“Marcus is Walking” Reimagines the Meaning of a Car Ride

by, Jilleen Barrett, A&E Editor

Despite only being able to hold virtual performances, the Manhattan College Players have produced yet another show for the community to view on Twitch. This performance was a series of vignettes stitched together called “Marcus is Walking” and was streamed on the nights of March 12 and 13.

According to the playbill, the story “was created to retell the wide array of emotions and experiences we encounter in cars.”

Each scene was portrayed as though the characters were driving, although they could not sit in actual cars due to the performers being separate from each other as a safety precaution. Besides two pre-recorded dance scenes performed in the player’s box in Thomas Hall, each actor did their scenes from their dorm rooms or homes.

Sophie Ryan, who played four characters throughout the different scenes, explained how the technology of the online performance is different from “The Laramie Project,” which they showcased in the fall via Zoom.

“We’re actually using a new platform called OBS ninja that makes it easier for our production team to compile all of our video feeds than it was when we were using Zoom,” Ryan said.

A snapshot of their performance from a virtual audience perspective. JILLEEN BARRETT/ THE QUADRANGLE

The play was directed by Matthew Blackwood and his assistants were Maddie Byrne and Amy Kohli. Byrne told The Quadrangle about what her responsibilities were while preparing for the show.

“I helped with taking notes on scenes, blocking, enforcement of everyone knowing their lines, and costuming the show,” Byrne said. “…I pulled [clothes] from the Player’s costume closets and pieced everything together from what the cast had and what we had available to us in the box.”

Ryan spoke about how she felt about performing online yet again, noting that an online show is still a show. Despite playing multiple roles, Ryan still got a chance to connect with all of them, thus enhancing her performance.

“My favorite part of the show is getting to create theater with the people that I care about, it’s definitely different doing it online, but the sense of comradery makes it all worth it,” she said. “All of my characters are so different, but it’s fun to see what parts of myself I can incorporate into my roles.”

One of the dance scenes included Ryan being behind the wheel of a car. JILLEEN BARRETT/ THE QUADRANGLE

The Players immersed themselves in the show by subscribing to “Marcus is Talking: Facts for the Road,” an email chain that shared facts with its readers about all aspects of the show according to the playbill. Overall, the show seems to have romanticized the idea of a car ride, particularly a scene featuring Luis Chavez and Erica Cafarelli– playing Henry and Lisa– sitting in the backseat and realizing that they are in love with each other.

“It’s more like a storm, these emotions I have for you– they’re terribly distracting. I can’t focus properly, I can’t do anything with this constant disturbance like a storm of bees inside and outside me,” he said. “This tumultuous obsession with you, it’s hard to describe… Normally, I’m pretty witty and my friends think I’m funny but when I’m with you Lisa, I just– my tongue just gets shipwrecked at my teeth.”

The next performance for The Players will be “Oedipus Rex” in April.