A leading lady emerges in Annapolis
Making her professional theatrical debut last summer, recent graduate Maria Jung (A12) is making quite a splash. Since landing the part of Emelia in the Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s summer 2012 production of The Comedy of Errors, Jung was invited to stay on with the company. She played the role of The Storyteller, who doubles up as both Belarius, man of the woods, and the god Jupiter, in the company’s fall performance of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline.
Jung credits her recent success to her experience performing Shakespeare with the college’s student-run theater group, King William Players. “I learned so much from working with my fellow Johnnies,” says Jung, having “great conversations about the dialogue and monologues, as well as the various characters in Shakespeare’s plays.” Shakespeare’s strong female characters resonated with Jung as she played Tamora in Titus Andronicus, the First Witch in Macbeth,and Olivia in Twelfth Night. “My dream roles would be Cleopatra or Lady Macbeth,” says Jung. “These women are so nuanced and possess such fierce power—it blows my mind that Shakespeare wrote them.”
Jung’s only previous acting credit was playing the role of Mrs. Gibbs in her high school’s production of Our Town. “I got into acting on a whim,” says Jung. “My friends [at Hunter College High School in New York City] were involved in the arts, so I thought I’d give acting a try.” She is curious to explore acting possibilities beyond the stage. “There’s a part of me that wants to work in film,” says Jung. Through the Hodson Trust Internship Program at St. John’s, she assisted with film shoots and editing at the Doc Tank, a Brooklyn-based international creative center for documentary directors. “With film there are so many subtle, dramatic details that can’t be conveyed in plays—like zooming in on the expression on a person’s face,” she says. “I really like those possibilities.”