Mercer Artist: Ashley Greene, Actor

Ashley Greene steps into her new role as a Theatre major in the Mercer Players’ 2015 production of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”

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Ashley Greene steps into her new role as a Theatre major in the Mercer Players’ 2015 production of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”

Nick Wooten, Managing Editor

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The wide-eyed freshman stood just behind the show curtain, fumbling with the ribbon tie slipping under her jacket bottom.

Too nervous to worry about her lines, she just wanted to make sure she had her gloves and sword. She’s the quintessential perfectionist.

Oscar, Mercer’s notorious theater ghost, had already swiped at her bun. It was his way of telling her “break a leg.” But Ashley Greene didn’t need luck.

Home for her had always been under the stage lights.

This had been decided long before Greene was born. Her parents met on the stage as the leads in the Middle Georgia State production “Butterflies are Free.”

“Their characters fell in love, and they started dating (in real life). That’s how that got started,” Greene said.

Her parents strayed from the stage — her mother became a freelance journalist for the Hawkinsville Dispatch, and her father became an x-ray technician — but their relationship remained strong.

Greene entered the world of theater in 8th grade with a small part in a spring production of “The Wizard of Oz.”

She continued to act but didn’t see it as a potential profession until her senior year. Greene took on the roll of Berry, an over-the-top diva, in  “Cotton Girls.”  For the role, Greene found a character that was relatable.

“[Berry] was very theatrical,” Greene said. “She would randomly burst into Broadway songs at different points in the show.”

Greene came to Mercer last fall with the intent of majoring in theatre and got involved with the Mercer Players. She auditioned for “Early One Evening at the Rainbow Bar and Grille.” She didn’t get any part, but Greene went on to serve as an assistant stage manager for two shows.

To open the Tattnall Square Center for the Arts, the Mercer Players put on William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” last spring.  Greene auditioned for “The Tempest” and landed the role of Gonzalo.

Despite having to genderbend some parts, Greene and company staged the show with flair. She remembered her sword, and the play debuted April 16 to critical acclaim.

This year, Greene — now a sophomore — is perfecting her juggling talents. A busy schedule keeps her balancing time between serving as president of Mercer Players and sorority life where she is a member of Alpha Gamma Delta. She seems to be getting the hang of it.

“[Ashley’s] creativity shines through, even at sorority chapter meetings,” said Laura Ann Harrell, a fellow chapter member of Alpha Gamma Delta.

Despite the dizzying pace, Greene keeps looking forward. The Mercer Players kick their year off with “A Flea in Her Ear,” which is scheduled to open Sept. 24.

Until then, Greene will be running through lines and listening to her favorite band, The Beatles. She hopes this year someone else will find comfort under the stage lights.

“Give it a try because you just might like it,” she said.

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