“Is there no play,/To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?” inquires the Duke, beckoning a squad of bumbling actors on stage where they are to entertain the him and his entourage for the next few hours. In this line from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Duke perfectly articulates what it is that has drawn audiences to the theatre for centuries: allowing yourself a brief escape from the gravity of reality. Theatre has consistently occupied my free time for the past 15 years. Whether it be auditioning, rehearsing, performing, or attending another production, there’s something clearly addictive about theatre’s environment that sucks people like me in for life — perhaps the adrenaline rush of curtain call or the sing-songy congratulations when it’s all finished — but I knew entering college that theatre was not a hobby I’d easily give up.
The Marist Theatre Program has provided me with a perfectly balanced outlet that allows me to continue indulging in my craft while still having time to explore what else college has to offer. Being on Theatre Scholarship, I am required to audition for the main stage productions and declare a minor or concentration in Theatre. During a typical week in the midst of a production I have a theatre-related class twice a week (be it Acting or Directing or a workshop) and rehearsal five nights a week. Personally I enjoy the rigorous and demanding schedule of rehearsing because it structures my week and forces me to stay on top of my assignments and extraneous commitments. In addition to Midsummer, I’m also in the Children’s Theatre production of Snow White and the Seven Fairy Godmothers. While Midsummer is jointly produced by the Marist Theatre Program and the theatre club, Marist College Club of Theatre Arts (MCCTA), Snow White is solely produced by MCCTA. The Theatre Program and the club work hand-in-hand on every production since there’s a lot of overlap between students and members. My favorite part of the Theatre Program is the opportunity to produce shows under the direction of professionals who direct and design our main stage productions. My favorite part about MCCTA is the opportunity to direct and design our own, smaller-scale productions alongside our peers.
As we prepare to perform Midsummer this weekend, I’m giddy with anticipation of finally having an audience see what we’ve been working so hard on for the past two months. The piece is a timeless comedy that I know audiences will enjoy just as much as we do. This has been my best attempt at articulating what theatre means to me, but if you want to experience it for yourself come see A Midsummer Night’s Dream October 27 through October 29 at 8 pm or October 30 at 2!
Written by: Melissa Mandia