Freshman Play: 12 Incompetent Jurors

making way for newcomers to John Jay's close-knit theater community

Meet the senior directors of this year’s Freshman Play—Samantha Donnelly, Maddy Galgano, Jack Pryor and Alec Schwartz. Between them, they’ve spent more than 6,000 hours on John Jay Theater Workshop productions. The four have the kind of bond that allows them to be playful and improvise on the fly. They share that connection with ninth graders each afternoon at rehearsals … and that’s just the point.

The Freshman Play makes way for newcomers to John Jay's close-knit theater community.

John Jay High School Theater Workshop presents  “12 Incompetent Jurors," a hilarious parody of “12 Angry Men,” on Thursday, December 14, and Friday, December 15, at 7 PM, with $5 tickets at the door.

John jay theater workshop presents a hilarious parody

all senior directors include theater in their plans for the future

While the senior directors—all members of the National Honor Society—have known each other since elementary school and been acting together since sixth grade, their John Jay Theater Workshop journey began just like that of the actors they are directing now—as part of the Freshman Play.

The rewards of being part of the high school theater community grew from there, and all seniors include theater in their plans for the future.

Jack sums it up. “As I take the next steps in my life, I will never forget how John Jay Theater Workshop is what started it all.”


Meet samantha

Samantha said that being the stage manager of last year’s Freshman Play was one of her most meaningful experiences at John Jay High School.

“Doing that show made me realize how much I had grown as a person because of theater and helped me realize how much love I had for both the tech and acting side of things,” said Samantha.

Samantha is looking forward to college next year and exploring her interests, including theater.

meet maddy

Maddy has performed, produced and worked on shows since she was little. Amid all of those theater experiences, a moment from last year’s musical “9 to 5” stands out.

“I had lost my voice during tech week and when I was singing my song at the end of the show, I was essentially lip syncing,” said Maddy. “Instead of there being silence over the band playing, my castmates all started singing the song for me. I was moved by the community that would do anything to make light of the situation and enjoyed every minute.”

Maddy plans to study Musical Theatre in college. 

meet jack

Jack calls John Jay Theater Workshop an escape from the stresses of daily life.

“No matter how hard my classes got, or how intense my studying got for the next upcoming quiz or test, I knew that once the bell rang, I could leave all of that behind for just a couple hours and step into the shoes of someone else, surrounded by a supportive community of students and faculty that only further charged my love of theatre and acting.”

Jack will be minoring in theater in college and intends to continue acting.

meet alec

Alec names playing Jean Francois Millet in the production of “Is He Dead” earlier this fall as a most memorable moment—a role which required him change into his fictional twin, the widow Daisy Tillou, complete with four-inch heels, a red dress with crinoline and a blonde wig. 

“In college I hope to study theater and further my training in acting,” said Alec.