Fall Drama Persists in the Pandemic

Seton Hall Prep has adapted to the reality of the global pandemic by implementing daily health
screenings, mask wearing, different schedules, and remote learning. This year’s Fall Drama – 12
Angry Men – has followed suit because, despite extraordinary circumstances, the show must go

12 Angry Men is a critically-acclaimed play written by Reginald Rose. It shows 12 male jurors
arguing whether a 19-year-old man is guilty of killing his father. The 12 jurors are played by
Justin Abbott ’22, David Akoh ’21, Anthony Bottino ’22, Christopher Duff ’24, Ben Ferrara ’22,
Connor Gorman ’21, Lyrik Harvey ’21, William Kennedy ’21, Ean Miller ’23, Louis Scafidi ’22,
Joaquin Suriel ’21, and Nathaniel Tabora ’21. Gregory Dort ’21 will play the role of the Guard.

I spoke with Mrs. Theresa Neglia, the director of the Fall Drama, about the play and how it’s
coping with the pandemic.

Akoh: How did you choose 12 Angry Men as the Fall Drama and how has its production adapted
to the reality of COVID-19?
Neglia: I spent much of the spring and summer considering a wide range of scripts. This was not
unusual, except that this time I was focused entirely on how we would be able to audition,
rehearse and perform under COVID-19 restrictions. I knew whatever I selected, it would require
a uniquely creative approach by cast, crew and director.

I chose 12 Angry Men for a number of reasons. It calls for a cast of 13 males. Although I think
socialization and working with young women from other schools is great, I knew we would have
an easier time keeping in our own bubble if the cast and crew were entirely SHP students.
12 Angry Men is a single set production that requires only the most basic set pieces and scenery.
This means it does not require a number of people to work together building the sets. Again, I
know that many of our students are anxious to work on sets and crew, but I also know that is not
currently possible.
Finally, I hope the relevance of 12 Angry Men will help to inform all of us during the isolated
and divisive times in which we live.

Akoh: How will the play be performed this year?
Neglia: I have been toying with a few ideas on how to present the drama. Right now, I believe
the best and safest method is a recorded presentation that will be staged in our auditorium,
without an audience. I hope to recruit a few student videographers so that we can record with at
least 2 cameras, maybe even 3.
I really am excited at the opportunity this offers our actors. We will have to stage the action
observing proper distancing. Actors are going to have to move and speak naturally while making
unnatural distancing seem natural. I am confident [in] our cast.

Akoh: When can we expect to see the show?
Neglia: We are currently rehearsing remotely and will begin live rehearsals after Thanksgiving.
Right now, I am planning on recording the production over 3 or 4 days in January. I am hopeful
we will be able to bring the production to our community by late January, early February.

While this year’s Fall Drama has had its fair share of obstacles, the show is marching on. After
working hard in both remote and in-person rehearsals, this talented cast and crew will be ready to
put on a great show! Make sure to tune into the performance early next year and look out for
more details.