The UALR Department of Theatre Arts and Dance recently gave its final performance of The Marlowe Project at Canterbury, England, home of Christopher Marlowe, 16th century dramatist considered to be the father of English tragedy. The Marlowe Project is a modern theatrical exploration of the plays of Christopher Marlowe, presenting 4 plays in 45 minutes. It was conceived and produced by UALR theatre students and faculty. Click “Read More” to see student Crystal Mercer’s account of the performance in England and to view photos of the play.
Take Off: An Actor’s Experience
“So you gotta have faith”, well, at least according to George Michael. As I put my earphones in, scoping the the biggest plane I ever been on, that song buzzeth in my ear as 355,000 pounds of metal, people from every stretch of life, gasoline (which occupied 95,000 pounds of our weight), and luggage took to the sky. So, I did… have faith that is, even as nervous as I was about my first international flight. I pumped up the volume, closed my eyes, and had faith that England was indeed in my near future. Being the only one of my castmates to sleep the entire trip across the gigantic Atlantic, it was no surprise that for the rest of my mates, the trek through the streets of Canterbury wreaked havoc on our heels. After a night of rest and a big breakfast, today was the day that The Marlowe Project would take to its feet!
So, whither am I bound, I come not to travel through the streets of Canterbury with luggage in tow, but as fate would have it, that’s how the story goes…
Tonight was the night that I have been waiting for the past six months of my life. The set of for the show was intense. A hang light focus, unpacking four large suitcases of costumes and props, and a semi run-thru, and then… Showtime! The performance, for me, was absolutely orgasmic, the language was beautiful, the Marlowe Society crowd was receptive, and our talkback that was supposed to scare us, opened all of us up like flowers in bloom on the first day of spring. We cried and hugged each other so tightly after it was over. A great weight lifted, and a great sadness that this show was our last. But as they say, “All good things must come to an end.” And even though this part of my journey has ended, this a moment that I will remember for the rest of my life. A moment that an actor will get maybe once in a lifetime. My castmates and I were never more perfect than we were this night. It’s amazing how far we’ve come, and not because we travelled across the sea, from the first day of our class to traveling in time to entertain a multitude.
Faith on a plane, destination: Greatness.
Crystal Mercer, student of Theatre Arts and Dance
July 1, 2008
Photos of UALR Theatre students performing scenes from The Marlowe Project (please click a thumbnail to view full-size):