Marie Tredway graduated from Carthage in May of 2017 and has been taking Chicago theatre by storm since the moment she got her diploma. With a Theatre Performance major and double minor in Dance and Communications, her knowledge, hard work and talent have brought her many amazing opportunities. She was in many mainstage productions and dance shows at Carthage, and her performances were always unforgettable. Marie is an extremely motivated and inspiring individual who has made her dreams a reality. That is why she is our spotlight profile for this week!
HC: When did you find a passion for performing?
MT: I’ve always loved performing. I first discovered my love for the stage during my dance years, starting at three years old!
HC: When did you decide to pursue a career in the arts?
MT: Growing up, I never thought that theatre and the arts were viable career choices. It wasn’t until my time at Wright Community College that I discovered people were making a living from the thing they loved to do. I was a single mom and I was so scared but I decided to go for it. Once that happened, everything fell in line for me. I found Carthage, got accepted, met my husband who encouraged me to follow my dreams, and now I’m here. The universe was waiting for ME and once I made the choice to fully commit to a life in theatre, the world opened up.
HC: What was your favorite role at Carthage and why?
MT: My favorite role I’ve played is Fannie Lou Hamer in A Seat at The Table. I learned so much during the process: about who Fannie Lou Hamer was, who I am, who am in relation to the rest of the world, how theatre can affect people. It was a life-changing experience.
HC: Which professor influenced you the most at Carthage?
MT: Ahhh, there’s NO way I can just answer one. They’ve all taught me so much. The lessons that stand out to me the most: Marcy Kearns introducing me to Greek and Shakespeare and cultivating my passion for classical work, Neil Scharnick sharing his intellect, imagination and inspiration through our work in Frantic Assembly and Breath of Stars, Herschel Kruger for helping me discover my love for directing and collaborating, Martin McClendon for his passion and dedication to theatre activism; theatre that touches hearts, changes lives, connects worlds.
HC: How did you get your start in the theatre scene in Chicago?
MT: I honestly just kept hustling and grinding and auditioned for EVERY opportunity. Once I got cast, I worked hard, showed up on time, came prepared and those shows led to other shows… I’m proud to say I’ve been steadily working since graduation with no breaks.
Photo by Popio Stumpf Photography
HC: What was your first professional gig outside of Carthage?
MT: My first professional gig outside of Carthage was The Valkyries: Badasses on Bikes at Gorilla Tango directed by Carthage’s own Maggie Spanuello!
HC: What are your latest projects?
MT: My latest projects are (performance wise): Chicago Afterdark, a story about betrayal and the masks people wear. I am also currently directing Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at Three Brothers Theatre (cast and crew include fellow Carthage students and alumni) which opens in May!
HC: How do you juggle being a mom/wife as well as a professional actor/director?
MT: It’s a very hard balance and admittedly something always has to give. However, I’m extremely blessed in that all the things I have to juggle are things that I love so it’s not a job or chore to me. Everything I do, I try to attack with passion, dedication and love.
HC: Do your kids have a love for theatre as well?
MT: My oldest seems to be following in my footsteps; she’ll be in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson in May. It will be her 4th show and she’s only nine! My toddler hasn’t been in any shows yet but she, funnily enough, does have an agent she’s signed to, so who knows? I’m hoping she becomes a scientist or mathematician. Someone has to make money in this family!
HC: What advice would you give to aspiring performers?
MT: One, know that theatre is a hard job. Be prepared to work jobs that help supplement your acting and more often than not you’re auditioning/taking classes/scouring theatre websites/networking more than you are in a show. Two, stay humble and hungry. Complacency and entitlement are two things an actor should NEVER cultivate. Three, work hard and treat everyone nicely. The stage manager/audience member/assistant director/castmate from your show will remember and approach you about their next project.
HC: What’s next for you professionally?
MT: After Bloody Bloody, I’ll be assistant directing a staged reading at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago for Our Perspective: Asian American Plays and then this summer, I will be in my first Chicago lead role in Nothing Without A Company’s Not One Ba’tu, a play about the Hawaiian meth epidemic. The show is very special; not only will it be site-specific work (Lake Michigan will stand in as the Pacific Ocean) but it will be the first time in my career that I’ll be playing my own race!
Get tickets for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson here!