Thrilling acting challenge for Marissa
Marissa Trott is no stranger to the stage but this week she faces her greatest challenge: a leading role in the two-person play Veils.
The 21-year-old theatre and sociology student said that while the production has been demanding, she is thrilled to bring it to life.
Ms Trott said: “It's been good to be in such a powerful show. It's absolutely beautiful and it's amazing to be able to put something like this out to the community.
“Although it is a serious piece, there are a lot of comical bits and I can't wait to see the reactions and laughs and what they take from the show.”
Ms Trott, who is in her third year of studies at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, said she has loved theatre for as long as she can remember.
She said: “I always had a passion for it growing up, I was always in all the productions, whether singing, dancing, acting or just behind the scenes.
“I went to school to study the sciences, but then I took a theatre course and I realised that it was probably the right path for me.
“It was something that I enjoyed. I liked it way more than sciences, so I switched my paths pretty early on. It was something I always enjoyed doing.”
In Veils, written by former Bermuda resident Tom Coash, Ms Trott plays Samar, an energetic and outgoing Egyptian Muslim who becomes roommates with Intisar, a more conservative American Muslim played by Aziza Furbert.
Ms Trott said: “Samar is very pro-activist, she loves to be heard, the crazy party girl — which is not what Intisar was expecting.
“It's about them getting to know each other and what it's like being in Egypt. There's a huge protest and rally that happens about women's issues, women's rights and the right to wear the hijab.
“It's showing both sides because Samar doesn't wear it unless she's praying or at the mosque, while Intisar wears it pretty much all the time.”
Ms Trott said that while she had a lot of experience in theatre, Veils was her first full-length production with only one other actor.
She said: “It has been super intense. This is my first time in a two-person show, and I have had to learn a bit of Arabic, which is not an easy language.
“I'm so happy that Aziza is here because she can correct me.”
Mrs Furbert said she was equally happy to have the support of Ms Trott in the challenging show.
She said: “The last time I did theatre was being in the chorus for high school productions, so it has been about two decades.
“Our first week we had rehearsals every single day. We only had about a month after we were cast, so it has been intense.
“I have two small kids, so my poor husband has been left with them quite a bit. I'm thinking this will be my first and last show, but we will see.”
Mrs Furbert — a practicing Muslim — said she was inspired to audition because of how rare it is to find strong Muslim roles in theatre.
She said: “It's great to see it represented on stage — I think it was my main reason for auditioning for the role. I don't know that I would have done it otherwise.”
But she added that the show was not only about Muslim issues.
Mrs Furbert said: “A lot of people don't really see Muslims represented in theatre or the media in general and they might not know what to expect. They may question if it's going to apply to them.
“But the themes are quite universal, especially the issues around women and women's bodies.”
The Bermuda Musical and Dramatic Society production of Veils opens at the Daylesford Theatre today and runs until June 8.
Tickets are available now at www.ptix.bm.