1. How did you first get interested in theatre, what was the first play you remember seeing and what was the first play you participated in?
The Round Barn Theatre in my hometown of Nappanee, IN is what really hooked me when I was young. I remember our elementary school class got to see an abridged version of Seussical there, and while all the other kids were complaining about being bored, I was absolutely enamored. I did some little skits growing up in church, but my first formally staged play was Guys and Dolls Jr. in 6th grade.
2. When did you work at the Red Barn? What is your most distinct memory from that time?
I spent the summer of 2015 at the Red Barn. A lot of those memories are still especially fresh, so it’s hard to pick one. It was my first professional acting job, and I remember it being such an energizing feeling to be pouring myself into something I was so passionate about that was also my paid job. Up until then I had been acting in an educational setting where I was so spread between whatever theatrical projects I was involved with at the time and the loads of class work. I feel like Red Barn was where I got that personal confirmation that I could say “yes, this is exactly what I want to do with my life.”
3. What shows do you most remember from your Red Barn days? What moments (on-stage or off) made a specific show memorable?
Again, it’s so hard to pick a specific memory between the 4 shows of that summer. The one that probably sticks out the most in my mind was the production of The Boys Next Door, which I did the sound design for and worked the sound board. It’s a beautifully written piece, and the company did an incredible job with it. Even though I wasn’t acting in it, it was really cool to witness that every night and be a part of that process.
4. What theater, film or backstage experience have you had since you worked at the Red Barn?
Post-graduating college, I took some time to dabble in the midwestern theater scene for a bit. It was an especially cool experience to take on a couple seasons at my home town’s theater (The Round Barn. What can I say, I just love working in barns). After moving to NYC in 2018, I was able to book some acting jobs, ranging from small productions in the city itself or other regional theaters on the east coast. Yet having maintained those midwestern roots, I still frequently come back to Indiana work onstage as it fits within my year.
5. Where do you live now and what are you doing career-wise?
I feel like that’s a complicated question for a lot of nomadic actors right now. Up until the pandemic I had been based in NYC, auditioning and doing the survival job grind. Leaving for a month or two to do an acting contract, then coming back for another month or so. As everything has shut down, I’ve been extremely privileged to have family to stay with as I lost my job in NYC and any acting gigs I had booked before then were canceled. So for now, I’m biding my time and finding ways to feed my artistic side in these crazy times!
6. Would you like to let us know a bit about your family?
I’m a Hoosier, my family is based in Nappanee, IN which is less than an hour from the Michigan border.
7. Anything else you’d like to share about your life or life at the Red Barn?
I’d just implore anyone reading this to continue to support the Red Barn and other arts organizations during these times. As someone who grew up in small town Indiana that was lucky enough to have a professional theater operating in their backyard, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of the Arts in every form of community. I firmly believe that we’ll be back together in the theater someday, but getting back to that point is daunting.
8. If someone wanted to follow you or get in touch with you, where could they find you?
My website is: martin-flowers.com. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram!