A Few Good Men, with Jared Bolhuis.

Jared Bolhuis, a seven-year Marine Corps Infantry Squad Leader, plays Lance Corporal Daw-son in Magic Circle Theatre’s production of “A Few Good Men.” Photo by Clay Greathouse.

Jared Bolhuis, a seven-year Marine Corps Infantry Squad Leader, plays Lance Corporal Daw-son in Magic Circle Theatre’s production of “A Few Good Men.” Photo by Clay Greathouse.

By Liesl Greathouse

MONTROSE—(March 4, 2014)  For those interested in a great play with a deep meaning, starting on March 7 the Magic Circle Players will be performing the Broadway hit, A Few Good Men, directed by Keith Distel.

According to the Magic Circle Theatre, the play is about ‘the trial of two Marines for complicity in the death of a fellow Marine at Guantanamo Bay.  The Navy lawyer, a callow young man more interested in softball games than the case, expects a plea bargain and a cover-up of what really happened.  Prodded by a female member of his defense team, the lawyer eventually makes a valiant effort to defend his clients and, in so doing, puts the military mentality and the Marine code of honor on trial.

One of the stars of the play is Jared Bolhuis, who plays Lance Corporal Dawson, one of the Marines on trial.  “This is my first time in a play,” Bolhuis explained.  “The play is an incredible telling of the story of two Marines who, by following orders, end up on trial for murder, and how during the course of that trial interesting things develop.”

A friend of Bolhuis, who is also an actor in the play, called him when they were looking for someone to play Dawson, the last part they needed to cast.  “I came to the audition, had a great time, was cast for the part, and have been having fun ever since,” Bolhuis said. “It was a welcome surprise.”

While this is his first time on stage, this is not Bolhuis’ first time wearing the Marine uniform.  For seven years he was in the Marine Core Infantry, as a squad leader.  “It was an easy transition, as it was what I lived and breathed for so long,” he said.  “Talking about it, I get nostalgic.  Wearing the uniform and presenting myself as a Marine renews my sense of pride in being a Marine.  I’m thankful to the Theatre for that.”

Bolhuis’ experience also contributes to how he acts out scenes with the Naval Officer in the play. “As a Marine I worked with Navy Officers, and I never really got along with one in particular, so I go back to those confrontations to help me act out the scenes,” he explained.

In the future, Bolhuis would love to do more plays, but is a bit nervous at the prospect.  “This role seems to have been cast specifically for me, so it was easy to find the person within me,” he said.  “But if I am another character, I’m not sure if I can become that character.  But I would love to stay on stage and work with the Magic Circle Theatre.  We will have to see how it goes.”

Aside from acting in the play, Bolhuis has enjoyed making new friends. “It has been a wonderful experience,” he said.  “I have met people who have been in theater since they were little, and others who came in for their first play like me.”

At the end of the play, Bolhuis hopes that there will not be many dry eyes in the audience.  “The show is very dramatic,” he explained.  “While the play is set in the 1980’s, the code, discipline, etc. of Marines have not changed to this day.  I hope we can convey the heartbreak of a Marine being discharged, and for people to see how much pride is in the uniform and how devastating it is to have it taken away.

Bolhuis suggests that anyone who is interested in the Magic Circle Players contact them and get involved.  “Give it a shot,” he said.  “I never thought that I would act on stage, but I am having the time of my life.”

For more information and to get tickets, call 970-249-7838 or visit the Magic Circle Theatre at 420 South 12th Street in Montrose.