Having an agent, living in New York City and having a master’s degree in fine arts would seem like every theater student’s dream. For 2006 Castleton State College graduate Lauren Anne Martin, it came true.
But now Martin finds herself back home at Castleton.
Armed with her MFA in Shakespeare from the University of Alabama, Martin is back on campus to direct the upcoming production of Shakespeare’s ‘A Winters Tale.’
Theater professor Harry McEnerny brings in a different director every year so students get different perspectives.
“I decided it was time to do Shakespeare,” McEnerny said. “I called her to see if she wanted to direct something … she seemed like the perfect person.”
Martin said she loves all theater and didn’t decide on a MFA concentration until she attended a mass audition for the University/Resident Theatre Association. She was one of eight accepted out of thousands who auditioned.
When she got the call from Castleton, she said she accepted it right away. Coming back to Castleton was an easy move for her because of Castleton’s family atmosphere.
“A lot hasn’t changed,” said Martin. “Coming back here is natural.”
The students say they enjoy having her back here and are having fun working with her. While waiting for rehearsal, a few students from the play raved about Martin.
“She knows Shakespeare like the back of her hand,” said cast member Austyn Bevins.
Amberly Soto chuckled as she recalled her first lunch meeting with Martin. Martin was joking about starting rumors about how horrible the auditions were going to be and how hard she would be to work with.
With only about a month of rehearsal from auditions to opening night, the students say they do a lot of work with her to prepare for their show. Martin meets with students outside of their four-hour rehearsals for tutorials so they have a better understanding of their roles.
“We have been dissecting the script,” Martin said.
McEnerny said Martin is great for the students – and not just for offering another perspective.
“She is a great work ethic example. She’s specific on what they need to bring and expects work to be done outside of rehearsals” said McEnerny.
After the play is over Martin will be going back to New York to audition for roles of her own, but until then everyone gets to enjoy having her around, McEnerny.
“We’re really excited she’s here,” McEnerny said.