Stage Center Shreveport’s production of Sorkin’s ‘A Few Good Men’ is intense and intimate

One would hardly recognize Shreveport Regional Arts Council’s black box performance space known as The Engine Room upon entering for Stage Center’s production of Aaron Sorkin’s award-winning play “A Few Good Men.”

The set, which consists of concrete walls, three tables, a dozen chairs, and a flickering, ominous lighted sign reading “UNIT CORPS GOD COUNTRY” is a fitting home for some of the best performances given in Shreveport this year, rivaled only, perhaps, by Shreveport Little Theater’s production of Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” in April of last year. The audience is so close to the action that it practically serves as the jury box during the trial.

Leading this all-star cast are Blayne Weaver as Lt. J.G. Daniel A. Kaffee, Annie Funke (known for her work on CBS’ Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders) as Lt. Cmdr. Joanne Galloway, Don Hooper as Lt. Col. Nathan “You Can’t Handle the Truth” Jessep, and Logan Sledge as Lt. Jack Ross. Other noteworthy performers include Daniel Salazar and Carter Calahan as the accused killers Lance Corporal Harold Dawson and Private First Class Louden Downey. Additionally, Lucas Mainiero’s turn in flashbacks as as Marine Private First Class William Santiago was striking. The remaining performances matched the heft of the aforementioned players, driven by Sorkin’s snappy dialogue.

Also of note is the stage direction by Jared Watson, which makes smart use of the limited space inside The Engine Room. The cast seamlessly rearrange the set from scene to scene, some of which are less than a minute in length. The most spectacular element of this fast-paced production, however, is the set and lighting design by Seth Taylor and Daniel Salazar, respectively. Sections of the set transform instantly with brilliant shades of purple, red, and soft white, shifting your attention from one end of the stage to another. Driving music and sound effects (sometimes too loudly) inject even more energy into the proceedings.

In all, the biggest regret anyone on the production might have to contend with is only doing one weekend of performances. Almost all of the shows are sold out, but you should do what you can to snag one of the few remaining seats at stagecenterla.com