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Stephan Wolfert

Stephan Wolfert, Actor/Writer/Director, MFA, (AEA, SAG) (US Army, ’86-’93, Medic & Infantry Officer) Stephan left a career in the military for a life in the theatre after seeing Shakespeare’s Richard III. Stephan Received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Trinity Repertory Conservatory. Stephan created the military segments for Twyla Tharp & Billy Joel’s Tony-Award winning production Movin Out. He directed and taught Shakespeare in performance at Cornell University and Antelope Valley College. He is Head of Outreach for Bedlam Theatre NYC, and an advisory member of PACH, Project for the Advancement of our Common Humanity at NYU.

The company of military Veterans performing full Shakespeare Plays:

www.ShakespeareAndVeterans.org.

The Los Angeles-based Veteran Theatre Company that Wolfert created

www.govcpa.org

The current NYC theatre company for which Wolfert is conducting free classical acting classes for Veterans:

www.theatrebedlam.org

The NYU Think-And-Do Tank of which Wolfert is a core-member:

www.steinhardt.nyu.edu

 

The Antipode of Camaraderie
Essay

The Antipode of Camaraderie

Shakespeare Through the Lens of a Military Veteran

8 August 2014

Consider Richmond's orations to his soldiers in Richard III, Act V, Scenes 3 and 5, and how they bear a striking resemblance to presidential speeches delivered over the last thirteen years. Both Shakespeare's Richmond and our presidents use language to dehumanize the adversary while reinforcing camaraderie among those who are listening.

Upon Mine Honor
Essay

Upon Mine Honor

Shakespeare Through the Lens of a Military Veteran

25 July 2014

Our modern military and Shakespeare's plays are both infused with honor—a powerful tool in recruiting and building camaraderie. But what exactly is honor?

Mine Own Deformity
Essay

Mine Own Deformity

Shakespeare Through the Lens of a Military Veteran

18 July 2014

Questioning the meaning life, and contemplating an offer to go back into active duty military service, I hopped on an Amtrak and weaved my way around the western states. I jumped off in Montana and wandered into a theater. The house lights faded as a deformed man in a military uniform walked on stage.

Faint Slumbers
Essay

Faint Slumbers

Shakespeare Through the Lens of a Military Veteran

11 July 2014

I believe that here, Lady Percy describes the effects of combat on the veteran. I also believe that she shows, first-hand, the effects of war on the veteran's family. I find it awful that a monologue describing a rift between a combat veteran and his wife, which was written more than 400 years ago, is a rift that still exists today—throughout most of our society. This rift is a large part of what, I believe, prevents the reintegration of veterans back into society. But what is the rift between veteran and civilian?

The Cowardice of Conscience
Essay

The Cowardice of Conscience

Shakespeare Through the Lens of a Military Veteran

5 July 2014

In the modern military, weeks and weeks are spent tearing the "civilian" out of civilians-turned-recruits. Ripping out the thoughtful, compassionate, human response and replacing it with what I call the "labrador reflex."

A Common Cry of Curs
Essay

A Common Cry of Curs

Shakespeare Through the Lens of a Military Veteran

27 June 2014

Although written in the early 1600s in England and set in ancient Rome, Shakespeare's "Coriolanus" elucidates the difficulty of reintegration back into society for our veterans who've served multiple tours in heavy combat.

Men of Grosser Blood
Essay

Men of Grosser Blood

Shakespeare Through the Lens of a Military Veteran

20 June 2014

We as a nation, much like Shakespeare's plays, are brilliant at using camaraderie to: define masculinity, create and dehumanize an enemy, and to motivate our men and women towards violence. But after the “blast of war blows” in their ears, where is the blueprint for what to do after killing? Where are the speeches post-combat that teach men and women how to reconnect with their humanity?

Shakespeare’s Berserker—Margaret of Anjou
Essay

Shakespeare’s Berserker—Margaret of Anjou

Shakespeare Through the Lens of a Military Veteran

10 June 2014

Reading Henry VI, parts one, two and three, I was in awe. Aside from the usual chromosomal explosion that I always get from Shakespeare's verse, I was in awe because I realized that Margaret of Anjou was a berserker!

Will & War
Essay

Will & War

Shakespeare Through the Lens of a Military Veteran

27 May 2014

The only reason that I am alive, sober, and surviving is because I have community and the performing arts. The performing arts community offers the perfect setting to share my story without being judged or condemned. It has been the performing arts that has kept me from being yet another veteran statistic. By examining and acting Shakespeare through my veteran lens I was able to understand what happened to me.

Shakespeare Through the Lens of a Military Veteran
Series

Shakespeare Through the Lens of a Military Veteran

This series examines Shakespeare from a military veteran's perspective and offers a new angle on Shakespeare's text and characters, while delving deep into the challenges facing American theatre and society.