Oakland acting student Anna Marck performing in the play ‘Tribes’

By Cheyanne Kramer

The arts programs at Oakland University have a lot of artistic outlets to offer to creative students. But some students seek further arts gratification.

Enter junior Anna Marck, an acting student at Oakland who is performing outside the university in a play entitled “Tribes.”

According to the theatre company’s press release, the play follows the tale of a boy named Billy, played by Paul Calandra, who grows up deaf in a hearing home. Due to this, he never seems to fit in with his family “tribe.” Sylvia, played by Marck, introduces him the incredible community that his family had deprived from his whole life.

The play explains further in its tag line: “Hearing is by chance. Listening is by choice.”

Marck started her performing career 10 years ago as Dorothy in a production of “The Wizard of Oz.” But she said that it wasn’t easy to get involved with theatre.

“I don’t think I was very good when I started,” she said. “Before ‘Oz,’ I auditioned for about nine or 10 different productions without getting cast.”

Marck went on to explain her current challenges with a theatrical life, such as balancing college on top of her performances.

“I’m often in class from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and rehearse from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.,” she said.

“Parties or a social life are pretty much out of the question,” Marck said. “In fact, I don’t have many friends outside of the theatre department. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Balancing leisure time and work time is challenging, but she explained that the flexibility to take her general education requirements over summer semesters really helped her stay on track with her theater classes and performances.

But unlike other majors, where career services can help point students in the right direction, theater is hard in regards to planning such paths.

“You might get a phone call to be in a movie with Jennifer Aniston tomorrow and have to pack your bags and move to L.A. in a week. But that usually doesn’t happen,” Marck said.

“I can see myself moving to Chicago or New York. Eventually, I would like to go back to school and get an MFA (Master of Fine Arts degree). I’ve always wanted to run a theater company.”

Marck’s role in “Tribes” will be showcased at The Baldwin Theatre in Royal Oak until Oct. 19. She encourages students to attend the half-priced student day on Thursday, Oct. 16, or Saturday, Oct. 18, where the performance will feature an American Sign Language interpreter.

For more information, go to stagecrafters.org.