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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Devlin shows passion for stage, Shakespeare

Devlin shows passion for stage, Shakespeare

By Brendon James and Tabitha Redder

The NE Campus English department chair also has a passion for theater.

NE English professor Eric Devlin performs in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility in Fort Worth’s Stolen Shakespeare Guild as a break from teaching duties. Photos courtesy Eric Devlin
NE English professor Eric Devlin performs in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility in Fort Worth’s Stolen Shakespeare Guild as a break from teaching duties.
Photos courtesy Eric Devlin

Eric Devlin has been regularly performing in Shakespeare Dallas since he moved to Texas in 2006.

“I love Shakespeare,” he said. “In all but one year, I have taken part in one or both productions of the summer and the fall. I also performed some of Chekhov’s plays at the performing arts center in Dallas. My wife is also an actress, and it is my greatest pleasure when we perform together.”

Raphael Parry, executive and artistic director of Shakespeare Dallas, said he enjoys when Devlin and his wife can be in the same production.

“Just this summer, they were able to do Romeo and Juliet,” he said. “It’s delightful when they have scenes together because they have such great chemistry.”

Devlin portrays Old Siward in Shakespeare Dallas’ production of Macbeth.
Devlin portrays Old Siward in Shakespeare Dallas’ production of Macbeth.

Parry said Devlin’s English background brings a depth of understanding to Shakespearean acting.

“The great thing is he knows it intuitively. So when he speaks his lines, they’re extremely clear,” he said. “He understands the ribbons of the poetry in ways many other actors don’t innately.”

In addition to teaching, rehearsing and acting, Devlin performs stage readings.

“He’s such a hard worker. We’re working through a five-year plan to do a stage reading of one of every Shakespeare’s plays, sonnets and poems,” Parry said. “Eric’s done a handful of those stage readings, and it’s been great. His energy must be boundless at times.”

Eric Devlin
Eric Devlin

Devlin also works on scripts and directs the reading at the Margo Jones Theatre in Dallas.

“The new playwrights always value good feedback,” Devlin said. “I help them with the scenes to work on with the actors, and I help out with casting and directing the readings.”

At the NE theater, Devlin has also performed with students in several Shakespeare plays.

“Since I first came to TCC, I have done Twelfth Night, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” he said.

NE drama associate professor Stephen Thomas invites Devlin to work with the actors on Shakespeare plays.

“I help with the vocal work, and this goes hand-in-hand with the English department,” Devlin said. “I get to work on them as a literature in class and an acting script in theater.”

Devlin said he was not always an actor and used to be a singer in New York.

“I was always a singer, and I used to sing at my church,” Devlin said. “One day when I was singing in church, someone in front of me turned around and said, ‘You’re a good singer. I have a friend who has a little opera company in New York. Can I have your name and number?’”

Devlin said he received a call the same day and became a part of an opera group in New York. After some time, Devlin eventually discovered his love for acting.

“There was more work to be had at drama than opera,” he said. “I love doing the character, being a part of the story in drama, and even though I did not sing as much, I enjoyed that as well.”

Thomas said he enjoys Devlin’s personality and his dedication to theater.

“He’s a working actor,” Thomas said. “He’s got a wealth of knowledge, and he forms a foundation to accelerate the process of the Shakespeare plays we do. He’s a joy to work with. He is very sincere. He cares about the students and the plays.”

Devlin says he has no plans of stopping.

“I love theater,” Devlin said. “I will continue to do them as long as I am physically capable.”

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