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Army Veteran Turned Actor Channels Shakespeare in Off Broadway Play

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Shakespeare Helps Heal the Wound of War for One Veteran
Circa 1600, William Shakespeare reading ‘Hamlet’ to his family. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


Stephan Wolfert, who served in the U.S. Army from 1986-93 as a medic and infantry officer, had an epiphany in ’91, watching a production of William Shakespeare’s Richard III.

As The New York Times reports, Wolfert had seen his best friend killed in a training exercise, and in the Bard’s play, “he heard an echo of his own experience[.]”

Wolfert eventually left the military and became an actor, got an MFA from Trinity Repertory Conservatory, and went on to teach Shakespeare in performance at Cornell University.

Now, he’s launched an Off Broadway solo show entitled Cry Havoc!, which opens on March 15. (The title is taken from a famous Mark Antony speech from Julius Caesar.) Notes the Times of the upcoming show, “Mr. Wolfert uses [Shakespeare’s words] to explore strength and duty, bravery and trauma, examining what it is to be in the military and what it is to carry that experience back into civilian life.”

A version of the show has actually been around since 2012, but this is the first major opening of it. Get tickets for the show at New York City’s New Ohio Theater.

Below, listen to Wolfert speak about his experiences in the military, theater, and where the two converge.