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Bristol Riverside Theatre to Present A FEW GOOD MEN

This searing drama runs May 3 to May 22, 2022.

Bristol Riverside Theatre to Present A FEW GOOD MEN

Bristol Riverside Theatre will close its season with a chance to see Hollywood notable Aaron Sorkin's groundbreaking debut that tells the story of a group of military lawyers assigned to defend two Marines in Guantanamo Bay. A Few Good Men, the play upon which the Academy Award nominated film is based, is about a team of lawyers who uncover a high-level conspiracy covered up in the name of patriotism. This searing drama runs May 3 to May 22, 2022. BRT Producing Director Ken Kaissar directs this show that opens on Thursday, May 5th. Tickets start at $43, with discounts available for students and military. A limited number of $10 tickets are available for Bristol Township residents courtesy of Flager & Associates, PC. As always, Bristol Borough residents can receive $5 tickets for preview performances. Audience members must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or Antigen) taken within 48 hours of the performance start time. Masks will be optional. For tickets and complete health protocols, visit brtstage.org or call 215-785-0100.

"We're doing this play right now to remind our audiences that as Americans we should agree more than we disagree," said Kaissar. "And the issues currently tearing up our country are minor compared to the beliefs and virtues that keep us together. So I'm hoping this play will have something of a healing quality."

Can you handle the truth? From the creator of The West Wing and The Newsroom comes A Few Good Men. One woman fighting for her place in a world of men, two teenage marines accused of murder, and a world in which lives and nations hang on the precision of orders followed. But if lives depend on following orders, where do you draw the line?

"This play really spoke to us in a moment of division," said Kaissar. "We can't seem to agree on anything these days, and that really saddens me. This play is about values that I think all Americans should share like truth, justice, service to the country, defense. People on both sides of the aisle should be able to agree that our country is built on these virtues."

This Broadway hit about the murder trial of two Marines at Guantanamo Bay sizzles on stage. The assigned Navy lawyer, a privileged young man more interested in playing softball than working on the case, expects an easy plea bargain. The lone woman in the department to outrank him is the only one more interested in truth and justice than the status quo. Through sheer determination she insists on the truth and they ultimately defend their clients, putting the military mentality and the Marine code of honor on trial.

Kaissar has assembled an ensemble cast of 15 actors from Philadelphia and New York to tell this searing story. ERIKA STRASBURG returns to Bristol Riverside Theatre after appearing in Gypsy and The Pirates of Penzance. She plays Lieutenant Commander Joanne Galloway the defense lawyer that sets the story in motion. Sean Davis, a recent Juilliard graduate, plays Lieutenant Junior Grade Daniel A. Kaffee. Bobby Underwood, who appeared in the Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof off-Broadway, plays Lieutenant Junior Grade Sam Weinberg. Richard B. Watson, who has several stage credits and appeared as Peter Tchaikovsky in Amazon Prime's Mozart in the Jungle, plays the harsh military leader Lieutenant Colonel Nathan Jessep. James Lee and Maddox Morfit-Tighe play Lance Corporal Harold Dawson and Private First Class Louden Downey, the Marines charged with the murder. Morfit-Tighe is a high school student from Collingswood, NJ.

The cast also includes John Anthony Torres as Private First Class William T. Santiago, the young Marine who is murdered and as Corporal Jeffrey Owen Howard. The rest of the cast includes: Jay Aubrey Jones as Captain Julius Alexander Randolph; Kurt Zischke as Captain Matthew A. Markinson and Commander Walter Stone; Jay Aubrey Jones as Captain Isaac Whitaker; Christopher Alexander Chukwueke plays Lt. Jonathan James Kendrick; Philadelphia Artists Collective Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director Damon Bonetti plays Lieutenant Jack Ross; Christian Boswell plays Tom and Sergeant at Arms; Brandon Tyler plays Lawyer #2 and Corporal Hammaker; Keith Livingston plays Lawyer #1 and the Orderly; and Jae West plays Corporal Dunn and the M.P.

Andrew Deepen, the BRT's Production Manager, is the Set Designer, creating the military courtroom and Marine barracks in the play. Minjoo Kim is the Lighting Designer. BRT Resident Costume Designer Linda Bee Stockton is creating the costumes. Ryk Lewis is the Sound Designer for this hit play.

When he started working on the play, Kaissar reached out to a local high school JROTC program. The contact led him to a luncheon with two local JROTC heads. He asked them questions and then was put in touch with Colonel Vincent J. Ciuccoli who is a Professor of Naval Science and works with the ROTC programs at Villanova and UPenn. He's also the CO of the Philadelphia NROTC Consortium.

