NMU actors leave U.P. to premier “Near East” in Ohio

Kristen Halsey

An actor’s work is never done. After a show, everyone involved, actors and technical crew, think about how they could have improved a scene change or their performance.

For the cast and crew of “The Near East” left yesterday, March 28 to begin their tour in Canton, Ohio to showcase their play.

Going on tour is something new that few theater majors are able to do during their college career. It also presents a unique challenge for both the actors and technical crew.

They will experience what it is like to a take a show on tour when they leave early Wednesday morning to perform for three days before returning back to Marquette.

Kristen Priest, a junior technical theater major, is the stage manager for the production and said she is excited about the new opportunity.

“Going on tour will be a challenge for all of us,” Priest said. “None of us have ever done anything like it. Being together 24/7 will probably test our patience for each other.”

The actors have also had almost a month off from their last performance with spring break and other events occurring at the Forest Roberts Theatre. During their time off, they only had a few touch up rehearsals.

Jackie Wiles, a junior theater major who plays the assassin and is one of technical crew members, said she is excited about getting back to work after the break.

“Being both an actor and tech, I’m definitely going to need to sit down and go through the movements of the show before I jump up and go into rehearsal,” Wiles said.

With going on tour, it not only presents a challenge for the actors and crew with their patience toward one another, but also challenges them as students because they will be missing their classes. But with taking the time off, Wiles said they are learning the reality of having to balance a pre-professional career and their school work.

“Going on tour, I’ll admit, is definitely stressful as a student,” Wiles said. “It’s kind of a hassle to inform your professors when you’ll be gone and when you’ll be back. The tour is also teaching us to be more responsible with our school work and informing our professors when we’ll be gone.”

Another challenge to the actors will also be a new cast member. The relationships have been developed with the original cast. The dynamic of a show could change when someone new comes in. During the run of the show, the role of Hasan will be played by guest professonal actor Michael Gatto.

“Working with a new cast member who is outside of Northern and has been working in the professional field will be a little bit intimidating considering he’s a seasoned actor that will be working with a group of college students,” Wiles said.

Luke Woolley, a sophomore digital cinema major, is accepting the change in meeting a new cast member.

“Although it proposes difficulty, I trust whoever Ansley selected will be well-equipped to take on the challenge,” Woolley said.

All of the actors are looking forward to new things with this tour, whether it’s the time off from their classes or working with a different actor.

“I’m really just looking forward to diving back into my character, to see what new thoughts and feelings I might find in these upcoming performances,” Woolley said.