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A Soldier's Play at Ahmanson Theater

Why see A Soldier's Play?


Continuing their groundbreaking exploration of the racial tensions that are indelibly imprinted on America's past and present history-in-the-making, the Roundabout Theatre company presents a hotly anticipated tour of Charles Fuller's 1981 Pulitzer Prize-winning play A Soldier's Play starring Norm Lewis and Eugene Lee. Premiering Off-Broadway and featuring a then-unknown Denzel Washington, the thought-provoking drama was also awarded the Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best American Play and revived in a critically acclaimed Off-Broadway production in 2005.

Brought to the stage by director Kenny Leon, who won the 2014 Tony for Best Director for A Raisin In The Sun, and starring In Living Color regular David Alan Grier and Grammy-winning actor Blair Underwood, A Soldier's Play subverts expectations and experiments with storytelling form and structure to weave a poignant portrait of the shooting of an African-American soldier and the events that follow.

What Is A Soldier's Play About?

Part military drama, part whodunit, part courtroom procedural, the story takes place within the racially segregated US Army base in Fort Neal, Louisiana in the mid-40s. When an African American sergeant by the name of Vernon Waters is murdered, Captain Richard Davenport, an African American army officer (a rarity), is called upon to investigate the death, commencing a whirlwind of gripping tension that rises and envelops the audience in its frank examination of racial stereotypes and relations.  

Key Information

Run Time

One hour and 50 minutes with one intermission


Finished Jun 25, 2023


Written by Charles Fuller
Directed by Kenny Leon
Set design by Derek McLane
Lighting Design by Allen Lee Hughes
Sound Design by Dan Moses Schreier


Tony Nominations 2020

Best Revival of a Play

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play - Blair Underwood

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play - David Alan Grier

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Best Costume Design of a Play

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Best Direction of a Play


Customer reviews

2 reviews, average rating: (4.5 Stars)

D. Gomez

Complex and Thought Provoking

Four of us went to see "A Soldier's Play" at the Ahmanson Theatre last evening. At the end of the play...we all thought "Everyone we know needs to see this play!" As the play unravels you are exposed to so many dimensions of thought. I could not get it out of my mind after seeing the entire play, and I still cannot. It posed so many different perspectives in beliefs and thinking...each with it's own validity and merit. As the actor "Eugene Lee says "Nothing in this play is what it appears to be." To me, an excellent play or movie stays in the forefront of your mind...because we have to digest the content more and have work to do. This is that play. ... Read more


A Great Play

First and foremost, this is a great play which made a strong impact on me when I saw it not too long after it opened. Following that I saw the Norman Jewison movie adaptation when it opened in 1984 and was again bowled over. I liked this version but wasn’t knocked out primarily due to the shtick that was Eugene Lee’s portrayal of Staff Sergeant Vernon Waters. I found it gimmicky and, for the most part, unbelievable in fact insulting. I’m just sayin…. ... Read more


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