SCT presenting ‘12 Angry Men’ May 17-25

In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love

– Locksley Hall, Alfred, Lord Tennyson

New love can happen in person, through the mail, and in these modern times, online. It’s very important to consider your safety, however, because the Internet is all it seems and much more.

It’s much easier to judge someone you meet when they are face to face with you. Your eyes see the person, how they dress and take care of themselves, what kind of personality they have. But without the facial expression, body language, context and voice tones, you tend to make your judgments based on how you perceive the world. As recording artist Kelly Clarkson sings, “we all have a dark side,” but some people have a dangerous side.

There are some Internet safety rules to go by. The first one is, no teen should cyber date, advises Why?

The next rule (for the 18 and older crowd) explains, “Do not believe everything you read on the Internet.”

An individual can know only what the other person says. People lie. It’s that simple. You don’t know if that photograph they send you is really them or someone else. You don’t know if it’s a recent photo or an older one. There are predators “out there” who are looking for to exploit.

The next rule is, “don’t share personal information about yourself with strangers.” Just because they tell you their name and talk to you doesn’t mean they are your friends. It takes time to build a friendship.

Stick to the rules until you are sure the person you are talking with is for real. While romance may be thrilling, it can suddenly become chilling when you become a victim of cyber stalking. That old adage to “be friends first” is a good one to build trust. Don’t rush into anything.

When you do decide it’s time to meet the person that first time, there are some things you should do. Take a friend with you. Don’t go alone. Go to a public place. Stay there.

Make sure another friend knows where you are going, when you expect to return, and where to find all the emails you’ve saved from this person you are meeting so if something goes wrong, those messages can help find the person you are talking with. Better to have and not need than to need and not have that information.

Does that seem like a lot of work if you’re just going to meet someone? He or she may be very trustworthy, but you don’t know that.

Wearing your rose-colored glasses that tell you the world is a perfect place and nobody is going to hurt you, to think otherwise is just, well, paranoid, you think. But you may not be looking clearly and with your eyes wide open. Your safety is worth a little extra effort.

Report any attacks or threats to law enforcement. Even if that person eventually walks away or you leave him or her, they will move on to someone else. Don’t be embarrassed to insist on following the rules you set up ahead of time.

Someone who really cares for you will not try to force you or shame you into doing something you don’t want to do.

Next time: Cyber dating abuse with teens.

Family Recovery Center promotes the well being of individuals, families and communities. For more information about our education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related mental health issues, contact us at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, FRC is funded, in part, by United Way of Northern Columbiana County.

SALEM – Real-life courtrooms have been exhibiting a large dose of drama recently, but Salem Community Theatre will present its own offering, the acclaimed drama “12 Angry Men” on stage from May 17-25.

Written by Reginald Rose, this trial drama tells the story of a jury made up of 12 men as they deliberate the guilt or acquittal of a defendant on the basis of reasonable doubt. In the United States, a verdict in most criminal trials by jury must be unanimous. In an opening monologue, the judge in the case informs the jury that since the defendant is charged with the first-degree murder of his father, a guilty verdict will be accompanied by a mandatory death sentence.

The rest of the play’s focus concentrates on the jury’s difficulty in reaching a unanimous verdict. In the years since its production, “12 Angry Men” has literally been a case study in many respects, including studies in group dynamics, communications, social studies, government, and civic responsibility.

Originally broadcast as a television drama in 1954, the screenplay was produced by Henry Fonda in 1957, attracting for the cast a veritable “who’s who” of acting talent of the day, including Lee J. Cobb, Jack Klugman, E.G. Marshall, Martin Balsam, and of course Henry Fonda himself, among others. A true ensemble piece of important theatrical literature, each character’s role is integral to the process of reaching that unanimous decision.

Salem Community Theatre’s production of “12 Angry Men” has attracted the directing talent of Youngstown’s Terri Wilkes, and a cast of its own “who’s who” of regional actors as well, each with a long list of credentials. The jurors, who are only identified in the script by numbers, include cast members Eric Kibler, Tim McGinley, Dave Wack, Tim Gottschling, Matt White, Mark Kholos, Rich Stelts, Gary Barringer, Richard Fawcett, Dave Hazen, Frank Martin, and Dan Haueter. Playing the guard is Canfield’s Jacob Nash. This cast is also fortunate to include two attorneys and a law enforcement officer, plus the voice of an actual judge, Mark Frost, a veteran director and actor at SCT, all of whom provide a unique opportunity to understand the importance of the proceedings, and add a sense of authenticity to the production.

Although the script is almost 60 years old, its themes remain timeless, and timely, given recent trials on the news front, remaining relevant to today’s questions of what constitutes “reasonable doubt.”

SCT at 490 E. State St. will present this exceptional drama at 8 p.m. May 17, 18, 24 and 25, and also at 2 p.m. May 19. The May 19 matinee performance will be followed immediately by a question-and-answer session, giving audience members the opportunity to get the director and actors’ perspectives on their roles, characters, and the plays several topics.

For ticket reservations calling the box office at 330-332-9688.

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