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Military drama comes to New Dawn Theater

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Special Photo: Cathy Seith Lt. Cmdr John Challee (played by Mike Yow) cross-examines Lt. Stephen Maryk (John Mistretta) during "The Caine Mutany Court Martial" at New Dawn Theater.

IF YOU GO

• What: “The Caine Mutiny Court Martial”

• When: Friday through Sunday, Oct. 18-21, 25-28, 8 p.m. each night including 2 p.m. Sundays

• Where: New Dawn Theater, 3087 Main St., Duluth

• Cost: $12 to $15

• For more information: Visit www.newdawntheatercompany.com

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Special Photo: Cathy Seith Lt. Cmdr John Challee (played by Mike Yow) left, cross-examines Lt. Thomas Keefer (Roger Ferrier) right, during the Duluth theater's new production.

DULUTH -- Through the month of October, New Dawn Theater Company presents Herman Wouk's "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial," a two-act military drama.

"It's a classic. I've wanted to do this show for a couple of years," director Sherry Ingbritsen said. "We've got the right space for it and just the right actors. It's a great show. A military drama this type of year is perfect before Vet's Day."

Under the direction of Ingbritsen, the predominantly male cast tasks the audience through the court martial proceeding against Lt. Stephen Maryk played by John Mistretta, who relieved his captain of command, Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg (Eric Arvidson), on the grounds that the captain was psychopathic in the crisis (a typhoon).

"There are a few comical moments in it, but beyond that, it's a very serious drama and very powerful," Ingbritsen said. "It brings up the issue that maybe something is psychologically wrong with the captain in the first place."

Like jurors at a trial, the audience knows only what various witnesses say about the events on the ship, Caine.

In Act 1, the story follows the court through the prosecution. As people are cross-examined and witnesses are subjected to a slew of questions, the story begins to unfold.

In Act II, the other side of the story is heard through the defense, which is broken up into two different scenes.

"I think it's going to be something different for our audiences," Ingbritsen said. "A courtroom drama is something different for us. If you like the classics, believe in the military and respect what the attorneys, you'll get a whole new view on the military justice system."

Besides the dramatic elements, Ingbritsen and her crew were painstakingly accurate with the costumes.

"When the guys comes out in full uniform, it's got that awe factor," she said. "A lot of research went into this show."

Both Duluth High School and Peachtree Ridge's ROTC donated uniforms for the show. The cast took off the badges and sewed the correct strips on the sleeves, ribbons on the front and found collar pins.

"We went down to the rank," she said. "They are real Navy uniforms used for the schools."

New Dawn just made them their own for the show.