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Kevin William Paul talks about starring in ‘The Outsiders’ on Broadway’

Kevin William Paul chatted about making his Broadway debut in “The Outsiders” musical.

Kevin William Paul
Kevin William Paul. Photo Credit: Brad Everett Young.
Kevin William Paul. Photo Credit: Brad Everett Young.

Actor Kevin William Paul chatted about making his Broadway debut in “The Outsiders” musical.

The production is based on the novel of the same name by S. E. Hinton, the book by Adam Rapp and Justin Levine, and the 1983 film that was directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

It was directed by Danya Taymor, with music and lyrics by Jamestown Revival (Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance) and Justin Levine.

‘The Outsiders’

On being a part of “The Outsiders,” he said, “My experience with the show has been fantastic. From the beginning, I’ve always connected with the story; I read it in eighth grade as a new kid in school.”

“Moving forward since then, the overall aesthetic of ‘The Outsiders’ and what it stands for, has always resonated with me. It has been an incredible experience,” he said.

“It has been a blessing to work on it, and to be a part of this story, which has spanned decades now,” he noted.

“For me, this is my Broadway debut, so to be a part of something like this, where people are drawn to the story (both critically and personally), and for it to be recognized with so many Tony nominations has been wonderful,” he elaborated.

Portraying Bob Sheldon

On playing Bob Sheldon, he said, “Playing this character has been fantastic. It is both challenging and exhilarating.”

“I am so fortunate to have such wonderful words to speak because of Adam Rapp and through S. E. Hinton’s story, and such wonderful words to sing and melodies thanks to Jamestown and Justin Levine,” he said.

“Also, such clear direction and specificity from Danya Taymor, and movement from Rick and Jeff Kuperman,” he added.

Jason Schmidt and the cast of 'The Outsiders' on Broadway
Jason Schmidt and the cast of ‘The Outsiders’ on Broadway. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

Working with the cast of actors

“Every single person who is a part of this show has made the experience so much richer than I could ever be on my own,” he admitted.

He continued, “Brody Grant, Sky Lakota-Lynch, Jason Schmidt, Joshua Boone, Brent Comer, and every person on that stage is incredible. They are such hard workers, and they have such big hearts in this production.”

“Many of us are making our Broadway debuts, and we are learning a lot about ourselves through this process, the artform, and this industry. Personally, for me, within the story, it is fresh and new each night,” he explained.

“To just be together and supported by everybody who is a part of this is a wonderful thing. I don’t take it for granted. I am incredibly grateful, and I am indebted to all the people that supported me to get to this point. As a band of brothers, we are staying strong through all of it,” he added.

He shared that his understudies include Barton Cowperthwaite and RJ Higton, and he praised them for being “fantastic.”

“What my understudies do is incredible,” he admitted. “Barton is such a sweetheart, and I just love RJ’s energy. They’ve all been wonderful.”

The Socs in the cast of 'The Outsiders' music on Broadway
The Socs in the cast of ‘The Outsiders’ music on Broadway. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy.

The digital age

On being an actor in the digital age, he said, “I’m a little old school. I’m on the cusp of Gen Z and millennial. I didn’t have an iPhone until I was older, such as later in high school.”

“Now, I am just working to make it work for me. I think the digital age is a bit of a tricky situation… A lot of beautiful things can happen with phones. I’ve done a lot of things where all I needed was my phone,” he explained.

“I don’t hate technology by any means,” he acknowledged. “That being said, personally, I like to be outside, and I enjoy watching movies.”

“Phones are great for me for FaceTiming or talking on the phone, but I’m not big on texting or social media. There is a lot of people that do it way better than me,” he added.

The church fire scene in 'The Outsiders' musical on Broadway
The church fire scene in ‘The Outsiders’ musical on Broadway. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

Advice for young and aspiring actors

For young and aspiring actors, he said, “Remain open… Keep your heart, mind, and body open in the sense of taking in what is around you. Smell things fully, be present, and be open when you feel triggered or anxious.”

“Change is inevitable,” he said. “The only constant is change… and it’s good. Remain open in specific ways, and on the day-to-day remain curious. Don’t get jaded as hard as things may be. These are things that I live by as well.”

Kevin William Paul
Kevin William Paul. Photo Credit: Brad Everett Young

Stage of his life

On the title of the current chapter of his life, he said, “Standing in the Light… and Leave the Light On.”

Superpower of choice

If he were to have any superpower, he responded, “To be able to communicate through mind and body with any of my loved ones at any given time.”

“That way, I would be there for that person who needs me. I would just be there for the people that matter the most to me. It would be pretty cool to have that superpower,” he said.

Kevin William Paul
Kevin William Paul. Photo Credit: Brad Everett Young.

Dream Loud campaign

He opened up about being a part of Brad Everett Young’s nonprofit organization, the Dream Loud campaign, which helps preserve arts and music programs in schools.

“Brad is great, and it was really fun to do,” he said. “I did that a year ago, and he was so much fun to shoot with.”

“Brad is so talented, and I am so grateful that we got to connect for the Dream Loud campaign. I think the work that he does with it is very important. It is just fantastic,” he expressed.

Kevin William Paul
Kevin William Paul. Photo Credit: Brad Everett Young.


Regarding his definition of success, he revealed, “Success means being able to take care of myself and my loved ones. In more literal terms, success is being able to choose how I want to work, and who I want to work with, and the way I want to work while still leaving room for other people to inspire what I am doing.”

“Also, continuing to find my people and collaborating with them. Success involves a lot of sunshine, whatever that means to you,” he explained.

The Greasers in the cast of 'The Outsiders' music on Broadway
The Greasers in the cast of ‘The Outsiders’ music on Broadway. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy.

Message for fans and viewers about ‘The Outsiders’ musical

For fans and viewers, he remarked about “The Outsiders,” “I hope people gain a whole new perspective. I hope people walk away from the show and the story allows them to come to terms with dynamics in their life that they might be working with and relationships.”

“Also, let it be a reminder that we all have that kid within us,” he said. “What is beautiful about this story is you are watching a bunch of kids come together who try to make sense of tragedies and things that are happening to them for the first time.”

“This story doesn’t necessarily give answers but rather says ‘here are ways that people can move forward.’ Of course, it has the beautiful catchphrase ‘stay gold’,” he added.

For more information on “The Outsiders” musical, check out its official homepage.

To learn more about Kevin William Paul, follow him on Instagram.

Read More: “The Outsiders” review

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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