Student Interview: Tom Martin

It’s time for the Fall Showcase! That right, it’s that exciting time of the year when the Theatre Department produces student written and directed plays. This fall we have four productions: Almost Time written and directed by Tom Martin, Boys, Beds, and Bad Decisions written and directed by Alexa R. Costa, Fire and Rain written and directed by Paige Monopoli, and The Normal Election written and directed by Bobby Zupkofska. We had the chance to interview Tom Martin, a veteran showcase participant who kindly shared his insights on the showcase with us!

INSTARAM: What is your major/year?

Photo Credit: Michael Clarke
Graphic Design: Matthew Eriksen

Tom: I’m a senior Theatre major with concentrations in both performance and directing.

INSTARAM: What is your role in the showcase?
Tom: I am the writer and director of Almost Time, one of the four shows in this year’s showcase.

INSTARAM: How did you get involved in the showcase?
Tom: I first got involved with the showcases we have in the Theatre Department my freshman year. I had acted in two shows (Under Covers and Boy Meets Girl) in Fall Showcase 2011. After seeing how the process worked and how amazing the results where, it definitely inspired me to eventually write and direct my own play, which I did! I directed in last years’ Fall Showcase 2013 with my show, Daydream, which was an amazing and priceless experience. Then I wrote another show, Playing Dead that my good friend Laurie Riihimaki directed in Spring Showcase 2014. And now I’m at it again for our current Fall Showcase, Almost Time! This will most likely be my last showcase experience, so it’s very bittersweet!

INSTARAM: What inspired you to write this play?
Tom: The show takes place on New Year’s Eve, 1989, as a family comes together to say goodbye to someone they all love endlessly, yet they struggle to spend their time together wisely. It’s about the fear of having regrets, happiness, and the chance of redemption. But most of all, it’s about how the most important gift you can give to someone is your time. That’s a motto one of my great grandmothers believed in very much, and preached to my family meticulously. It’s only now that I’m older and have lost many people in my life that I realize how true that is. I have wasted my time with the people I have known and lost over time and distance. I did not value or care to give them all the time I could, and I will not get those hours back. And while I’m grateful for the time I did have with those I have lost, through this play I’m trying to send a message to those still living, here and now, to spend some time with those you love. Get to know them better. Allow room for forgiveness. Learn from each other. Life is too short.

INSTARAM: What has been your favorite part of the rehearsal process so far?
Tom: Definitely being surprised. I’ve been surprised by the ideas I’ve come up, what my cast has come up with in order to create these characters and form their stories. It’s a joy as a director to see your old, ingrained ideas form into something completely new and exciting once you get into the rehearsal space. It’s been a pleasure to see this play change and yet still send its message and tell its story.

INSTARAM: What’s one word you would use to describe your Showcase experience?
Tom: Can I use a hyphen? I’m going to anyways. Eye-opening.

The Fall Showcase runs from October 9th-12th and is in the Studio Theatre. Tickets can be purchased here (and they are going quickly!) :