Norway’s Martin Drop Delightful In ‘Mere Image’

The cast of “Mere Image,” includes (seated, from left) Liz MacGregor (Rachel) , Kevin Cease (Leonard), Sarah Einerson (Celia) and DeeJay Arens (Ernst), and (standing, from left) Joel Ward (Copacetti), Julie Quanrud (Monica), Vicki Stenerson (Tillie) and Martin Drop (Virgil). Not pictured is Steve Saari, playwright, who also played Centaurio. Bemidji Pioneer Photo/Patt Rall

As cold as it was Saturday, I warmed my heart with laughter that night at  Saarens Productions’ “Mere Image” Saturday night at the Wild Rose Theater. Steve Saari’s writing was amazing, the set was great and the performances were outstanding.

I thought Martin Drop, the 14-year-old who came from Norway to do the play, really stole the show as the young Virgil, the delightfully complex, brainy and funny 12-year-old son of Leonard (Kevin Cease) and Celia (Sarah Einerson). I think my favorite element was his helpless fury around his hapless family.

I dropped by today after the final production because I just read that he was returning to Norway tomorrow (yes, I should read the articles in my own newspaper sooner) and I wanted to tell him how much I enjoyed his performance.

Apparently, I was not alone. Kevin Cease told me flat out, “He stole the show,” invoking the quote from W.C. Fields: “Never work with animals or children.” He also said Martin, who speaks three languages, is smart like Virgil.

Martin told me that theater was not as common in Norway as it is here, so he does a lot of stand-up comedy.  I hope he ends up doing really well — he has so much talent.

I read in Pioneer entertainment writer Patt Rall’s story that Martin also stole the show at age 10 in a production of “The Nerd” at Long Lake Theater in Hubbard. I did a search for this and came up with a website in Norwegian:

I can’t read it, but it has pictures of the young Martin (one with his father; I may not understand much Norwegian, but I can figure out “pappa” and “Alan Drop” under a photo), his name and “Hubbard, Minnesota.” I figure that around here, there are a few Minnesotans who can read Norwegian. :)

Links to Patt’s aticles about “Mere Image”:

and her blog:

It’s all over for “Mere Image” now. It was sad to see the set come down today. I hope the show will be staged again someday!

1 Response

  1. Patt Rall

    I just received an email from Martin’s dad, Alan Drop, about the hospitality his son received during the run of the show. He is trying to figure out how to get his letter published in the Pioneer—I am sure he will be successful even if just in the arts blog. For all who did not attend—-best of luck next time and there will be a next time.

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