to thank his boyfriend Dylan for joining him in their first show together and also to his fellow cast and crew for making this show something even more special to him
Juror Number Seven
Randi will be playing Juror Number Seven in tonight’s performance. This is the first production she has done with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. Randi’s previous theatre experience includes acting and directing with Roundtown Players and MadLab. Randi would like to thank her husband, Peter Graybeal, for his encouragement and support.
Juror Number Eleven
Devon will be portraying the role of Juror Number Eleven in tonight’s performance. This is her first production with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. Recent roles include Mina Harker in Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy [Actors' Theatre of Columbus], Player Duchess/Voltemar in Hamlet, 1603 [Actors' Theatre of Columbus], Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors [Lord Denney's Players], and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing [Lord Denney's Players]. Devon would like to thank the cast and crew for fostering an environment of creativity and openness throughout the rehearsal process and her parents for steadfastly supporting her artistic endeavors.
Brian A. Palmer
Brian served as the producer for tonight's performance. This is the second production that he has done with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. Past credits include: Director for Tuck Everlasting [Worthington Community Theatre], Director for Nighthawks [New Herring Productions (formerly Red Herring Productions)], and Director for The Fantasticks [King Avenue Players]. Brian would like to thank Anthony, Sarah, and Carri.
Anthony served as the board representative for tonight’s production. He is the current Treasurer and a founding member of Aethereal Jest Arts Council and this is his first production. Anthony would like to thank his husband Brian.
Light & Sound Board Operator
Jordan served as the light & sound boards operator for tonight's performance. This is the second production that she has done with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. Past credits include: Light Board Operator for Present Laughter [Curtain Players], Sound Board Operator for Jerry Finnegan’s Sister [Eclipse Theater Company], and Assistant Stage Manager for One Slight Hitch [Eclipse Theater Company]. Jordan would like to thank her loving fiancé, and her friends and family for their continued support.
Dylan will be portraying the role of the Guard in tonight’s performance. This is the very first production that he has done with Aethereal Jest Arts Council and is his return to the stage since graduating from Capital University in 2021. Past credits include Eddie in Mamma Mia! [Capital University Theatre], Bill in the one act play Sure Thing, and various student films through college. Dylan would like to thank his Mom and Dave, sister Kristin, his grandparents, and his friends for always supporting him and inspiring him.
Juror Number Five
This is Anna’s first show at Aethereal Jest Arts Council but recently she’s appeared onstage at Eclipse Theatre Company, Little Theatre Off Broadway, and Curtain Players. Some of her favorite roles include Chris Gorman in Rumors, Melanie Coleman One Slight Hitch [Eclipse Theatre Company], and Hermia A Midsummer Night’s Dream [Curtain Players]. Anna would like to thank her friends, family and boyfriend for their never-ending support and to everyone who has come out to support the arts. Enjoy the show!
Juror Number Nine
Mitchell is making his first appearance with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. He has been “trodding the boards” in the Columbus area since the early 70’s. He has had the pleasure of working with The Contemporary Theatre of Ohio (formerly CATCO), Columbus Children's Theatre, Players Theatre, Curtain Players, and Little Theatre Off Broadway among others. Favorite roles have been Elwood in Harvey, Charles in Blithe Spirit, Frank Weekend Comedy and Willie Wonka Charlie and Chocolate Factory. He recently dove into the realm of directing with Out of the Box Community Theatre’s Another Dumb Ghost Story. He is honored and humbled to be part of this amazing group of actors and production company. As always, he is grateful for the love and support from his family and friends.
Madison is so excited to be joining Aethereal Jest Arts Council with this performance! She is portraying the role of Judge in tonight’s performance. Madison has previously been seen in Tuck Everlasting (Ensemble), The Election (Tracy Flick), and Murder Can Be Deadly (Mary Jane Doe). Madison would like to thank her incredible husband Andrew for his unending love and support!
Reina K. Watson
Foreperson/Juror Number One
Reina will be portraying the role of Juror Number One in tonight’s performance. This is the first production that she has done with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. Past credits include: Lady in Red in For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Ennuf [Kent State University]. Reina would like to thank her mother Rose Marrero, sister Faith Watson, and Your Lighting Brand.
Ashley served as Stage Manager for tonight’s performance. This is the first production that she has done with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. She is looking forward to directing the upcoming Aethereal Jest show Nine Girls. Past credits include: Director for Young Writers 2021, 2022, and 2023 [MadLab] and Stage Manager for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time [Little Theatre Off Broadway].
Board of Directors
Jonathan Nininger, Chair
Megan Mateer, Vice Chair
Anthony Reitzel, Treasurer
Justin Powell, Secretary
Stephanie Garber, Director at Large
Randi Honkonen, Director at Large
Brian A. Palmer, Ex Officio Director