UA grad to appear on hit TV showsBy Adrienne Burch | 01/09/2013 11:00pm
University of Alabama alumna, Sonequa Martin-Green, is seeing her dreams come true before her very eyes.
Five years ago she spoke the line, “True I talk of dreams, which are the children of an idle brain,” while playing the character of Mercutio in the UA department of theatre and dance’s production of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”
She recently accepted roles on two major television shows, “Once Upon a Time” and “The Walking Dead.”
“Sonequa was ravenous as a student,” said Seth Panitch, a University of Alabama associate professor of theatre.
Panitch directed Martin-Green in her role as Mercutio. He said even when she was a young student, he saw something in her that made him sure she would be successful.
“I had no doubt whatsoever,” he said. “I might have thought it would take longer than it did, but with the dedication, the drive and the absolute dedication to getting better every day, every role, I was convinced it was only a matter of time for her.”
Martin-Green landed her role on AMC’s hit-show “The Walking Dead” in late November 2012 and within a month was also cast in ABC’s show “Once Upon a Time.”
Entertainment Weekly reports she will be a recurring character in the second season of “Once Upon a Time” and possibly the third.
Martin-Green performed in several UA theatre productions during her time as a student and was a regular act in Alpha Psi Omega’s Guerrilla Theatre shows.
“There was an abandonment and an extreme sense of showmanship in the performance that lit up on stage,” Panitch said. “She was also our best sword fighter, so the combat sequence (in ‘Romeo and Juliet’) was a thrill to behold.”
William Teague, theatre department chair, said he thinks there are two reasons Martin-Green has succeeded in her career.
“One is that she is incredibly driven,” he said. “I know I sound like Nick Saban talking about football players, but she is incredibly focused on what she wants to do.”
Teague said any student pursuing a job in theatre or acting must have a similar drive if they want to go anywhere. He said the other reason Martin-Green has done so well is because she possesses an enormous amount of raw talent.
“She has a beautiful speaking voice and carries herself with so much grace on and off the stage,” Teague said.
Teague also said the talent coming out of the deparment of theatre and dance does not stop with Martin-Green. With the increase in University enrollment in recent years, he has seen the talent level in his department elevate as well.
“We have a lot of students who are very successful and not just in performance roles,” he said. “One of our graduates from the mid-1990s is the director of production at the Georgia Aquarium. It’s not just in New York, it’s in other places too.”
Per Martin-Green’s acting agent, she was unavailable to comment by press time.