"A Few Good Men" by Aaron Sorkin

Sorkin got the inspiration for the play from a phone conversation with his sister Deborah, who had graduated from Boston University Law School and signed up for a three-year stint with the Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps. She was going to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base to defend a group of Marines who came close to killing a fellow Marine in a hazing ordered by a superior officer. Sorkin took that information and wrote much of his story on cocktail napkins while bartending at the Palace Theatre on Broadway.

Several former Navy JAG lawyers have been identified as the source for the character of Lt. Daniel Kaffee. These include Donald Marcari, David Iglesias, Christopher Johnson and Walter Bansley III. The court martial was Macari's first big court case. However in a September 15, 2011 article of the New York Times, Sorkin was quoted saying, “The character of Dan Kaffee in ‘A Few Good Men’ is entirely fictional and was not inspired by any particular individual.”

Once Sorkin completed a draft, his theatrical agent sent it to producer David Brown who wanted the film rights. Sorkin sold Brown the rights, getting Brown to agree to also produce A Few Good Men as a play.


The action takes place in various locations in Washington, DC, and on the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The time is the summer of 1986.

Characters (order of appearance)

  • Sentry
  • Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson
  • Pfc. Louden Downey
  • Lt. j.g. Sam Weinberg
  • Lt. j.g. Daniel A. Kaffee
  • Lt. Cmdr. Joanne Galloway
  • Capt. Isaac Whitaker
  • Capt. Matthew A. Markinson
  • Pfc. William T. Santiago
  • Lt. Col. Nathan Jessep
  • Lt. Jonathan James Kendrick
  • Lt. Jack Ross
  • Cpl. Jeffrey Owen Howard
  • Capt. Julius Alexander Randolph
  • Cmdr. Walter Stone

Production History

The first column refers to source material. P for playbill and N for newspaper.

Opening Venue Company
Jun 5, 2007 Casa Mañana Theatre
Aug 2005 Theatre Royal Haymarket
Jan 1992 Volkstheater (Vienna)
Nov 15, 1989 Music Box Theatre
1989 Kennedy Center University of Virginia's Department of Drama
Sep 19, 1989 Heritage Repertory Theatre University of Virginia's Department of Drama
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