Darren Constantine answers a few questions for us about his experience playing Mr. M. in The Heather's recent production of My Children! My Africa!
1. How were you impacted personally from the story that this play, My Children! My Africa! portrays?
D.C. - The story from 'My Children! My Africa!' holds a mirror to what many places in the U.S. are currently going through. It illustrated to me, similarities of the events in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD--reflecting the same frustrations felt by the people of The Location. I was better able to relate to the story since I bear witness to our own struggles here.
2. What aspect of the character if any, did you find most challenging to work on?
D.C. - What I found most challenging about Mr. M was his speech tendencies. He’s very elaborate, repetitive and long-winded! I tend to be more calculated and direct.
3. What resonating thoughts do you hope that the audience took home with them?
D.C. - I hope the audience was moved to act on the educational disparities in our country. Education & knowledge eliminates fear, thus eliminating hate and prejudice… More programs like The Academy Prep Center of Tampa are needed. I know what it’s like to go to school and have to share old textbooks, not being able to take them home. It can be limiting.
4. If you had to sum up your experience of working on this play, what word would you use?
D.C. - Challenging. It’s a VERY wordy play! I wasn’t sure if I would be able to bring life to the text. I wanted that challenge and I feel like I was able to accomplish that.
5. What was the funniest moment, that you can remember off the top of your head that happened either in rehearsal or performance?
D.C. - Working with Anja and Betty was very entertaining! We had fun taking lines from the play and giving them more suggestive meaning…you know…High School stuff. It certainly got us out of our heads and allowed us to be free during performances. Thank you ladies for making this run a joy! It has been a “Pleasure and a Privilege”!