‘A Soldier’s Play’ Announces Full Cast for Upcoming National Tour
Roundabout Theatre Company and Tamar Climan proudly announce that Eugene Lee will join Norm Lewis to star in the 20-week North American tour of Roundabout’s 2020 Tony Award®-winning Best Revival of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning A Soldier’s Play.
As previously announced, Emmy, Tony and SAG Award nominee Norm Lewis will star as ‘Captain Richard Davenport.’ Joining him will be Broadway, TV and film star Eugene Lee, who originated the role of ‘Corporal Bernard Cobb’ in the original 1981 Off-Broadway Production of A Soldier’s Play,as ‘Sergeant Vernon C. Waters.’
The cast includes Will Adams as ‘Corporal Bernard Cobb,’ Brandon Alvión as an understudy, Sheldon D. Brown as ‘Private C.J. Memphis,’ Malik Childs as ‘Private Tony Smalls,’ Ja’Quan Cole as an understudy, William Connell as ‘Captain Charles Taylor,’ Charles Everett as an understudy, Alex Michael Givens as ‘Corporal Ellis,’ Matthew Goodrich as ‘Captain Wilcox,’ Chattan Mayes Johnson as ‘Lieutenant Byrd,’ Branden Davon Lindsay as ‘Private Louis Henson,’ Tarik Lowe as ‘Private First-Class Melvin Peterson,’ Al’Jaleel McGhee as an understudy, and Howard Overshown as ‘Private James Wilkie.’
In 1944, on a Louisiana Army base, two shots ring out. A Black sergeant is murdered. And a series of interrogations triggers a gripping barrage of questions about sacrifice, service, and identity in America. Charles Fuller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece opened on Broadway for the first time on Jan. 21, 2020 at Roundabout Theatre Company’s American Airlines Theatre, nearly forty years after it was written. The acclaimed production was nominated for 7 Tony Awards and 3 Drama Desk Awards, winning Best Revival for both.
NORM LEWIS (Captain Richard Davenport). Emmy, Grammy, Tony, and SAG Award nominee, Norm Lewis, recently starred in Spike Lee’s critically acclaimed, Da 5 Bloods, and in the groundbreaking FX series, “Pose.” Additionally, Mr. Lewis can be seen starring in ABC’s newest series, “Women of The Movement” and offscreen, his voice can be heard in the latest season of Apple TV’s animated series, “Central Park.” He was also seen as ‘Caiaphas’ in the award-winning NBC television special, “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!” alongside John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Alice Cooper. Mr. Lewis returned to Broadway in the Fall of 2021, starring in Chicken and Biscuits at the Circle In The Square Theatre. He previously appeared in the Broadway revival of Once on This Island and as Sweeney Todd in the Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Barrow Street Theatre, receiving the AUDELCO Award for his performance. In May of 2014, he made history as The Phantom of the Opera’s first African American ‘Phantom’ on Broadway. He has been seen on PBS in the “Live From Lincoln Center” productions of Showboat with Vanessa Williams, “Norm Lewis: Who Am I?,” “New Year’s Eve: A Gershwin Celebration” with Diane Reeves, as well as “American Voices” with Renée Fleming and the PBS Specials “First You Dream – The Music of Kander & Ebb” and “Ella Wishes You A Swingin’ Christmas.” He can be seen recurring in the VH1 series, “Daytime Divas,” also alongside Vanessa Williams. His additional television credits include “Law & Order,” “Dr. Death,” “Mrs. America,” “Better Things,” “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Bull,” “Chicago Med,” “Gotham,” “The Blacklist,” and “Blue Bloods,” as well as in his recurring role as Senator Edison Davis on the hit drama “Scandal.” Mr. Lewis is a proud founding member of Black Theatre United, an organization which stands together to help protect Black people, Black talent and Black lives of all shapes and orientations in theatre and communities across the country. He received Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle award nominations for his performance as Porgy in the Broadway production of The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess. Other Broadway credits include Sondheim on Sondheim, The Little Mermaid, Les Misérables, Chicago, Amour, The Wild Party, Side Show, Miss Saigon, and The Who’s Tommy. In London’s West End he has appeared as Javert in Les Misérables and Les Misérables: The 25th Anniversary Concert, which aired on PBS. Off-Broadway Mr. Lewis has performed in Dessa Rose (Drama Desk nomination, AUDELCO Award), Shakespeare in the Park’s The Tempest, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Drama League nomination), Captains Courageous, and A New Brain. His regional credits include Porgy in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (A.R.T.), Ragtime, Dreamgirls (with Jennifer Holliday), First You Dream, Sweeney Todd, and The Fantasticks. His additional film credits include Christmas In Tune (starring opposite Reba McEntire), Magnum Opus, Winter’s Tale, Sex and the City 2, Confidences, and Preaching to the Choir. Norm’s albums “The Norm Lewis Christmas Album” album & “This is The Life” can be found on Amazon.com as well as cdbaby.com.
