By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough/Southborough – Dave Morrow of Marlborough is a former Southborough resident transplanted from Brookfield, Conn., who is now commuting weekends back to his home state. He’s performing a six-weekend run at the 19th annual Connecticut Renaissance Faire (CRF) on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 9.
Morrow had a desire, but not the nerve, to perform onstage while in high school. As a student at the University of Connecticut he demonstrated martial arts with the Capoeira Club, which gave him a sense of performing in front of an audience. Getting elected club president gave him an opportunity to become a public speaker. After graduating from UConn in 2008, Morrow attended the CRF for a few years and saw its playful performers interact with guests in the mock 16th-century village.
“I specifically remember thinking that I could do what they’re doing – it’s not that scary,” he relayed.
Soon after making that revelation in the spring 2010, Morrow attended an audition workshop offered by the CRF production company. The workshop was taught by a director preparing for the CRF’s fall 2010 musical stage show. The director hired Morrow to perform in the stage cast.
“Throughout the years they had a paid stage cast and a volunteer interactive street group,” Morrow explained. “This year, everyone is part of the cast. Back in 2010, I thought I’d be part of the volunteer group because I had no experience. I still thought it would be fun because I’d get to go to the faire for free.”
His 2010 stage debut at the faire included several first experiences for Morrow. It was his first scripted stage performance with ensemble musical numbers. Concurrently, he was introduced to performing interactive theater. He particularly enjoys the gig’s interactive aspect
“When kids comes to a show they won’t necessarily remember the song that they heard, but they’ll remember the person who talked with them,” he said. “Playing that fun, interactive character is a blast.”
He returned to the faire in the fall of 2011 as an interactive actor. Morrow’s full-time job in 2012 at a veterinary hospital required him to work one weekend day a week, so he was unavailable to audition for the paid CRF stage shows. After a brief hiatus, he volunteered at the faire’s old-world games and activities area in the fall of 2013.
In 2014, Morrow began working as a technical support engineer at Oracle in Marlborough and moved from Connecticut to Southborough, then to Marlborough this year in May. In both 2016 and this year, he volunteered at the CRF’s games and activities area each spring, and got hired to perform in stage shows each fall.
Morrow is currently performing at the CRF in an adaptation of “The Knight of the Burning Pestle,” a satire on chivalric romances by Francis Beaumont. The play was first staged in 1607.
“The story still holds up to this day,” Morrow noted. “We had a great opening on Labor Day weekend. In terms of the faire’s past 18 years, we had the second highest attendance for a single day. The audiences are loving the show. We get these great crowds that are willing to play and have fun.”
He hopes the working relationship with the CRF continues into the future.
“I specifically like the CRF because they treat us well and give me room to play,” he said. “They set up this playground for me to go out there and be ridiculous and run wild. I definitely want to do this faire again next year – and come back year after year.”