Mark McLain debuts in Moonlight and Magnolias at Theater

~~ By Dora Walters, Sentinel Senior Writer ~~

Sometimes when friends make a suggestion and you follow it, it ends up in an exciting, fun adventure.
And so it is with Mark McLain, who will make his first ever on stage appearance in the role of Victor Fleming in the Blue Ridge Community Theater’s production of “Moonlight and Magnolias.”
McLain is a member of Faith Presbyterian Church and reads the Liturgy at Sunday service. After hearing him, fellow members urged him to audition at the theater. He did and was selected for the role of Fleming.
The play is set in 1939 and revolves around the dilemma of movie mogul David Selznick who was about to begin production of “Gone With The Wind.”
The director described the script as “horrible.” Selznick immediately called on three of his cronies to create a new script.
They did it in a chaotic week.
McLain describes Fleming, the director of the “Wizard of Oz” as “a no nonsense guy who says it like he sees it and feels it.”
McLain added, “We also take on other characters from the book as part of the performance and that’s a hoot.”
Memorization has been a challenge.
“I have 200 plus lines and there is a lot of colorful language. I am doing my best. I don’t want to disappoint my fellow cast members or the audiences.”
McLain said he was blessed with a “talking voice and mouth” and was recruited for radio after graduation from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, with a BSBA degree but instead chose a career (30 years) in Sales Management.
Presently he is Director of Division selling Fall Prevention systems for workers at heights in the Material Handling Industry and has an office at his home.

Mark McLain

Mark McLain

Public speaking is not new to McLain as part of his career has been “teaching public speaking, presentation skills and doing major talks/presentations to high level executives in my industries.”
With this experience, there’ll be no opening night jitters for McLain. “I am very comfortable in front of people and don’t mind hamming it up.”
McLain and his wife, Dorothy, always wanted to live in the mountains and two years ago, on their 22nd wedding anniversary, they made the move from Atlanta to Blue Ridge.
“We’ve never looked back,” he smiled.
Proud of his Scottish ancestry, McLain is active in the International Clan MacLaine of Lochbuie. He and his wife have been to Scotland twice and on their 10th wedding anniversary renewed their wedding vows at the very old Chapel and the 600-year-old Castle of the Clan. McLain has also been active volunteer at Stone Mountain Scottish events.
In Blue Ridge, the couple supports and participates in community events, especially Faith Presbyterian projects.
McLain says he really enjoys being in the cast and thanks all involved in the production for their help and support.
Would he audition again? “I hope they will want me back…but first I have to earn it.”
“Moonlight and Magnolias” opens Thursday, March 2 and continues through March 19. Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Individual tickets and ticket packages for the season are available by calling 706-632-9223 or online at www/BlueRidgeCommunityTheater.com.