Married Faculty Members Star in Play Together

UT Arlington faculty members Dennis Maher (Theatre Arts), left, and Melanie Mason (Communication) star in Theatre Arlington's new production, "Becky's New Car." (Photo contributed)
UT Arlington faculty members Dennis Maher (Theatre Arts), left, and Melanie Mason (Communication) star in Theatre Arlington’s new production, “Becky’s New Car.” (Photo by Eric Younkin Photography)

For the first time in 24 years of marriage, Lecturer Melanie Mason (Communication) and Associate Professor Dennis Maher (Theatre Arts) will star in a theatrical production together.

Mason is the lead in Theatre Arlington’s newest show, “Becky’s New Car,” which opened Friday, March 27, and includes her real-life husband Maher as a co-star.

“I’ve directed him [in past productions] and he’s directed me, but we’ve never been on stage together,” Mason said. “It’s so nice to be able to look across the stage and look into his eyes. It’s such a new experience for me.”

“Becky’s New Car” follows the travails of a woman in a mid-life crisis and mediocre marriage who considers a new life when she crosses paths with a grief-stricken millionaire. Mason said one of the reasons she and Maher auditioned for the roles was to work together in a different setting. Ignoring a natural desire to coach or direct the other hasn’t been an issue, she said.

“When you step into an acting role, you have to let those other things go away,” she said. “You have to play the role you’re supposed to, play the role in the project.”

Combined, Mason and Maher acted in or directed 14 productions in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex from October 2013 to October 2014. While that pace will slow in 2015, Mason said she and Maher are always on the lookout for new experiences and opportunities – such as working together on “Becky’s,” a play that had only been preformed once before in DFW.

“It’s refreshing to see and work on something new,” she said.

“Becky’s New Car,” written by Steven Dietz, runs March 27-April 12 with shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. (There will be no show on April 5, Easter Sunday.) For ticket prices or more information, visit the Theatre Arlington website.

“Rush” tickets for UT Arlington students – available tickets sold five minutes before the show begins – are only $5 with an ID.

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(By James Dunning/COLA Communications, jdunning@uta.edu

 

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