New Act, in an Age Old Theater
BY ALIA MAKADY
Ever forgotten your student ID card and decided to go through the theater door, only to find a 6-foot-4 man in a track suit, looking like he just came out of an intense action movie? Ever arrived to a class one minute after it’s scheduled to start, and been hit by a resounding “you’re late” from a voice that sounds as if the divine force is furious at you for spending that minute not getting ready for class? Ever had to do 50 push-ups, because an idiot in class forgot to turn off their cellphone? Ever seen a bunch of students, finger-fighting, or better yet, fighting with foam swords, with intense concentration, focus, and seriousness, that you thought to yourself “who on earth got them in that mental state?” If your answer is NEVER, then allow me to introduce you to Associate Professor Mark Mineart, who prefers to be known as “Coach Mark”. He is the new Acting in English professor at AUC, who has completely revolutionized the way students view classes, by approaching education from a very unorthodox angle.
Mineart first tried out his luck in the world of theater in high school, after he bonded with a group of friends who were “all heavily involved in theater and public speaking”, as Mineart describes them. “The odd thing was that we discovered that I was pretty good at it.” At college he was noticed by an acting professor who got him involved in auditioning. His theory was, “I was just having fun. I figured I’d keep auditioning until I stopped getting cast”. Mineart had a chance to work in professional and award-winning theater plays after college. He has worked alongside some legendary actors and actresses, such as Denzel Washington, Kelsey Grammer and Pat Carroll.
Mineart joined AUC faculty just last Fall. He soon decided to add certain elements that would help students develop their own theatrical sense. Stage combat was the new class taught by Mineart last Fall. It was the talk of theatre majors and minors. Who wouldn’t enjoy a good sword fight or a fake punch? Who would give up a chance to get grades for learning how to make fake blood? This class, along with Mineart’s strict workout and attendance policies, provides some crucial bases for Shakespearian theater, which Mineart and many students have voiced their desire to see more of at AUC. When you hear the words ‘Shakespearian plays’, the first thing that might come to mind is a boring literature class, taught by a teacher who’s old enough to have had Shakespeare as his student one day! However, Mineart realized early on that this was a real misconception. “I had fallen in love with Shakespeare in college (Sword fights and kissing girls?! Shakespeare is the best thing EVER!)”. Mineart strongly believes that Shakespeare provides “the best training ground for any kind of theater-maker”.
If you got excited, and you can’t wait to get on stage, then here’s your chance. Mineart is directing the play ‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest’. It’s an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Ken Kessey. Auditions will be held for AUC students on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 6 pm in Malak Gabr Arts Theatre, and the following day for AUC alumni. Don’t get cold feet, and try it out. You might end up finding out that you’re pretty good at it yourself!