Meet the Players of St. Mark's Drama Club!
An Interview with Doug - What is the Drama Club?
1) When did the drama club begin? (What year? Whose idea? What play was the first one to be produced on that stage?)
The Drama Club didn’t become an official entity until after the St. Mark’s Youth Group performed “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silvertein, “Grandson of Scrooge” by AUTHOR in 2004 and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by Charles Schultz in 2005. It was my mother Abby Van Demark who recognized the need for something a little more intentional about these efforts. So she recruited members from the congregation to form a committee to guide the drama efforts. Ultimately the committee became the basis for what is now the “Drama Club”. Although “Grandson of Scrooge” was the first performance on our current stage, the first performance guided by the Drama Club was “Seeking the Savior by, AUTHOR in 2006.
2) What's your dream show? What show do you want to see come to life on the St. Mark's stage?
For years I conjured and thought about how the DC could bring to our small venue “The Homecoming a Christmas Story” by Earl Hamner Jr. Growing up in my parent’s home watching the annual Christmas special on TV was tradition and the story holds for me many fond memories and lessons of love. The play, a full length production with a cast of 23 would be the largest cast we’ve managed and seemed to be beyond our performance capabilities. However, in the fall of 2015 I began recruiting potential performers by running the idea publicly and soliciting interest. I was moderately surprised that many people had to be prompted to remember the story. Most times memories were restored when the more contemporary characters of the popular TV series “The Waltons” were mentioned such as John-boy, Mary Ellen, Jim-bob and the Staple sisters. I offered the script to some folks and enthusiasm for the project accelerated and grew. Casting the play did not turn out to be a problem. As it turned out we were even able to share specific roles because we had more performers than roles. As it turned out producing my dream show became a reality in December of 2015 when Susan Jaeger directed The Homecoming a Christmas Story. The end result was a Christmastime event that brought to life the messages about love, pride, faith, and survival in rural America during the Great Depression.
3) If you could describe the drama club in 5 words or less, how would you describe it?
Ecumenical ministry through play
4) What's your favorite thing about drama club?
Elizabeth Jeager (the interviewer)
5) What do you look for when you make a person a part of your cast?
Aside from age and gender I look for their level of interest in the production, confidence and willingness to work with others and accept direction.
6) what do you want people to take from the productions you produce on the St. Mark's stage?
I hope audiences have a memorable experience and see the DC as a viable ministry. I hope performers grow and benefit from the roles they play on stage as well as the relationships that develop within a production. My aim is that every individual involved in a production has a crucial role. Cast and crew members alike literally become part of something larger than what any one person could accomplish alone.