Today I conclude my interview with Mart Martin, an arts enthusiast and also my husband.
LeAnne: On Monday, we talked about your love for folk art and classical music. Now tell me why you love theater.
Mart: Theater illuminates life, and the beauty in theater can be in the story itself, the storytellers, or both. Les Miserables is an example of a play that does both so well that it has drawn me into the theater five times. Millions and millions of people around the world have heard its message of compassion and courage, and those closing words, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” At the other end of the spectrum, Madeline’s [our daughter’s] school play, Three Nanny Goats Gruff, performed by six-year-olds with unabashed joy and enthusiasm, was a beautiful thing to see, too.
I enjoy being on the stage as much as in the audience, and there are characters I’ve played -- for example, a mentally disabled man in The Boys Next Door and Mr. Tumnus in a musical version of Narnia – that were heartbreakingly beautiful to do.
LM: When we met, was it important to you that I love the arts as well?
MM: The fact is, I don't think we would have met if we had not had that mutual love. The first time people tried to fix us up, at least in a group situation, was at the theater. Later you expressed an interest in folk art, and I invited you over to see my collection (my “etchings”!). The arts are such a large part of my life that it was very important that the person God wanted me to spend the rest of my life with enjoy sharing them as well. It makes “oneness” even more possible. The great surprise (though it shouldn’t be) is the degree to which you did -- so much so that we were married in a theater on the set of a play -- but that’s another column.
LM: Yes--for another day. How have you filled your life with the arts?
MM: First, we’re surrounded by art in our home, most of it that we’ve bought at arts festivals or commissioned from artist friends especially for a particular space in our home. I listen to a lot of classical and folk music in the car to and from work. I also try to make most of my contributions to the church and community somehow arts-related. I’m on the board of Theatrical Outfit (www.theatricaloutfit.org) of which Tom Key, who created Cotton Patch Gospel, is the executive artistic director. I support our worship arts ministry at our church in various ways. And we attend a lot of arts events as well. It’s a wonder-filled life.
Indeed it is.