The unsung heroes of 12 Angry Women


Ariana Martinez

The cast is backlit by lighting directors Cory Gershengorn and Frankie Ferrer during the Nov. 7 dress rehearsal to emphasize the tension of the scene.

While the audience fixates on the gripping tension of Juror #3’s anger and almost fight scene, backstage the tech team is checking microphones, focusing on the actresses lines and relaying information back and forth between the numerous sectors of the team. Stage manager Hilary Pardey sends the need for a lower volume on microphone number four to the sound booth as a yelling scene approaches. Lighting directors Cory Gershengorn and Frankie Ferrer anticipate a scene of tension and begin to prepare their red mood lighting for dramatic effect.

The makeup team waits in the dressing rooms for intermission to touch up the cast. All this goes on while the audience simply takes in the scenes as the actresses perform them. The tech team creates the mood, highlights the talent and emphasizes the story of a theatrical performance, all without the audience being the wiser.

Drama club executed “12 Angry Women,” a take on the 1957 film “12 Angry Men,” only with all women. The film follows 12 jurors in a courtroom as they decide the ruling of a high profile case regarding whether or not a young man killed his father.

While all 12 of these women play their roles on stage, the vital part of this show lies in the tech crew’s makeup, hair, costumes, set, lighting, sound and design.

Tech lead Gaby Kouras manages microphones and prepares the cast for the next scene. She was cast as an understudy for the show, so her role was split by the section heads. Her calm demeanor and knowledge allow everything to run as smoothly as it should, and as perfectly as it did.

“My job was to run tech for the show and making sure everything in the technical aspect of the show ran smoothly and efficient[ly]. I love doing tech; I would definitely say it’s my happy place,” she said.

Junior Hilary Pardey, who is in charge of the stage crew and helps manage publicity, uses her bold personality to get attention of crew and cast alike. She kindly yet firmly critiques everything from the design of a scene to the level of the microphones. As stage crew manager, she runs the people working backstage as the right hand to Kouras and establishes the order of all actresses and  anticipates possible dilemmas that might occur. She maintains order backstage, applies and fixes the cast’s microphones, helps keep control of sets and props and generally assists the cast as they get ready to go on and off stage each night.

“I’m very proud of the tech aspects; they turned out very cool. Tech makes me feel safe in a way. I love acting but it’s always so nerve racking, and I’m always scared of doing the wrong thing and disappointing people. With tech – yes, you can disappoint people, but not if you really study your division and are always on top of the ball. I was really proud of the [show’s] turn out; the girls did an amazing job,” she said.

The makeup team is composed of junior Jon Hernandez and seniors Carolyn Torres and Talia Harris, who transformed the cast into their respective characters. These jurors range from age to style, and without the team’s skill and patience, the characters wouldn’t elicit the reaction they did from the audience. Between the old age of Juror #9 (junior Olivia Philipson), the naive nature of Juror #5 (senior Ashley Shrewsbury) and the boldness of Juror #3 (junior Zoe Petit), this crew’s physical transformations are vital to telling the story.

“Makeup has been my passion for the past two years and it was amazing [to be able] to share my craft,” Hernandez said.

Lighting team members listen to every piece of dialogue and watching every actress’ movement to perfectly time the lighting to emphasize the most important scenes. Through use of a red light during the scenes of conflict, fighting, fear and tension, the lighting captured the true essence of the show. Junior Cory Gershengorn leads the lighting team. 

“I, along with Frankie [Ferrer], designed the lighting for the scenes to match the mood and movement for the show. I’ve been doing theatre since I was 5 and tech for the last two years. I really like [doing] tech; it makes me feel important since I’m doing something to help create the show; tech is really fulfilling,” Gershengorn said.

The cast and crew performed for the Cappies, a Broward County student group who attends and reviews performances of the season. The Drama Club will also perform the musical “Hair” in March, allowing the team to continue training and enhancing their skills for the upcoming performance. Applications will open at the end of the spring semester for those who wish to join next fall.