Posting Date: November 16, 2009

Meet Mary Wolfson: Lighting up the stage

By Scott Singleton

Photograph by Linda Tincher

Mary Wolfson began her acting career at a young age by performing small plays in her garage. Now a junior in the Department of Theatre & Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University, Mary has moved to a bigger stage, but her reasons for acting remain the same. With a preference for a small, intimate setting in theater, Mary says, “The most important thing in my life is my connection to other people. Theater is a great way to do that.”

After graduating from what was Kennesaw College in 1988 with a degree in accounting, Mary worked in the business world for many years before becoming a stay-at-home mom. About her decision to return to school, she says, “I finally had the courage that I lacked earlier in life to pursue something that I really wanted to do.” With the full support of her husband and two sons, Mary returned to KSU in 2007.  

She quickly discovered the depth of KSU’s theatre program. “I’m learning a tremendous amount about acting. My peers are top quality, and it’s really fun to work with students who are intense and serious about acting.” The connection that Mary attempts to make through her acting is primarily with the students that share the stage with her, and this connection does not go unnoticed. Assistant Professor Harrison Long says, “Mary is a ray of sunshine. Everyone else on stage gets better the second she steps on. She brings a depth of experience to the classroom that is important and exciting to watch.”

Before returning to KSU, Mary had not worked in theater since she portrayed Amanda Wingfield in an adaptation of “The Glass Menagerie” when she was 17. In a twist that she describes as more than coincidence, she was once again cast as Amanda Wingfield in a performance of “The Glass Menagerie” for her first play at KSU. Mary also performed in the KSU productions “Everything that Rises Must Converge” and “The Comedy of Errors.”  

After working with her in “Everything that Rises Must Converge,” Associate Professor Karen Robinson noticed Mary’s abilities. “Her enthusiasm for the work, her collaborative spirit and her sensitive insights always light up a classroom or rehearsal hall,” Robinson says. Not only recognized by her peers and professors, Mary was awarded an Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship audition for her performance in “Everything that Rises Must Converge.”  

After she graduates, Mary hopes to continue “intimate stage acting” in a small setting such as that with the Georgia Ensemble Theatre or the Theatre in the Square in Marietta. “I’m not looking to be in commercials but to be in plays where I can make a difference and connect with other people.”


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