PARKERSBURG — “A Few Good Men” opens 8 pm Friday for a three-week run at the Actors Guild of Parkersburg.
The drama is the trial of two Marines accused of killing Pfc. William Santiago after the commanding officer orders a Code Red. The Navy lawyer assigned to defend them, prodded by a woman on the defense team, puts the mentality and the Marine Corps code of honor on trial.
“A Few Good Men” was written by Aaron Sorkin, who wrote “The West Wing.” The main characters were played on the silver screen by Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise and Demi Moore.
The show is sponsored by Napoli’s and is rated R.
“It’s a wonderful play written by a very well-known and award-winning playwright, Aaron Sorkin of ‘West Wing’ fame and the current revival of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ on Broadway,” Director Charlie Matthews said. “I wanted to direct this play after performing in it at the Guild back in 1995. It is a tremendous courtroom drama rife with wonderful acting opportunities.”
Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for students and seniors and are available on the Actors Guild website at www.actors-guild.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the box office two hours prior to each show.
The show runs through March 19. Curtain time is 8 pm Friday, Saturday, March 11, 12, 18 and 19 and 2:30 pm March 13.
Matthews in the Actor’s Guild production of “A Few Good Men” 27 years ago played Col. Nathan Jessep. He looked forward to directing the current production and the manner in which the play is presented, non-stop action much like a movie.
“This is a great opportunity for the actors to play these iconic roles,” he said.
Also in the first production was Brent Null, who played Lt. Daniel A. Kaffee, the US Naval defense lawyer. Null said if Matthews did the show, he wanted to be involved.
“I wanted to be your adviser,” Null said.
Matthews said he’s honored to work with a talented cast and production team.
“They have given an absolutely tremendous commitment to the performance of this very challenging material,” he said.
The cast includes four men with military experience who have shared their backgrounds to accurately depict and honor the military integrity of the show.
“It has been challenging getting the guys to show the discipline on stage,” Marine Corps veteran Bob Francis said. “It’s not easy, and most had never done anything like that before. But it’s been fun, too.”
As a proud Marine, Francis said he knew he had to be a part of the show. Francis plays Capt. Matthew A. Markinson.
Cody Ratliff, a member of the West Virginia Army National Guard, is another veteran who believed his participation would be beneficial to the production. Ratliff was cast as Cpl. Dunn, lawyer and an MP.
“I wanted to be present to make sure that our service members, past and present, are represented well on stage. As a member of the 249th Army Band, there are loose connections to a lot of what I do on stage,” Ratliff said. “There are military customs and courtesies that are still upheld today and portrayed in the show. As a singer for the Army Band, there are many hours that I spend on stage putting the limelight on the service members of this country. I see this production as no different.”
Military authenticity was brought to the stage with a commitment to costumes. The Guild solicited donations for authentic uniforms from the DC Theatricks of Buffalo and met goals to pay for the costumes.
Also participating in all the shows are the Parkersburg High School Naval Junior ROTC and the Parkersburg South Air Force Junior ROTC. Students will present the colors, the audience will be invited to sing the national anthem and all current and former military personnel will be recognized prior to each show.
∫ Lt. Col. Nathan Jessep: Mike Dotson
∫ Lt. JG Daniel A. Coffee: David B. Prather
∫ Lt. Cmdr. Joanne GallowayTorrey Archer
∫ Lt. JG Sam Weinberg: George Litman
∫ Lance Cpl. Harold W Dawson: Tanre Franklin
∫ PFC Louden Downey: Braden Barnett
∫ Capt. Isaac Whitaker/Sgt. at Arms: Charles Roberts
∫ Capt. Matthew A Markinson: Bob Francis
∫ PFC. William T. Santiago/Orderly: Joseph Liveo
∫ Lt. Jonathan James Kendrick: B. Scott Fields
∫ Lt. Jack RossDanny Bayer
∫ Cpl. Dunn/Lawyer/MP: Cody Ratliff
∫ Cpl. Hammaker/Tom/MP: John Gradwohl
∫ Cpl. Jeffrey Owen Howard: Tim Tuten
∫ Capt. Julius Alexander Randolph: Pete Myers
∫ Cmdr. Walter Stone/Lawyer: Tanner Barker
∫ Director: Charlie Matthews
∫ Assistant Directors: David Rexroad, Megan Newbanks
∫ Technical Directors: Beth Lane, John Gradwohl
∫ Stage Manager/Production Assistant: Megan Newbanks
∫ Ass. Stage manager: Emily Biles
∫ Costumes: Pam Piggott, Jean Newton
∫ Set Designer: David Rexroad
∫ Light Designers: John Gradwohl, Marsha Mueller
∫ Sound designer: Josh Martin
∫ Props: Pam Piggott, Jean Newton
∫ Set Construction Crew: Brenda Gerenday, Cast
∫ Costume Crew: Maureen Modesitt, Ann Simonton, Betty Dotson
∫ Light Board Operator: Olivia Ann Parsons
∫ Sound Board Operator: Randi Marshall
∫ Running Crew: Emily Biles, Pam Piggott
∫ Book Holder: Susan Schuchts
∫ Adviser: Brent Zero
∫ Photographer: Rachel Martin
∫ Playbill Layout and Design: Brett Meade
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