On Saturday we finished our run of Twelve Angry Jurors. It was a successful production; we raised about $5,800 for CareNet of the Lehigh Valley. Now we look forward to our next production, The Prince and the Pauper.
Before too much time passes, I want to talk about the way that Jurors connected with my life. I was interviewed by the Parkland Press about Jurors (see article here: http://parkland.thelehighvalleypress.com/2014/10/09/players-stage-present-12-angry-jurors), and I was asked why I chose CareNet to be the recipient of the money raised from the show. I answered: “It was their turn,” but as I thought about that question and watched rehearsals, I realized that God had lined up the show and charity perfectly, even though I hadn't thought of the connection.
Jurors tells the story of one man, Juror 8, who put the pursuit of justice above all other concerns: prejudices, career, schedules, convenience. He fought unashamedly to protect the life of the young man on trial. Those who work and volunteer for CareNet aren’t very different: they fight unashamedly for life.
While I connect CareNet with Juror 8, I connect myself more with those jurors who were hesitant to fight for justice. While preparing for this play, I developed an attitude of embarrassment whenever I “confessed” that we were raising money for CareNet. It’s not that I don’t believe in what they do, but I was concerned about the connotations that often go along with fighting for life. I didn’t want to be mistaken for a crazy pro-lifer who thinks women deserve to die from back-alley abortions. I didn’t want to have to face the potential loss of audience members and business sponsors because of the controversial topic. I was ashamed of the pursuit of justice, and that robbed me of the joy of raising money for CareNet. My perspective changed when I went to the CareNet Gala and gained a better understanding of what an awesome ministry they have and how much love they have for the women, men, and families they serve.
In the end, I was not too different from Juror 7 who didn’t want to be inconvenienced and Juror 12 who didn’t want to impact his job with his pursuit of justice. Being a part of the production and watching the shows encouraged me to stop being ashamed of supporting life and to be excited about raising money for CareNet. That is why theater is such an amazing art; it exposes us and shows us who we truly are.