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Six newcomers to mark MLT debut with Twelve Angry Men'

By Staff
Special to The Star
Jan. 21, 2001
Six newcomers to the stage are among the cast selected for Meridian Little Theatre's "Twelve Angry Men," the third play of the 2000-01 season.
The powerful drama involves 12 jurors locked in a court house room to determine the fate of a teen-ager accused of murdering his father. The evidence seems overwhelming against him, but one juror has his doubts and tries to steer the others to a different and exciting conclusion.
Newcomer Robert Elliott won the role of the quiet, thoughtful man who sees all sides of every question. The role has been played by Henry Fonda and Jack Lemmon. Elliott is a systems analyst with a local firm.
Scott Carmichael, another newcomer to the stage, received the part of the stock broker, a wealthy man of position. Carmichael is a banker with AmSouth.
The part of Juror No. 12 went to Mike Strahan, another newcomer. Strahan, an attorney with Bourdeaux and Jones, plays a young, bright advertising man.
Rounding out the list of newcomers are Jake Mardis, who will portray a loud, flashy salesman. Michael Wheeler, a Peavey engineer, received the role of Juror No. 5, a guy on the streets who takes his obligations very seriously.
Bill Bolton of Newton will play Juror No. 6, a honest man who comes to his decisions slowly and carefully. Mark Barrett of Meridian received the role of the guard.
Veteran actors returning to the MLT stage for the classic drama are Bob Jenkins and Billy Melton.
Jenkins will co-star as Juror No. 3, an intolerant man who forces his opinions on others. Jenkins is manager of Bonita Lakes Mall.
Melton will portray Juror No. 9, a mild, gentle older man who seeks the truth in the case.
Receiving the role of the humble refugee from Europe is David Miller. Miller, a long-time star at MLT, lives in Decatur.
Juror No. 2, a nervous young man easily swayed, will be portrayed by Drew Torgerson, a student at Meridian Community College.
Dr. Jack Hall received the part of the foreman, a man who has to hold the jury together and has some difficult moments at times doing so. Hall is a local chiropractor.
Derek Pouncey, a teacher and coach with the Meridian Public School District, received the difficult role of Juror No. 10, an angry, bitter man who antagonizes almost at sight.
Haley Williams, a spokesman for the MLT casting committee, said the theater and its director had wanted to interest some new blood in this play.
According to MLT Resident Director Jimmy Pigford, the thrilling jury room confrontation in which an apparently "open-and-shut-case" builds suspense as jurors become tangled in opinions. Tempers grow short, argument heated and the jurors become 12 angry people.
The absorbing, tense drama by Reginald Rose opens March 1 with seven performances. Pro-rated memberships and single guest tickets are available.
For more information, call 482-6371, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays.