Military life brought to the forefront in ‘A Few Good Men’A military courtroom drama written by Aaron Sorkin, Lt. Daniel Kaffee, played by Arin Winger, defends young Marines Pfc. Louden Downey and Lance Cpl. Harold Dawson — Jesse Clark and Ryan Zilla — who have been accused of the murder of a fellow Marine at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
By: Jennifer Jungwirth, The Daily Republic
Military life is being brought center stage in the upcoming Mitchell Area Community Theatre show “A Few Good Men.”
A military courtroom drama written by Aaron Sorkin, Lt. Daniel Kaffee, played by Arin Winger, defends young Marines Pfc. Louden Downey and Lance Cpl. Harold Dawson — Jesse Clark and Ryan Zilla — who have been accused of the murder of a fellow Marine at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Kaffee, who has the reputation of plea bargaining for his clients, discovers there is more to the case with help of Lt. Commander JoAnne Galloway, played by Debbi Holmes, the only female cast in the show.
“A Few Good Men” is at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and March 2-3 and at 2 p.m. Sunday and March 4 at the Pepsi-Cola Theatre for the Performing Arts. All tickets are reserved seating and cost $10 and $12.
“A Few Good Men’s” intense plot has been adapted into the Hollywood blockbuster by the same name, starring Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore and Tom Cruise.
ACT’s show provides a sense of authenticity, however, as several actors have served in the U.S. military over the years. Zilla, Dan Miller, Kurt Schwarzenbart and Marc Bernard have served.
Assistant director Warren Clark said their interest in the show and involvement was a stroke of luck.
“When it’s simple things like learning to sit up straight and standing at attention, they’ve taught the others. Their experience has enhanced simple things. It’s placed a bearing on the stage,” Clark said.
Schwarzenbart was cast as Capt. Markinson, an honorable Marine in the show.
Schwarzenbart spent “four years, 10 months and 27 days” in the U.S. Air Force,” and drew from his background for his role
“Certainly you draw on the background and the places you’ve been and the people you meet,” he said.
In addition to military experience, Dan Miller brings his skills to the stage with his involvement of the Dakota Wesleyan University Theater Department. Miller is cast as Lt. Nathan Jessup, the commander of the base at Guantanamo Bay.
“(The play) is very relevant even now that it’s 30 years old,” Miller said.
Miller served one year in the U.S. Navy in Intelligence Surveillance, studying satellite images and like Schwarzenbart, he has been able to aid others in proper ways to salute and other military actions.
Aside from an entertaining evening, Clark said that the audience should take away a glimpse into military life.
“It’s very dramatic. It tells you what Marine life was like 30 years ago, how disciplined they were and what their sense of justice was,” he said.