Weekend Showcase: Cooper High School presents”The System”
Cooper High School serves up a serious and heavy theater-in-the-round offering for their winter production.
The students bit off a lot with a weighty show they titled “The System.” It’s an original adaptation of Reginald Rose’s play “Twelve Angry Men”, which was originally televised in 1954. Students rewrote the script to bring the dialogue up to date and added eight roles of teenage inmates telling their stories of how they became incarcerated.
Senior Sarah Halverson said, “Integrating the inmates into it and finding places for them to go without, like, making it too confusing and making it hard to understand has been really interesting. But it’s actually turned out really well.”
Highlighting systemic failures.
The students have done a good job of creating these additional roles and weaving them throughout the main story line.
Senior Lily Perkins plays an inmate. She said, “I think we’re trying to show how, like, what parts of the system failed us as kids. Obviously, we make our own choices and we’re accountable for that. But there’s always causes, like deeper than that, your parents, your teachers.”
Senior Matthew Hunke said, “It is a more serious play. Very dramatic. A lot of adult themes, especially from the inmates that are in-the-round.”
The main story line focuses on a jury deciding the fate of a young man on trial for the murder of his father. The evidence in the trial pointed to the persons guilt. But one lone juror makes the plea to the other eleven to look at hypothetical circumstances other than the presented evidence. Eventually that juror is successful in sowing seeds of doubt among the other jurors.
“It’s about finding humanity in people that the world doesn’t see as human anymore,” said Halverson.
You can see “The System” on Friday November 30th and Saturday December 1st at the Cooper High School auditorium. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors.