QCT SPOTLIGHT: Logan Marley & Michael Hark
It may not look like it, but you’re seeing double. That’s because Logan Markley and Michael Hark have one very important thing in common: they play the SAME character in 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA. How does that work? We infiltrated the submarine to find out…
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Logan: I just turned sixteen in May. I’m going to be a Junior next year. I like to read, write, and listen to vinyl records.
Michael: I have previously been in TARZAN, TREASURE ISLAND, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and have taken multiple classes at QCT. I am the type of person who will laugh for no reason, but I take theatre seriously and it’s my favorite thing to do. I am extremely nerdy and always doing weird science experiments at home.
Q: What inspired you to audition for this show?
Logan: My dad’s friend, Chris, came to a high school play I was in and suggested I try out for a QCT play. He often goes to The Fox, The Muny, and QCT as well. My grandfather got online afterwards and found out that QCT was doing this play and I thought I would take a shot.
When I began this journey, I was a little apprehensive of starting a new adventure. Having been through rehearsals and experiencing the ups and downs of learning a new character, I feel like I have found a new home.
Being in this play has opened up opportunities for me to become a better performer, and I hope I can further that experience by continuing to perform at QCT.
Michael: Wow, there are really a lot of reasons but the biggest is QCT itself. The people I get to work with, the story the cast gets to tell, and performing with these people is the greatest feeling and only place I can do it is QCT. I take every opportunity to be in a show because I love acting! Plus, The Nautilus appeals to the science nerd inside me.
After this show is over, I will keep on taking classes, volunteering, and auditioning. I want to do all I can do for QCT, for all QCT has done for me. The shows I do here are my favorite things to do in the world, and I want to express that talent.
Q: 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA is a very different kind of show. Can you explain how?
Logan: Well, I guess the biggest thing is that it’s interactive. I’ve only been in school plays, so the schedule is a lot more comprehensive than what I’m used to. That goes for the set and costumes as well.
Michael: 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA takes place throughout different parts of the Oakley Lindsay Center building. Interacting with the audience and guiding them through The Nautilus is very innovative and exciting!
Q: What does this add to the show?
Logan: If this play had been presented on a stage, then the audience would not be as drawn into it. With the interactive presentation, you will feel as if you’ve entered a new dimension to experience 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA.
It’s different. Unique. A new way of presenting a play. If you’ve never been to an interactive play, this will be a great experience. And, besides that, it’s just a great play.
Michael: The Nautilus is such an amazing sight that walking through it is like a dream. Walking through it gives a sense of wonder that some stages cannot. As an action in this production, my fellow cast members get to be close up with the audience to bring that sense of wonder through every word and action.
Q: What’s the coolest part about this show?
Logan: Turning the Oakley Lindsey Center into a giant submarine is pretty cool.
Michael: Being able to guide the audience through the set is, for me, the coolest part of the production. Seeing the audience as I guide them on this adventure of a lifetime will be awesome. The interactive aspect of this show makes it stand apart. It also presents new challenges for my cast mates and I to overcome.
Another one of the things that I love about being in this show is the cast. The show has a small cast and I have had a great time working with them. It’s a great feeling. We always have fun talking before rehearsals and laughing at inside jokes or even when Kelsey comes up with a band name accidentally. It just is a great experience all around.
Q: The start time for this show is staggered, meaning one group goes in and then the next enters when the previous group is about halfway through. You both play the same character (Helio) to allow that to happen. What has that been like?
Logan: It’s a pretty interesting experience. Not as complicated as I would have thought. And seeing someone else do the same character differently lets me see a different side to the character. Earlier on [in rehearsals], Michael would play Helio for a scene, and then I’d play Helio for the same scene. Later on, I’d do the whole show, and when I finished the show, Michael would do the whole show.
Michael: To be honest, at first I wasn’t sure if I would like sharing the same part as someone else. Boy, was I wrong! Sharing the role of Dr. Helio with Logan has been so fun. We have similar interests offstage and onstage. I have learned a lot about my character from him. It has been great working with him. It actually makes it easier to learn by watching someone else do the scene.
Q: So how do you each interpret this character and do you both agree on that interpretation?
Logan: I think Helio is kind of timid, but willing to take a stand if things ever went far enough. He is smart and able to work under pressure, but can be convinced of things that he hadn’t previously known. Michael and I both portray Helio as a rather timid person. However, his portrayal has Helio as more enigmatic, whereas mine is more laid back (except about some things).
Michael: I interpret Helio as someone who takes his work very seriously, but nerds out over new technology. I also feel he is meek and introverted which I try to bring into his character. My biggest challenge playing the character, which I think I have overcome, is the introverted aspects of his nature. I am extremely extroverted but every challenge is just another lesson for me.
At first our portrayals had noticeable differences, but now they seem to have blended. There is still a difference but they are more subtle. Logan’s portrayal made Helio seem more like a know-it-all without being rude, and I felt like my portrayal showed him very smart as well without him really knowing how smart he was.
Q: What do you hope audiences get from this show?
Logan: I hope they are entertained. This isn’t a play where the audience has to ponder the deep philosophical questions. It’s just a fun adventure story. I hope that they enjoy the interactive experience.
Michael: I hope the audience gets the thrill of the story with the wonder and amazement of The Nautilus. In this show, the audience has to help the characters and vice versa. I hope they can retain those emotions working with the characters long after the show is done. Working with the characters and making choices makes the show so much more real—real enough they may forget it’s a show.
This show will amaze people, make them excited, laugh or maybe cry. This timeless tale will continue to be told for many years but this show is different. This show is the only show that can be told exactly as we tell it. Plus, the audience tells that story too, and we can’t do it without them.
Learn more about the show…
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