A Few Good Men on stage in Williams Lake until Feb. 4

Matt Tyne and Marilee Andres star as Lt. J.G. Daniel Kaffee and Lt. Cmdr. Joanne Galloway, the roles portrayed by Tom Cruise and Demi Moore in a 1992 film. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Matt Tyne and Marilee Andres star as Lt. J.G. Daniel Kaffee and Lt. Cmdr. Joanne Galloway, the roles portrayed by Tom Cruise and Demi Moore in a 1992 film. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Lt. J.G. Daniel Kaffee, played by Matt Tyne, tries to reassure his client Lance CPL. Dawson played by Gavin McKimm, who is on trial for murder in the Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society production of A Few Good Men. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Lt. J.G. Daniel Kaffee, played by Matt Tyne, tries to reassure his client Lance CPL. Dawson played by Gavin McKimm, who is on trial for murder in the Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society production of A Few Good Men. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Lt. J.G. Sam Weinberg, played by Chris Armstrong, throws up his hands in frustration, as he and fellow counsel Lt. Cmdr. Joanne Galloway, played by Marilee Andres, and Lt. J.G. Daniel Kaffee played by Matt Tyne, finish a day in court in the Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society production of A Few Good Men. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Lt. J.G. Sam Weinberg, played by Chris Armstrong, throws up his hands in frustration, as he and fellow counsel Lt. Cmdr. Joanne Galloway, played by Marilee Andres, and Lt. J.G. Daniel Kaffee played by Matt Tyne, finish a day in court in the Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society production of A Few Good Men. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Lt. Jack Ross, played by Bryan Johns, questions Cpl. Jeffery Howard, played by Vincent Noskey, as Col. Julius Randoph, played by Jamie Regier, presides over the courtroom in the Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society production of A Few Good Men. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Lt. Jack Ross, played by Bryan Johns, questions Cpl. Jeffery Howard, played by Vincent Noskey, as Col. Julius Randoph, played by Jamie Regier, presides over the courtroom in the Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society production of A Few Good Men. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Lt. J.G. Daniel Kaffee, played by Matt Tyne, questions Cpl. Jeffery Howard, played by Vincent Noskey, as Col. Julius Randoph, played by Jamie Regier, presides over the courtroom in the Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society production of A Few Good Men. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Lt. J.G. Daniel Kaffee, played by Matt Tyne, questions Cpl. Jeffery Howard, played by Vincent Noskey, as Col. Julius Randoph, played by Jamie Regier, presides over the courtroom in the Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society production of A Few Good Men. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Matt Tyne as Lt. J.G. Daniel Kaffee, questions witness Neal Matoga as Lt. Jonathan Kendrick watched over by Col. Julius Randolph, played by Jamie Regier. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Matt Tyne as Lt. J.G. Daniel Kaffee, questions witness Neal Matoga as Lt. Jonathan Kendrick watched over by Col. Julius Randolph, played by Jamie Regier. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Kristian Volkmann plays the role of PFC Downey, centre, alongside Bryan Johns, as Lt. Jack Ross, with Jamie Regier presiding as Col. Julius Randolph in the military courtroom drama A Few Good Men. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Kristian Volkmann plays the role of PFC Downey, centre, alongside Bryan Johns, as Lt. Jack Ross, with Jamie Regier presiding as Col. Julius Randolph in the military courtroom drama A Few Good Men. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

More than a few good actors are taking the stage for the Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society (WLSTS) production of A Few Good Men, opening this week, thanks in large part to the persistence and ambition of director Shane Tollefson.

The play has been a long time coming to the WLSTS stage, Tollefson having been interested in the script since he was a teen.

Tollefson watched the film of the same name and found the dramatic military courtroom story stayed with him. He began following the career and work of Aaron Sorkin, who wrote the play and helped adapt it for the 1992 film starring Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise and Demi Moore.

But staging the play was a big project to take on from the start, due to its large cast, costume requirements and extensive dialogue, even before the pandemic eroded theatre crowds and volunteers.

Tollefson initially pitched the play for the 2020 season, but it was quickly sidelined when the pandemic made its appearance. With things opening back up, he once again wanted to try to bring the play to Williams Lake, seeing it as a chance to introduce some new actors to the theatre.

In the program message, Tollefson recalls those who had concerns over the challenge of trying to stage a play with such a large cast — there are 16 male roles — but in the end it took him only six days to cast the play. He admits it did require him to rope in a nephew and a cousin to fill out the cast, however.

There were also some changes after this as some actors had to bow out, but he said there was always someone to step in and take each actor’s place.

The black box stage made for a good background to highlight the great costuming, something Tollefson chose with intent, showing off authentic-looking uniforms to set the scene for the military drama.

He said most of the military uniforms were made by the play’s costume designer Christa Obergfell, which was a major task, but her work is a big asset for the play.

With a number of outstanding performances, the large cast stepped up on stage and had a good dress rehearsal, with a few dialogue mistakes and the odd missed line being the exception to what was a riveting play. Having not seen the film since the 90s, enough time had passed to be surprised and appreciate the intensity once again of the quote made famous by Jack Nicholson.

Harry Jennings takes on the challenge of playing Lt. Col. Nathan Jessep, the character for which Jack Nicholson was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1993.

Jennings does a fantastic job, despite the lasting impression of Nicholson’s film portrayal on the collective psyches of those who watched the film in the 90s.

A Few Good Men is the second play in the WLSTS’s 68th season. The play opened on Wednesday, January 18 and will run Jan.18-21, 25-28 and Feb. 1-4, doors are at 7 p.m., the play begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are available online, at The Open Book and at the door, space permitting, for $20 per person.

Read more: A tasty finish to the Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society 2021-22 season

Read more: Williams Lake Studio Theatre comedy opens Nov. 9



ruth.lloyd@wltribune.com

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