Actor Charles Everett brings both his acting and military background with him as he tours with A Soldier’s Play. The play is set on a Louisiana Army base in 1944. Everett travels with the cast as an understudy for two roles. He talks about how his upbringing and training has prepared him for the show.
[The Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut Street] January 24-February 5, 2023; forrest-theatre.com/a-soldiers-play.html
Debra Danese: You describe your mom as theatre obsessed. How did that influence your path towards the arts?
Charles Everett: My mom has been involved in theatre as an actor, stage manager, producer, director, and teacher for my entire life. Growing up, I was introduced to it at an early age and seeing her passion for it really inspired me. She always encouraged me to pursue my artistic ambitions and I definitely would not be doing this now if it wasn’t for her.
DD: What was your first appearance on stage?
CE: My first stage appearance was when I was 9 years old. I was one of the princes in The King & I.
DD: What does your role as Understudy entail?
CE: I’m an understudy for the roles of Davenport and Waters. I have to learn the lines and blocking for each role and prepare as if I’m going on every night, even though I’m not. It can be challenging, especially with two very different characters, but it’s a lot of fun.
DD: In addition to theater, you have a military background. Can you tell us about that?
CE: I did a 6-year stint in the CT Army National Guard. This included an active-duty tour in the Middle East during Operation Desert Storm.
DD: Are you able to apply that training to the play?
CE: I have definitely been able to apply my military training to playing a soldier on stage because I’ve already internalized all the movements, gestures, and just having the military “bearing.” I’ve been able to help my castmates, as well, so we can all be believable soldiers.
DD: What’s the best part of being on tour?
CE: The best part of being on tour is getting to spend so much time with this amazing group of actors and getting to know them personally. Traveling all over this amazing country is just the icing on the cake.
A Soldier’s Play is coming to Philadelphia as part of a national tour for a two-week engagement at the Forrest Theatre on Jan. 24 – Feb. 5, presented by The Shubert Organization and the Kimmel Cultural Campus.