Over the last few weeks, organizations around Western hosted multiple events ranging from the Diwali Show in downtown to Western United Nation’s first big conference of the year, WesMUN. The diversity of the campus, both in terms of culture and the extent of people’s past experiences, is something that every Mustang should be proud of. There’s something to learn from everyone we meet and all the experiences we have.
I have always been a fan of the theatre ̶ the extensive amount of planning and dedication that goes into directing a play, choosing the script, designing sets and costumes, and finding the perfect actors and actresses to bring the characters to life is possibly one of the most ambitious projects to undertake. I’ve directed a choral play in the past, through which I’ve gained immense appreciation for the efforts of the individuals who dedicate their lives to the arts. I am constantly looking for ways to support local arts groups and see what they have to offer, which is why I spent my Saturday night at the UCC watching the production of 12 Angry Men put on by Theatre Western. I had never read the play or watched the movie before, so I went in with an entirely blank slate, which is not something that happens often considering the degree to which performance reviews circulate online nowadays. I appreciated the directors’ choice to partake in gender-blind casting as the women in this play truly added a much-needed presence to the production. The play focused on the challenges faced by a group of jurors that must make a decision as to the verdict of an accused murderer while confronting their vastly different views on fairness and “reasonable doubt.” Nobody wants to do the wrong thing, but sometimes identifying the “right” thing to do is not as straight-forward.
While watching the intense drama unfold before me, I couldn’t help but wonder what I would do in the position of one of the jurors. Would I believe that a boy murdered his father out of rage, like the tomato red man sitting on my right, or would I see a boy who was caught in the middle of an unfortunate situation, like the level-headed woman sitting to my left? When case facts are presented to you rationally, through sound reasoning and solid evidence, it can be difficult to see past them. I found myself going back and forth on my own personal verdict as each party presented their arguments. It takes a special kind of critical thinking to keep an open mind and process all the information you are presented. 12 Angry Men did a fantastic job of portraying the internal struggle to remain objective and consider all the possibilities, even when your heart is telling you otherwise.
I’m really looking forward to seeing the spring production and other artistic endeavors throughout the year. If you’re looking for something fun to do, take a look at upcoming events on campus; with hundreds of clubs and organizations, there’s bound to be a show, dance, conference, or competition that’s perfect or you.