Tuesday, May 21, 2024 May 21, 2024
82° F Dallas, TX
Arts & Entertainment

Hamilton Returns to Dallas, and TCU Grad John Devereaux Wears Many Hats

On one night, the George Washington role is calling. And on the next, the King George role might need to be filled. When a spot opens up, it's Devereaux's time to shine.
You can watch Devereaux take center stage this weekend in Dallas where he discovered his love for theater. Andres Ortiz

On almost any given night, John Devereaux could be a king. A couple of days later, he could be the first president of the United States or one of the chief architects of the Declaration of Independence. At a moment’s notice, Devereaux must be prepared to embody any of those roles and take the stage in front of packed crowds around the country. It’s all part of the native Houstonian and TCU graduate’s role as a principal standby on the national tour of the smash hit musical Hamilton, which heads to the Winspear Opera House from May 8 to June 9 before a stint at Fort Worth’s Bass Performance Hall from June 11 to 23.

Devereaux has been a part of Hamilton since 2019, when he joined the Angelica Company tour as Man 6 in the ensemble and an understudy. He later transferred to the Phillips Company tour in late 2022, where he now serves as the standby for the roles of King George and George Washington as well as the dual role tracks of Hercules Mulligan/James Madison and Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson. As a standby, if one of the actors who plays those parts must miss a performance for any reason, Devereaux gets called to the stage.

Devereaux says that while “they say you have to be a certain kind of crazy” to cover multiple roles, he enjoys the challenges. He mapped out the cues for each part he covers, noting everything from where each character makes his entrances and exits to when they sing. He then cross-referenced each sheet he created to note the similarities between the parts so he wouldn’t accidentally confuse a specific section or moment as one character onstage with one of the many others he memorized. “I think I enjoy it because it’s kind of how I operate. I like things a bit compartmentalized,” Devereaux says, adding that he enjoys how the challenge keeps him focused.

Most days, Devereaux knows if he’ll take the stage for the night’s performance well ahead of time. “I would say about 70 percent of the time, it’s already scheduled,” Devereaux says. That’s the case for the Dallas stop where he’ll play the Mulligan/Madison role on opening night through Friday. He’ll then retake the stage during the third week of the Dallas run.

Other times, Devereaux will get a call during the day telling him he’ll be onstage for the night’s performance, potentially just hours before the show begins. “There’s this attitude of just acceptance and a flow because I think what I’ve learned in the five years with this show is you want to have as little stress as possible,” Devereaux says.

In those unanticipated moments, his focus remains on his characters and his lyrics rather than worrying about the circumstances surrounding the situation. “Even if I’m tired, even if I’m unsure, I’m always excited for the opportunity to just be grounded in my gifts and share those gifts with other people,” Devereaux says.

He’s particularly excited to perform in the place where he discovered his love for theater and embraced his passion as a career. Devereaux began his time at TCU as a communications major before a friend convinced him to audition at the university. “From there, I ended up changing my whole major because I really wanted to put the work in and the studying into my passion,” says Devereaux, who graduated from TCU in 2012 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in theatre.

He calls having the opportunity to perform for a community that provided so much for him as an actor both “surreal and “humbling.” “I really enjoy the full-circle moment of being able to provide for a community that poured into me,” Devereaux says of returning to DFW in HAMILTON.

He hopes to perform in Hamilton “until the wheels fall off,” describing how the show is one that never truly leaves you. “Like the song says, you’ll be back,” Devereaux says with a laugh.


Brett Grega

Brett Grega