EUGENE LEE (Sergeant Vernon C. Waters). In 1972, while in college at Southwest Texas State (now Texas State), Lee acted in a command performance of A Raisin in the Sun for President Lyndon B. Johnson at his Texas ranch. Nearly 50 years later years later he has gone on to appear on camera and extensive voice over (ADR) work in over 200 television movies, films and series and long since lost count of the number of plays he’s been involved with. He went on to appear in a lot of episodic television shows and movies, including: “The Women of Brewster Place” with Oprah Winfrey, “Dallas,” “Good Times,” “The White Shadow,” and “The District,” and the title character in Wolf, an award-winning independent film, and recently after performing in the Broadway production of American Son he recreated his role in the Emmy-nominated Netflix film adaptation, to name a few. He has appeared on stage across the country and across the globe. He has worked and traveled with New York’s renowned Negro Theatre Ensemble, performing in the Pulitzer Prize winning A Soldier’s Play and numerous other works. He is considered a “Wilsonian Warrior” for his many appearances in the works of August Wilson, including the Broadway production of Gem of the Ocean. He performed in six of Wilson’s 10 plays at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and in the taped PBS recordings of all ten plays in the Century Cycle as well as in August Wilson’s final autobiographical one-man piece, How I Learned What I Learned. His writing credits include “Homicide: Life on the Streets,” (Episode: “Every Mother’s Son”) which is among a Writer’s Guild designation as one of the top 100 television series, “Walker, Texas Ranger,” “Michael Hayes,” “The Journey of Allen Strange,” “The Turks” and the TV movie “Port Chicago.” His own characters come to life through his plays, one of which is East Texas Hot Links, which has been produced on stages from Los Angeles to New York and London’s Royal Court and is published by Samuel French play publishers. His other plays include Fear Itself, Somebody Called: A Tale of Two Preachers, Ode to Juneteenth, Killingsworth, the book to the musical Twist and Lyin’ Ass about a fictional first Black female Texas Ranger. Lee is Artist in Residence and Artistic Director of the Black and Latino Playwright’s Celebration at Texas State University which celebrating its 20th year in 2022. Through this venue, Lee has brought playwrights and students, together with professional directors and performers to work on developing new plays with those aspiring to have their voices heard. Lee was inducted into the prestigious Texas Institute of Letters in 2018. eugeneleeonline.com
WILL ADAMS (Corporal Bernard Cobb) recently starred in the film A Holiday in Harlem (Hallmark) and recurred in Tyler Perry’s “The Oval”(BET). His theatre credits include Skeleton Crew, A Death of a Salesman (Trinity Rep), and Curse of the Starving Class (Williamstown Theatre Festival). MFA: Brown/Trinity Rep.
SHELDON D. BROWN (Private C.J. Memphis). Theater credits include Steppenwolf Theatre, (Choir Boy, Jeff Award winning), Court Theatre (Man In The Ring); About Face Theatre (Magnolia Ballet) and more. Film/TV screenwriting credits include Cicada (Spirit Award nominated), “The Big Leap” (FOX). He is represented by Stewart Talent & Innovative Artists.
MALIK CHILDS (Private Tony Smalls) is native to the eastside of Detroit, MI. UNC School of the Arts (2019). Recent productions include Exception to the Rule by David Harris (Roundabout Theater Company). soft by Donja R. Love (Williamstown Theater Festival). I am overjoyed to tell stories that celebrate, dismantle, and uplift the people of my community. In honor of Charles Fuller. Excited to share this staple around the country.
WILLIAM CONNELL (Captain Charles Taylor). INK (MTC), A View From the Bridge (2010 Broadway revival), The Coast of Utopia (LCT), Nureyev’s Eyes (George Street), Alphabetical Order (Keen Co.), Hamlet (Aspen Music Festival), One Man, Two Guvnors (PTC, Berkeley Rep, South Coast Rep), TV/Film: “Succession,” “Bluff City Law,” “Blindspot,” “Blacklist,” “Bull,” “Smash,” Not Fade Away. B.F.A. UNCSA.
ALEX MICHAEL GIVENS (Corporal Ellis) is an actor from Saint Louis, MO. currently living in Brooklyn, New York. He recently graduated with his masters in acting from UNC-Chapel Hill. This is his first Broadway National Tour and he is excited to help bring this story to life.
