Teague, Saltmarshall step into spotlight with ‘Raisin’

Two students represented Saginaw Valley State University at the Pit and Balcony Theatre in Linda Bush Romney’s interpretation of Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.”

Two theatre majors, senior Dnzell Teague and junior Raheem Saltmarshall, played George Murchison and Walter Lee Younger, respectively.

The Valley Vanguard

Courtesy photo | Janet I. Martineau

Junior Raheem Saltmarshall began acting when he was 13 years old, and has performed in six stage plays and four films. He played Walter Lee Younger in “A Raisin in the Sun.”

Teague landed the role after a surprise audition and casting, landing him his first role since his high school career.

“The audition was the week of finals, and I was swamped and forgot about auditions,” Teague said. Teague’s volunteer work with Pit and Balcony theater gave him an in with the casting crew.

After speaking with the casting crew, he was given a second chance at an audition. “It just so happened that I had read with the other people for call backs, and I got the role.”

Teague has been acting since the age of 5, and has participated in 10 shows since his introduction to theatre. He went to school at a performing arts school from K-12 in Detroit, MI where he is originally from.

“(Going to a performing arts school) gave me the opportunity to express myself in so many different ways,” Teague said. He said playing so many different roles has given him eyes into the lives of different characters, giving him a respect for all people.

Teague says he owes his open mindedness to acting.

Saltmarshall, originally from Ecorse, has been acting since he was 13 in both live theatre and film. He has performed in six stage plays and four films.

“I really prefer both (film and theatre). It doesn’t matter to me,” Saltmarshall said. “My favorite show would have to be ‘A Raisin in the Sun.’ It challenged me as a character, as well as an actor. It helped me connect to the emotional side.”

“(To get into character) I just zoned out, trying to get into beast mode and just realize that once I get up on that stage, or once I get in front of that camera, I’m that character,” Saltmarshall said. “So, ya know, saying ‘Goodbye Raheem, goodbye to all my issues that’s goin’ on’, and just focus on that character.”

Raheem auditioned for “A Raisin in the Sun” on the recommendation from another theater major, landing the lead role in his first performance at Pit and Balcony.

“I did have a lot of challenges,” Saltmarshall said in reference to playing Walter Lee, “expressing his emotions, like how one moment he would go from happy, and then like the next moment he’d just snap.”

Saltmarshall said the cast members felt his setting the bar high for himself pushed the rest of the cast to excellence. Saltmarshall felt his true characteristics as a leader were expressed through this process.

“This show helped me realize what I want in life: My want to better things, who I’m doing this for,’’ Saltmarshall said.

Saltmarshall related with his character through Walter Lee’s desire to provide for his family, helping Saltmarshall realize his goal of providing for his.

Saltmarshall related to “A Raisin in the Sun” as “a struggle, just a different kind of struggle. It related to me in a ‘Man state of mind.’ You know, what to do, what not to do.”

“One of my main goals is to try to be my generation’s best actor,” said Saltmarshall, “and to stay up in the entertainment industry, but try to be polytechnic at the same time.”

“I feel like I have a lot of talent that needs to be exposed,” said Saltmarshall, “One day I would hope to inspire someone or show someone how I came upon, just right now I feel like I have a lot of raw talent that people need to see.”

This entry was posted on Monday, February 17th, 2014 and is filed under A&E. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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