Good old fashioned courtroom drama; gripping characters

Jeremy Geiger (l) as Lt. Barney Greenwald & Dale Sams as Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg in “The Caine Mutiny Court-Marshal.” Photo provided.

by Rob Howard
Associate Editor

The Caine Mutiny Court Martial is “a classic American drama by one of the legends, Herman Wouk,” says Richard Ellis, a member of Tulsa’s American Theatre Company (ATC). The play, adapted by Wouk from his book, The Caine Mutiny,  is, “Good old fashioned courtroom drama with gripping characters,” says Ellis. The play opens March 10 at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.

The book was immediately embraced, upon its original publication in 1951, as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of World War II. In the intervening 66 years, The Caine Mutiny has become a perennial favorite of readers young and old, has sold millions of copies throughout the world and has achieved the status of a modern classic.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a court martial has been adapted by the author into a suspenseful evening of theatre. A young Lieutenant relieves his Captain of command in the midst of a typhoon on the grounds that the Captain, Queeg, is a psychopath in crisis and commanded the ship and its crew to destruction. Naval tradition is against him but testimony eventually reveals a devastating picture of Queeg’s mental disintegration.

“Enormously exciting. It is the modern stage at its best.” - New York Daily News.

Tulsa theatergoers will be impressed with the play, says Ellis. “The way it’s written, the characters; it’s totally gripping. It’s certainly a durable drama,” he told The Gayly.

The cast is headed by Jeremy Geiger as Lt. Greenwald and Dale Sams as Lt. Cmdr. Queeg. Supporting cast includes Caleb Stirewalt, Mike Buckendorf, Tom Allen, Justin Tomlinson, Jairus Bradley, Jake Marion, Mike Bernart, David Bagsby and Robert Ball.

Caine Mutiny is directed by long time ATC company member Jim Runyan, with scenery by Richard Ellis, lighting design by Keith Sowinski and costume design by Paulette Record.

The production runs March 10-18 in the Doenges Theatre at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Tickets range from $18 to $26 and may be purchased at or by calling (918) 596-7111. Evening performances are at 8 p.m. with a matinee curtain time of 2 p.m.

Copyright 2017 The Gayly – March 3, 2017 @ 12 p.m.