JROTC students at Pennsbury High School will be doing drill demonstrations for the cast as well as teaching Marine cadences.

"We're still debating on the role of the military to keep us safe versus the power that they have to step outside the bounds of legality," said Kaissar. "This is an age-old debate that goes all the way back to The Civil War. I think military officers and lawyers still disagree on where the duties of each camp begin and end. And so long as we can't agree on that, this play will be more than relevant. I think it's essential to have this conversation. It's a fast-paced drama that sucks you in and doesn't let go until the final scene. I think it'll be invigorating and exhausting. If you're looking for a great ride, this is it."

Honorary Producers for A Few Good Men are: John Martinson, John B. Means, Ph.D., and William J. Salerno. A Few Good Men is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com

Tickets to A Few Good start at $43, with discounts available for students and military. The show runs May 3-May 22. Tickets are available at brtstage.org or at 215-785-0100.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR


Ken Kaissar has been a director and playwright for over 20 years. His directing work has been seen in New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Philaldelpia. Two of his productions led to publication in the Best New Plays series published by Applause. His favorite productions include A Doll House (Epiphany Theater Company), Annie (Steel River Playhouse), and The Sound of Music and Boeing Boeing (both at the Millbrook Playhouse). As a playwright, his work has been performed or developed by the Philadelphia Theatre Company, Delaware Theatre Company, Phoenix Theatre Company, Fusion Theatre Company, Urban Stages and Passage Theatre. His play THE VICTIMS OR WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO ABOUT IT (published by McFarland & Company, Inc.) was a runner-up for the 2009 Princess Grace Award and was honored by Middle East America: A National New Plays Initiative, a partnership of Golden Thread Productions, Lark Play Development Center, Silk Road Rising. His adaptation of Geoffrey Chaucer's THE CANTERBURY TALES was commissioned by Columbia University. His other plays include A MODEST SUGGESTION (available on Amazon), FAT MUSLIM GIRLS and WEEKEND AT BETTY'S. He holds a BFA in directing from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA in playwriting from Columbia University. He currently teaches playwriting and theatre at Rider University and Stockton University.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT


Aaron Sorkin the Academy-Award and Emmy winning screenwriter, director, and renowned playwright, made his Broadway debut with A Few Good Men. His subsequent film adaptation was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay and Best Picture. Sorkin won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Social Network and received an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay Moneyball. Additional screenplays include Steve Jobs, The American President, and Charlie Wilson's War. In 2017, Sorkin made his directorial debut with Molly's Game, which he also wrote, earning him an Academy Award nomination for best adapted screenplay. Sorkin wrote and directed The Trial of the Chicago 7, which was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Acclaimed across mediums, Sorkin created and produced "The West Wing," which won 26 Primetime Emmy Awards, "The Newsroom," "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" and "Sports Night" and the stage adaptation of "To Kill a Mockingbird," now the highest grossing American play in Broadway history. Most recently, he wrote and directed Being the Ricardos, now available worldwide on Amazon Prime Video.

HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS


Masks will be optional when inside the theatre. Audiences must show proof of full vaccination* with a matching ID (a photo or copy of your vaccination card is acceptable) OR proof of a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or Antigen) taken within 48 hours of the performance start time.

*Full vaccination means the performance date must be at least 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, or at least 14 days after a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. For future shows, please stay tuned for continued updates that follow CDC, state and local guidelines.

For continued COVID protocols, BRT has upgraded its filtration to a MERV-13 as recommended by the CDC. The theatre will continue thorough and more frequent disinfection with CDC recommended products and special attention to high-touch areas. The theatre has installed touchless paper towel dispensers in all bathrooms. Hand sanitizer will be available in the lobby at all times. Updated health and safety protocols will be updated on the website during the season for each show and special event.

ABOUT BRISTOL RIVERSIDE THEATRE


Since 1986, BRT has continued to bring acclaimed theatre to Bucks County. The theatre is the recipient of over 71 Barrymore Award nominations. Now under the direction of Producing directors Amy and Ken Kaissar, and General Manager David J. Abers, the theatre serves as a cultural hub for the community. In addition to its mainstage productions, BRT offers the William Penn Bank Summer Music Fest, the holiday tradition An American Christmas Songbook concert, the new play development series America Rising, the summer theatre arts camp ArtRageous, and a range of education programs for local youth. For information, visit www.brtstage.org.


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