On Tuesday, November 13, 2018, Harvest House hosted The American Soldier, a solo show performance by actor Douglas Taurel in honor of Veterans Day. Thanks to our presenting sponsors, Keith & Linda Monda, our 5-Star General Sponsors Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, and Fay & Jerry Bainbridge, our Corporal Sponsor Sabal Palm Bank, and our fundraising match providers Alan Kesten and Frank & Linda Wenthur, we were able to raise over $61,000 for veterans at Harvest House.
The American Soldier is a one-man dramatic production that has been nominated for an Amnesty International Award and received 4 stars internationally at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for theatre excellence. Past performances include The Kennedy Center, The Library of Congress twice, and Off-Broadway. The American Soldier has been featured in The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Military Times, and Time Out. Taurel has been invited to perform for the American Legion’s National Headquarters in Indianapolis and the New York Federal Reserve Bank in 2018. Learn more at TheAmericanSoldierSoloShow.com.
Taurel’s television and film credits include Mr. Robot, The Americans, Blue Bloods, Person of Interest, The Following, Damages, Nurse Jackie, The Cobbler (starring Adam Sandler & Dustin Hoffman) and The Kindergarten Teacher (starring Maggie Gyllenhall). He was commissioned by the Library of Congress to write and perform his second solo show, An American Soldier’s Journey Home which commemorates the ending of WWI. He’s finished filming the Web TV Series Landing Home, which he wrote and directed; it tells the story of a Veteran having a hard time adjusting out of the Military. Though he has taken on many challenges in his life, his biggest challenge to date has been writing and creating The American Soldier, honoring veterans and their families who serve, and the millions of veterans and families from past generations.
This 75-minute solo show presents 14 characters based on real stories and letters written by veterans and their family members from the American Revolution all the way through current day Afghanistan. It examines the internal struggles and problems that soldiers face when returning home from combat and the sacrifice that is made by our veterans and their families.
We see one character who represents all the powerful and beautiful things of the military – discipline, teamwork, and brotherhood. He is the only character who comes out more than once to share these lessons with us. All other characters are only seen once, and they represent our glimpse of what sacrifice really is for our veterans and their families.
The play starts with our narrator sharing his lesson in discipline. Then, we see a Revolutionary War Soldier freezing at Valley Forge, a grieving mother remembering her son and how he died in Vietnam, our narrator sharing his lesson in teamwork, our Bronx WWII Veteran suffering from PTSD due to his experience in Iwo Jima, our African American Vietnam Vet, our Iraq Veteran addicted to the adrenaline of war, a wife and son dealing with a father’s absence while he is away on a 3rd deployment in Afghanistan, a father in the wake of his soldier son’s suicide from Iraq, a Chicano Soldier dealing with the loss of his limb when his wife helps him to stand up again, a WWI Soldier sharing his love for his brother in the trenches, an eloquent Civil War Soldier writing his final letter to his wife, and finally our narrator sharing his lesson in brotherhood.
All props are stored and pulled out of an army trunk. The trunk represents everything that a soldier is – life, death, friendship, and survival.
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