One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

by Jordan Foley

The director of a theatrical production has the unique opportunity of guiding a creative team in bringing a script to life and it is a privilege many aspiring theatre students dream of achieving during their acting careers.   

For 2021 Cedarville University alumnus Blake Hansher, his dream came true when Cedarville’s theatre program selected him to be the guest director of the drama “12 Angry Jurors.” The show runs April 11-21.  

When Hansher was offered the role, he could not contain his excitement.  

“The moment I stepped on the Cedarville campus as a high school junior, I fell in love with Cedarville, so getting to work as a professional at my alma mater is an opportunity I could never pass up,” said Hansher,” says Hansher, who is currently a public speaker for the Elizabeth’s New Life Center in Youth Services in Dayton, OH.  

Blake HansherHansher is currently a risk avoidance educator for the Elizabeth’s New Life Center in Youth Services in Dayton, OH, where he utilizes his bachelor's degree in theatre to educate youth on sexual education, healthy boundaries and communication in relationships.  

“As a recent alum, I am privileged to work with students and faculty members I know and respect,” Hansher shared. It could have been a challenge for Hansher to return in a role of authority over students, who were once peers, but he was able to quickly gain the confidence of his cast by reminding them that he knows what it is like to walk in their shoes. 

“12 Angry Jurors” portrays the fallibility of the American justice system and contemplates themes of justice and impartiality. Behind the walls of a jury room, 12 jurors deliberate on whether a 19-year-old immigrant is guilty or innocent of stabbing his father. Throughout the play, each juror is forced to address their own hidden biases and examine their cultural differences to arrive at a final verdict.  

“There is going to be the temptation for audiences to think “12 Angry Jurors”is a scathing indictment of the legal system. This play is not criticizing a broken system, but rather highlighting that human nature is fickle,” said Hansher. “This play emphasizes that the broken people serving within the justice system need to overcome our personal biases and rely on objective truth. The hope is that audiences can, see the need for our redemption, and be reminded where objective truth and morality truly come from.” 

While in rehearsals, Hansher felt prepared for the responsibility because of his training as a student. He believes the theatre program prepared him — and other students — for their professional callings,and this is his opportunity to give back to the university.  

Every night of rehearsal, Hansher watches his students rise to the occasion and act as true theatre professionals. “12 Angry Jurors” is bound to knock the socks off of audiences and showcase the tremendous talent of Cedarville theatre students. 

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is a Baptist university with undergraduate programs in arts, sciences, and professional programs, and graduateprograms. With an enrollment of 5,456 students in 175 areas of study, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio and is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs and high graduation and retention rates. For more information about the University, visit

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