Bradlee Alan Gorrera gets a military haircut for his role in York Little Theatre’s production of "A Few Good Men."
Bradlee Alan Gorrera gets a military haircut for his role in York Little Theatre's production of "A Few Good Men." (Bil Bowden)

A group of actors gathered at York Little Theatre on a recent Thursday evening for a bonding experience beyond the call of duty.

As Marines in the upcoming production of "A Few Good Men," the players needed to look the part.

"This small act of cutting hair may seem silly to some people," says Bradlee Alan Gorrera, at 19 already a veteran of several York Little Theatre productions. "(But) when I got my hair cut, I realized just how dedicated our military soldiers are to their job (of) serving and protecting this country."

The York City resident is playing Pfc. William Santiago, the Marine killed by his brothers in arms during a hazing incident. The death leads to a court martial for his fellow Marines and the courtroom battle of ideologies made famous in the film as Tom Cruise's young naval lawyer character demands the truth and Jack Nicholson, as Col. Nathan Jessup, replies, "You can't handle the truth."

A favorite: The film is a favorite for Charles Wurster, 45, of Springettsbury Township, who plays Capt. Whitaker in the York Little Theatre show.

"The play is different from the movie in some cases," he says. "It's been a wonderful experience."

Wurster, too, got his hair cut for the role.

"My haircut has been favorably received by friends and co-workers," he says. He might even keep the style. "Summer's coming, and I'll be cooler that way."

Direction: Both men are eager to heap praise on director Steve Hoke for his handling of the tense courtroom drama.

"The director has had a great vision for this show, and he's been excellent to work with," Wurster says. "Steve Hoke is fantastic."

After two decades away from acting, Wurster couldn't say no to "A Few Good Men." Hoke's encouragement at rehearsals has helped him make the character shine, he says.

"I've been challenged to really develop an edge to this character," he says.

Charles Wurster gets his military haircut for York Little Theatre’s production of "A Few Good Men."
Charles Wurster gets his military haircut for York Little Theatre's production of "A Few Good Men." (Bil Bowden)
"My character provides a couple of one-liners and comedy at the front of the show, and it's exciting to see the audience reaction."

For Gorrera, getting his hair cut showed him how the play's message carries beyond the borders of the stage.

"The stories of these people on stage can be very real and be very relatable to any one of our audience members," he says.

'A Few Good Men'

"A Few Good Men" opens Friday at York Little Theatre, 27 S. Belmont St., Spring Garden Township.

The show runs May 10-12 and 16-19, with Sunday shows at 3 p.m. and others at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $23 for adults, $21 for seniors and $18 for students.

For more information, call (717) 854-5715 or visit www.ylt.org.

- Reach Mel Barber at mbarber@yorkdispatch.com.