For a few weeks in November, Juliet Marks will be 14 years old again.
Not in real life, but in the fall production of the Theater Arts program’s "The Children’s Hour." Marks, 20, will be playing Mary, a young girl who accuses two women of being lesbians and then must deal with the ramifications of her accusation.
"My character is 14 years old and it will be a challenge to play her," Marks said. "I’m still struggling with it because I don’t want to over do it. I want to play a child but also I don’t want to forget who the person is."
Marks will star in Lillian Hellman’s masterpiece, considered one of the first classics of American theater, at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 9 and 11, and Nov. 16-18 and 2 p.m. on Nov. 19 in the Performing Arts Center on the Sylvania Campus. The Nov. 17 show will be interpreted for the hearing impaired. Prices are $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, and $5 per person for groups of five or more. "The Children’s Hour," is based on a Scottish trial concerning two schoolteachers and a child who brought charges of lesbianism against them. The Broadway production ran for 700 performances. The play was later produced as a Hollywood film starring Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn.
"It’s not about lesbianism, but more about a lie," Marks said. "Mary tells a lie about these two teachers that they are lovers. Mary is very much a product of environment as she grew up without father and mother, and was raised by her grandmother who let her run wild. She has never had a comforting environment. That’s why she is the way she is."
Marks, a second year student at PCC, caught the acting bug at age 13. After a successful experience with the annual spring one-act plays through the theater program, she now wants to major in acting and theater arts.
"When I first started I was very shy and didn’t have a lot of self esteem," she added. "I’ve grown so much since then. I have such a love for the art form. And people here in our production are so interesting. There are so many reasons why I’m drawn to it."
After "The Children’s Hour," Marks can’t wait for the next PCC production.
"There are a great run of plays this year and I wanted to be involved," Marks said. "I dropped six credits for this production which shows how much this means to me. Performance and theater means a lot to me. I’d like to do it the rest of my life."
For more information about the upcoming production of "The Children’s Hour," call the PCC Box Office at 503-977-4949, or visit the theatre website.