‘The American Soldier’: One man cast shows struggles of war, veterans


Rob Le Cates

Douglas Taurel opens his one-man production called “The American Soldier” by calling the audience’s attention by simulating the military in The Black Box Thursday evening in the Doudna Fine Arts Center. Through his show, Taurel unveils struggles that soldiers and veterans face when returning to society after battle.

Drew Coffey, Campus Reporter

“The American Soldier”, a one-man production that shows the struggles of war and the bravery of veterans, was performed at the Doudna Fine Arts Center on Thursday night. 

The play was performed and written by Douglas Taurel and consisted of many different stories of soldiers throughout many wars such as World War I and the Vietnam War.  

Taurel is an active producer, director, writer and actor that has worked on many series such as “Mr. Robot,” “The Americans” and “The Affair.” 

He has also worked on films such as “The Cobbler” starring Adam Sandler and “The Kindergarten Teacher” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal.  

Dayden Gardner, a junior history education major, thought the message of the production was well done and respectful towards those who have served in the military.

“I was really, really happy to see that he was giving a story to veterans like that,” Gardner said. “My grandpa was a Vietnam veteran, and [Taurel] talked about the stuff my grandpa went through. And it was really good to see how he’s trying to spread awareness for people that [know] veterans that have gone through these awful things.” 

According to Gardner, he was given an opportunity to see Taurel before the production through a history class.  

“We were able to talk to him beforehand, and he was telling us about what the show was about,” said Gardner. “He kind of went over it in the play, but he just wanted to spread awareness for what the soldiers have went through.”  

Mitchell Cox, a freshman theater major, was also impressed with the play and especially the performance from Taurel.  

“I thought every little bit of it was phenomenal from just the performance,” Cox said. “Yeah, I just had nothing but good reviews to say about this show.”  

As a theater performer himself, Cox respected Taurel’s approach to his performance and playing multiple characters throughout “The American Soldier.”  

“Every single change of character was believable,” Cox said. “It wasn’t just, ‘Oh, I’m pretending to be this because that’s what requires of me to tell a story…’ It was every single character he transformed into, I was fully invested in, and I believed that.”  

Douglas Taurel said that the lessons learned through the stories in the production are what truly resonated with him.  

 “Common lessons in the military, brotherhood, teamwork and discipline,” Taurel said. “Brotherhood, that’s the thing that I found very interesting and very important when I went to get my research.”  

According to Taurel, giving true appreciation to those who have served and lost their lives in battle was the main reason to bring the stories to stage.  

“Appreciation is the thing that I’m trying to highlight,” Taurel said. “Yes, appreciation just for us. The play is not about whether wars go to war. The war is bad. It’s not a political play. It’s a human story. It’s also the American story. And also, to remind people that the American story is the amount of conflicts that men and women have been serving and the sacrifice that people have been going through to protect our freedoms, the things that we enjoy so easily and so freely, that at the end of the day, that freedom was paid in blood.”


Drew Coffey can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].