Andrew Butler, Wakulla High graduate Class of 2005, is in the cast of the Broadway hit ‘Stereophonic’

Andrew Butler when he was a student at Wakulla High


Andrew Butler knew he was interested in performing and drama when he was student at Wakulla High School.

Under drama teacher Susan Solburg and as part of the school’s Dramatis Personae troupe, Butler said he soaked up as much as he could.
“I talk about my time there often and that shaped how I think about theater,” he says.
It wasn’t a stodgy repertoire of published and popular plays they were performing in – Solburg was writing original plays, directing them, and giving her student-actors leeway to figure out character.
He saw then, he says, “the collaborative possibility of creating.”
After graduation, he went to New York and attended NYU and studied acting.
About 10 years ago, he was in workshop production of the play that would become ‘Stereophonic,” which was written by playwright David Adjmi, with songs by Will Butler (no relation), who was formerly in the band Arcade Fire.
There was a workshop performance in 2016, Butler recalls. “We thought we’d do the play in 2020 – but the pandemic hit.”
The play, about a fictional band recording an album in California in the 1970s, appears modeled on Fleetwood Mac and that band’s work on the album “Rumours.” Butler plays one of two recording engineers.
The play was first produced Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons and then transferred in April to Broadway’s Golden Theatre. It has been nominated for 13 Tony Awards as a drama, with music, not a musical. Nominations include Best New Play, and four of the cast members are nominated as Best Featured Actor and Actresses. (Butler isn’t nominated.)
The New Yorker theatre critic Helen Shaw praised the play, and offered a description of Butler as “looking like a weed-dealing St. Jerome.”

On May 6, the cast performed a song “Masquerade” from the play on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. Fallon introduced the song, and then camera shows the two recording engineers at the board looking through a window at the band and Butler says, “OK, rolling. Masquerade, take 37” – and then the band begins performing.
“Jimmy Fallon was so cool,” Butler says of the experience. “That was thrilling.”
Asked how the success of the play has changed his life, Butler thinks about it, then says with a laugh: “I’ve never performed one role this long.”
It’s given him a very consistent schedule, he says, with eight performances a week – Mondays off, and two performances on Wednesdays and Saturdays in a Broadway house that seats 800 people.
After shows, he finds it interesting meeting people at the stage door looking to have their Playbills autographed.
He says growing up in North Florida is still such a part of his life, and is always with him.
“I say I’m from Wakulla, and almost nobody is familiar with it.”
He actually lived in Carrabelle, where his family moved after his dad retired from the U.S. Army after a 20-year career. It’s where his grandparents lived, along with an aunt and uncle in East Point.
His family was involved in the Gulf State Bank.

Andrew Butler now.