'A Few Good Men:' An interview with Page to Stage's Matthew Bader

Matthew Bader's inspiration to direct this play comes stems from sentimental reasons, as his dad introduced him to it at a young age and he grew up loving the play and film. “It holds a special place in my heart”. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

It’s that time of year again, as UConn’s Page to Stage prepares for its spring production, “A Few Good Men,” directed by second-semester ACES major Matthew Bader.

The play, written by Aaron Sorkin, debuted on Broadway in 1989 and later was adapted into a critically acclaimed film starring Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson. It tells the story of two marines at Guantanamo Bay who are accused of murder, and it is up to three lawyers to prove their innocence as it becomes clear that the death is actually an accident being framed as murder. It shows people willing to sacrifice everything for their country and for what they believe in.

Most shows you walk in with a question: what is the show about, and you leave with an answer. I want people to leave with more questions than when they walked in.
— Matthew Bader

While the original play has limited female roles, the UConn adaptation has included a lot more female cast members, something that Bader has chosen to do on purpose. He feels that women in the military is a topic not discussed enough, and wants to shed a light on their bravery and their problems that might not necessarily be known.

“It’s an awesome opportunity,” said Bader  in reference to being able to cast more females roles. This is a major part of the play, as Bader wants to focus on everyone, not just men, in the military.

Bader was inspired to direct this play based on sentimental reasons, as his dad introduced him to it at a young age and he grew up loving the play and film. “It holds a special place in my heart,” he said. He likes that the play sends a message to people and that he has the potential to showcase the sacrifices people in the military make with a story about people and “explorations about their values.”

“A Few Good Men” will be Bader’s directing debut; however, he is no novice to theater. He began performing in shows in the sixth grade and continued throughout high school, in which he won two Halo Awards for acting. He credits playing Lumiere in “Beauty and the Beast” his senior year of high school and Riff Raff in “Rocky Horror Picture Show” with Page to Stage last semester as two plays that have opened his eyes most to his passion of theater. While currently undecided, he plans to pursue a degree within theater/acting/directing.

Bader hopes that the audience will open their eyes to the problems the military faces and open their hearts to the characters. “Most shows you walk in with a question: what is the show about, and you leave with an answer. I want people to leave with more questions than when they walked in,” he said, “’A Few Good Men’ is a wonderful show with more than a few messages.”

“A Few Good Men” will be performed Saturday, April 8, at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. in ITE C80. Admission is free.


Melissa Scrivani is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at melissa.scrivani@uconn.edu.