MATTHEW GOODRICH (Captain Wilcox). Broadway: A Soldier’s Play, All My Sons, The Nance, Picnic. Regional credits include Alabama Shakespeare Festival, TheatreSquared, Florida Repertory Theatre, and Orlando Shakes. Special thanks to Kenny, Mr. Fuller, Jim Carnahan Casting, and Carson Kolker Org. MFA, CalArts. actormatt.com@goodie_grams
CHATTAN MAYES JOHNSON (Lieutenant Byrd) is honored to make his National Tour debut! Regional credits: Newsies (Jack Kelley), Godspell (“All Good Gifts” Disciple). Education: Carnegie Mellon University 2022. Much gratitude to his family, the Roundabout and ASP creative team, and his reps at Gersh and Alchemy!
BRANDEN DAVON LINDSAY (Private Louis Henson) is an actor and Southern gentleman born and raised in Greenville, SC. He is honored to be making his first National Tour debut. 2021 Graduate from NYU Grad Acting. Recent credits include: Off Broadway: Merry Wives (Public Theater). Film: The Greatest Beer Run Ever (Apple+). Television: “Awkwafina” (Comedy Central), “Blue Bloods” (CBS), “Evil” (CBS).
TARIK LOWE (Private First-Class Melvin Peterson) is an actor/writer known for his versatility and dramatic depth. He debuted in Music of the Heart starring Meryl Streep. Film: the Oscar-winning Whiplash, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete, Pimp and co-writer/star in Supporting Characters, which premiered at Tribeca. TV: “One Life to Live,” “Major Crimes,” “Blindspot,” “Outsiders,” “Law & Order” and “Blue Bloods.”
HOWARD OVERSHOWN (Private James Wilkie). Broadway: The Lehman Trilogy (U/S), Saint Joan, Julius Caesar, A Freeman of Color, A Soldiers Play (U/S). Off Broadway: Yellowman, The Underlying Chris, Passage, Beauty on the Vine, Cost of Living (U/S). TV/Film: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “girls5eva,” “Law and Order,” “Blue Bloods,” “Fosse/Verdon,” “The Affair,” Pride and Glory, 13, Lost Cat Corona, Body of Lies, “Madam Secretary.”
BRANDON ALVIÓN (Understudy) is from Newark, NJ. He received his MFA in Acting from Wayne State University. Select credits: Harpo in The Color Purple (2nd Nat’l), Kenny in Chicken & Biscuits (Virginia Rep) and Martin L. King Jr. in The Mountaintop (Hope Summer Rep). Many thanks to the cast, crew, and creatives. Social media: @iactwright
JA’QUAN COLE (Understudy) was born in Toledo, OH to a Pentecostal evangelist & saxophonist father & a phlebotomist mother. Ja’Quan started participating in local plays at 13. He started playing the organ & drums in church at 16. Years later he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting studying with various teachers. In 2016, Ja’Quan went to London to study classical theater at LAMDA to earn his M.A. in Fine Arts: Classical Theatre.
CHARLES EVERETT (Understudy) is thrilled to be joining the cast of this iconic play. Favorite theatre credits include King in The Mountaintop (Emerson Theatre Collaborative/Connecticut), Doug in Raft of the Medusa (Barefoot Theatre Company/NYC), and Harry Truman in Convention (Brontosaurus Haircut Productions/NYC). Television: “Fleishman is in Trouble,” “Only Murders in the Building,” “The Equalizer,” “FBI: Most Wanted,” “Bull.” Charles is a graduate of Maggie Flanigan Studio in New York City.
AL’JALEEL MCGHEE (Understudy). Chicago-built artist. Currently appears on 61st Street (AMC), Lady in the Lake (Apple+), “Power Book IV: FORCE” (Starz). Regional: Intimate Apparel, Fireflies (Northlight), Wolf Play (Gift), Graveyard Shift (Goodman, New Stages), Paradise Blue (Timeline), Breach (Victory Gardens), Blues for an Alabama Sky (Court). Northwestern, MFA. Gratitude to the tribe!
Written by American playwright Charles Fuller, A Soldier’s Playwill be directed by Tony Award winner and Roundabout Theatre Company’s Senior Resident Director Kenny Leon. The North American tour of A Soldier’s Play begins performances December 8 at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, CT and officially opens on December 15 at The Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theatre.
“The recent passing of The Giant that is Charles Fuller has only magnified his brilliance…an amazing writer who left us so much with his masterful A Soldiers Play,” said Leon. “We honor him with this American tour of the Broadway production of this great American classic. Come – laugh, think and reflect – America is in need of love.”
Joining director Kenny Leon for the tour of Roundabout Theatre Company’s A Soldier’s Playis the Broadway design team that includes Derek McLane (Sets), Dede Ayite(Costumes), Allen Lee Hughes (Lights), Dan Moses Schreier (Sound) and Cristina Angeles (Associate Director). The tour of A Soldier’s Play is produced by Roundabout Theatre Company and Tamar Climan.