Washington High School to present 'Ladies of the Jury'
Washington High School students, teachers, coaches, volunteers and supporters are busy in a couple of venues this weekend. The Washington Demons football team plays Pella tonight in the state football tournament. The WHS Drama Department, whose first performance of "Ladies of the Jury" was to open tonight will instead open Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. with the second presentation taking place at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, at the Washington Community Theater.
Director Lynnette Loula has chosen a courtroom comedy for this fall's production. She has assembled delightfully talented actors and crewmembers to present "Ladies of the Jury."
The play begins in a New Jersey courtroom in June 1929. Yvette Gordon stands accused of murdering her much older and wealthy husband. That Mrs. Gordon is a French woman and former chorus girl doesn't help her plea of innocence.
The judge, prosecuting attorney and defense attorney are choosing juror No. 12 when the action begins. The 12th juror, Mrs. Crane, arrives with her maid in tow. She hopes her maid can sit next to her in the jury box. Mrs. Crane is a charming socialite who disrupts the proceedings in the courtroom from the moment she enters. She questions the judge, the attorneys and the witnesses and will lead the action in the jury room.
Acts Two and Three take place in the jury room. The first-time vote on Mrs. Gordon's guilt or innocence brings 11 jurors wanting to convict Mrs. Gordon. The lone holdout for a not guilty plea is Mrs. Crane. Needless to say, the other 11 jurors are ready to conclude their duties and go home. Instead they are in for a few more days of deliberations before they agree to a unanimous decision.
In addition to trying to arrive at a 12-to-0 decision, a few jurors cultivate romances, a newlywed bride is ready to go home to her husband, and one juror won't allow the proceedings to continue unless she has a meal.
The pivotal witness is the Gordons' maid, Miss Snow. Was she telling the truth on the stand or did she lie?
MaryKate Horak portrays Mrs. Crane superbly. She has great stage presence and will retain the audience's empathy, from start to finish.
In the courtroom is Judge Fish, played by a commanding Katy Wellington. Kendon Hanson is the prosecuting attorney, Mr. Van Stye, who will be tough to defeat. Doing so will be up to the defense attorney Miss Dale, played by Addie Pacha. She is a great advocate for her client. In the role of the defendant, Mrs. Gordon, is Caitlin Moravek. Her French accent is perfect and her indignation at being assumed guilty is wonderful.
Jerrad Buck is the officer of the court and doubles as a waiter. He has a commanding presence while he tries to maintain the dignity of the courtroom and jury room.
Other cast members who are not on the jury include Cody Chalupa as Dr. Adams, Gracie Cleverly as Suzanne, Kaitlin Rousch as court reporter, Cale Rausch as Mr. Dobbs, and Libby Schnicker, Stacy Ramirez and Maggie Voss as spectators and waiters.
Mr. Pressley is the jury foreman and Devin Parker is forceful in the role. Amber Linnenkamp, in the role of Miss Pratt, is as dominating in her role as is her character on the jury. Miss Mixter enjoys playing the ukulele, which Caitlin Yeggy does well. Miss Tate is a juror with romance on her mind. She is played by Malory VanWinkle whose sweet temperament shines through. Maddie Hora has a wonderful Southern drawl. She is Mrs. Dace, the newlywed bride who just wants to go home to her husband. Abby Tisor plays Mrs. Maguire, one of the quieter jurors. Kyle Basten is Mr. Dazey, a real gentleman. Jiovanni Tapia in the role of Mr. Theodolphulus is a fun juror to watch. Ian Stakland is Mr. Bromm. Reid Basten plays Mr. MacKaig, and speaks with a well-done Scottish accent. Kyle Schindler does a fine job as Mr. Beal.
Dalton Christner is in charge of the scenery. Lisa Hughes works with costumes. The stage manager is Graham Beezley. Tara Gould operates the light board, Brandon Linnenkamp, the soundboard. Nick Gingerich is the assistant stage manager.
Set construction and decoration were done by some members of the cast and Kennedy Hyde, Maggie Voss, and Brandon Linnenkamp.
Tara Gould and Lynnette Kennedy assist with costumes. Gracie Cleverly designed the poster.
The Parent Teacher Organization will offer refreshments.