HCRU Interviews: Professor Marji Peters

This week I had the chance to interview one of Regent’s well-loved professors who teaches a variety of subjects, most notably in the Theatre department. Professor Peters has been at Regent both as a student and professor for the last seven years, and will be leaving our school at the end of this semester, much to the sadness of the Regent community.

HC: How did you get into theater?

Professor Peters (PP): “In middle school during fifth grade, for Latin class we had to write and perform a play in Latin. All of the other students just said their lines and I thought, ‘Get out of the way, I’ll show you how it’s done.’ I started to love theater for its own sake. In junior high it really all started. I studied theater in college at Bob Jones University. The mindset there was that theater was a secular subject and those who studied theater should become high school drama teachers.”

HC: When did you want to start teaching?

PP: “You know the quote from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: ‘Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them’? I was a grad assistant at Bob Jones University. As a grad assistant, you had to teach three sections of public speaking. I sucked at first. It’s hard for good students to be great teachers at first because it comes easily to them. I didn’t know that until I was a grad assistant. Once I finished, I realized I enjoyed teaching. A dirty little secret of all professors is that we will yell at our computer screens, but as soon as a real student face comes to our office the empathy kicks in.”

HC: Do you see yourself teaching indefinitely?

PP: “I need more experience in theater to keep teaching. I was a teacher first and I am getting the experience later. Teaching and theater are both competitive fields. Going forward I am going to try to keep up with community theater. I’d like to end my career teaching, I don’t know, maybe God will have me acting in my old age.”

HC: How did you get to Regent?

PP: “A friend was auditioning for the MFA [graduate theater program] program and wanted someone to come with her. I thought she would forget all about it, so I agreed. But she didn’t forget, so we both auditioned and got accepted. I decided to come and I wouldn’t have if she hadn’t made me audition.”

HC: What is one piece of advice you would pass on?

PP:  “There’s a quote from Hamlet that says, ‘There's a divinity that shapes our ends. Rough-hew them how we will.’ This rings true with me, like because it encompasses both how we screw up and the truth that God will shape our lives. That is encouraging to me knowing God shapes those though, and that I’m His. He shapes us out of love. That gives me hope without that I probably would not be alive. If I didn’t have God, I wouldn’t want to live.”

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