A Few Good Men by Aaron Sorkin

Posted: March 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

A Few Good Men
Written by Aaron Sorkin

I. The Play
A. Synopsis

Two soldiers stationed at the Naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are
accused of murder. The dead man is William T. Santiago, a Private who was disliked by
even his commanding officer. When the two accused – Lance Corporal Dawson and
Private Downey – plead guilty, Lt. Daniel Kaffee and Lt. Cmdr. Joanne Galloway are
assigned to be their lawyers. Galloway doesn’t believe Dawson and Downey came up
with the idea to kill Santiago; she has suspicions that they were following orders. Kaffee,
on the other hand, couldn’t care less – about this trial, about the Navy, or, at first, about
Galloway’s opinion. The two need to work together to figure out what exactly happened
in Guantanamo Bay – but before they can bring anyone to justice, they need to learn
how to work with one another.

B. Setting & Characters

Setting

The action of the play occurs in the summer of 1986, in various locations

in Washington,
D.C., and on the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Characters

Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson Accused of murdering Private William Santiago.
Dawson is slightly faster on his feet than Downey, and
tends to make decisions for both of them. Dawson
has the utmost respect for military protocol and honor.

Pfc. Louden Downey Accused of murdering Private William Santiago in
conspiracy with Dawson. Downey usually follows
Dawson’s lead. He believes completely in the military
ideals of honor and integrity, and that makes it hard
for him to admit that any of his commanding officers
have led him astray.

Lt. j.g. Sam Weinberg A good friend of Daniel Kaffee’s. Sam is not as
involved in the case as Kaffee or Galloway, but he
works on it with them nevertheless.
Lt. j.g. Daniel A. Kaffee The son of a famous lawyer, Kaffee is afraid to try his
best and not measure up. To escape this, he simply
doesn’t try. At the opening of the play, he is far more
concerned about his office softball team than the
cases he’s working on. As he gets more involved in
this case, his priorities start to change.

Lt. Cmdr. Joanne Galloway The only woman in the play, she’s worked hard to
come as far as she has. Galloway first brings enough
attention to the case to have Whitaker discuss it at a
meeting, and then talks her way into being assigned
as a second lawyer, so each defendant has one of
their own. She is extremely intelligent, and sometimes
gets into trouble for saying exactly what she thinks.

Capt. Isaac Whitaker Whitaker is in charge of the military lawyers in
Washington, D.C. He allows Joanne Galloway to work
on the case even though Kaffee was the only lawyer
officially assigned to it.

Capt. Matthew A. Markinson A captain stationed on Guantanamo Bay, under
Colonel Jessep who once worked with Dawson,
Downey and Santiago. He suggested transferring
Santiago off the base, but Jessep chose not to.
Markinson has trouble with the fact that his C.O. is so
much younger than he is.

Pfc. William T. Santiago Although he dies before the action of the play begins,
Santiago appears in a few flashbacks. He was never
a very good soldier, and didn’t appear to care about
his buddies. At one point, he wrote a letter offering to
turn another soldier in for a minor breach in protocol
in exchange for being transferred off the base.

Lt. Col. Nathan Jessep As Joanne Galloway says, Jessep is the “Golden Boy

in Washington,
D.C., and on the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Characters

Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson Accused of murdering Private William Santiago.
Dawson is slightly faster on his feet than Downey, and
tends to make decisions for both of them. Dawson
has the utmost respect for military protocol and honor.

Pfc. Louden Downey Accused of murdering Private William Santiago in
conspiracy with Dawson. Downey usually follows
Dawson’s lead. He believes completely in the military
ideals of honor and integrity, and that makes it hard
for him to admit that any of his commanding officers
have led him astray.

Lt. j.g. Sam Weinberg A good friend of Daniel Kaffee’s. Sam is not as
involved in the case as Kaffee or Galloway, but he
works on it with them nevertheless.
Lt. j.g. Daniel A. Kaffee The son of a famous lawyer, Kaffee is afraid to try his
best and not measure up. To escape this, he simply
doesn’t try. At the opening of the play, he is far more
concerned about his office softball team than the
cases he’s working on. As he gets more involved in
this case, his priorities start to change.

Lt. Cmdr. Joanne Galloway The only woman in the play, she’s worked hard to
come as far as she has. Galloway first brings enough
attention to the case to have Whitaker discuss it at a
meeting, and then talks her way into being assigned
as a second lawyer, so each defendant has one of
their own. She is extremely intelligent, and sometimes
gets into trouble for saying exactly what she thinks.

Capt. Isaac Whitaker Whitaker is in charge of the military lawyers in
Washington, D.C. He allows Joanne Galloway to work
on the case even though Kaffee was the only lawyer
officially assigned to it.

Capt. Matthew A. Markinson A captain stationed on Guantanamo Bay, under
Colonel Jessep who once worked with Dawson,
Downey and Santiago. He suggested transferring
Santiago off the base, but Jessep chose not to.
Markinson has trouble with the fact that his C.O. is so
much younger than he is.

Pfc. William T. Santiago Although he dies before the action of the play begins,
Santiago appears in a few flashbacks. He was never
a very good soldier, and didn’t appear to care about
his buddies. At one point, he wrote a letter offering to
turn another soldier in for a minor breach in protocol
in exchange for being transferred off the base.

Lt. Col. Nathan Jessep As Joanne Galloway says, Jessep is the “Golden Bo

in Washington,
D.C., and on the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Characters

Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson Accused of murdering Private William Santiago.
Dawson is slightly faster on his feet than Downey, and
tends to make decisions for both of them. Dawson
has the utmost respect for military protocol and honor.

Pfc. Louden Downey Accused of murdering Private William Santiago in
conspiracy with Dawson. Downey usually follows
Dawson’s lead. He believes completely in the military
ideals of honor and integrity, and that makes it hard
for him to admit that any of his commanding officers
have led him astray.

Lt. j.g. Sam Weinberg A good friend of Daniel Kaffee’s. Sam is not as
involved in the case as Kaffee or Galloway, but he
works on it with them nevertheless.
Lt. j.g. Daniel A. Kaffee The son of a famous lawyer, Kaffee is afraid to try his
best and not measure up. To escape this, he simply
doesn’t try. At the opening of the play, he is far more
concerned about his office softball team than the
cases he’s working on. As he gets more involved in
this case, his priorities start to change.

Lt. Cmdr. Joanne Galloway The only woman in the play, she’s worked hard to
come as far as she has. Galloway first brings enough
attention to the case to have Whitaker discuss it at a
meeting, and then talks her way into being assigned
as a second lawyer, so each defendant has one of
their own. She is extremely intelligent, and sometimes
gets into trouble for saying exactly what she thinks.

Capt. Isaac Whitaker Whitaker is in charge of the military lawyers in
Washington, D.C. He allows Joanne Galloway to work
on the case even though Kaffee was the only lawyer
officially assigned to it.

Capt. Matthew A. Markinson A captain stationed on Guantanamo Bay, under
Colonel Jessep who once worked with Dawson,
Downey and Santiago. He suggested transferring
Santiago off the base, but Jessep chose not to.
Markinson has trouble with the fact that his C.O. is so
much younger than he is.

Pfc. William T. Santiago Although he dies before the action of the play begins,
Santiago appears in a few flashbacks. He was never
a very good soldier, and didn’t appear to care about
his buddies. At one point, he wrote a letter offering to
turn another soldier in for a minor breach in protocol
in exchange for being transferred off the base.

Lt. Col. Nathan Jessep As Joanne Galloway says, Jessep is the “Golden Boy

in Washington,
D.C., and on the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Characters

Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson Accused of murdering Private William Santiago.
Dawson is slightly faster on his feet than Downey, and
tends to make decisions for both of them. Dawson
has the utmost respect for military protocol and honor.

Pfc. Louden Downey Accused of murdering Private William Santiago in
conspiracy with Dawson. Downey usually follows
Dawson’s lead. He believes completely in the military
ideals of honor and integrity, and that makes it hard
for him to admit that any of his commanding officers
have led him astray.

Lt. j.g. Sam Weinberg A good friend of Daniel Kaffee’s. Sam is not as
involved in the case as Kaffee or Galloway, but he
works on it with them nevertheless.
Lt. j.g. Daniel A. Kaffee The son of a famous lawyer, Kaffee is afraid to try his
best and not measure up. To escape this, he simply
doesn’t try. At the opening of the play, he is far more
concerned about his office softball team than the
cases he’s working on. As he gets more involved in
this case, his priorities start to change.

Lt. Cmdr. Joanne Galloway The only woman in the play, she’s worked hard to
come as far as she has. Galloway first brings enough
attention to the case to have Whitaker discuss it at a
meeting, and then talks her way into being assigned
as a second lawyer, so each defendant has one of
their own. She is extremely intelligent, and sometimes
gets into trouble for saying exactly what she thinks.

Capt. Isaac Whitaker Whitaker is in charge of the military lawyers in
Washington, D.C. He allows Joanne Galloway to work
on the case even though Kaffee was the only lawyer
officially assigned to it.

Capt. Matthew A. Markinson A captain stationed on Guantanamo Bay, under
Colonel Jessep who once worked with Dawson,
Downey and Santiago. He suggested transferring
Santiago off the base, but Jessep chose not to.
Markinson has trouble with the fact that his C.O. is so
much younger than he is.

Pfc. William T. Santiago Although he dies before the action of the play begins,
Santiago appears in a few flashbacks. He was never
a very good soldier, and didn’t appear to care about
his buddies. At one point, he wrote a letter offering to
turn another soldier in for a minor breach in protocol
in exchange for being transferred off the base.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s