Barrington grad doesn't pull any punches in 'Soul Samurai'

Barrington grad doesn't pull any punches in 'Soul Samurai'

 
 
Updated 4/28/2011 8:01 AM
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  • Dewdrop (Christine Lin), right, trains with Master Leroy Green (Evan Lee) in InFusion Theatre Company's "Soul Samurai" at Theater Wit.

    Dewdrop (Christine Lin), right, trains with Master Leroy Green (Evan Lee) in InFusion Theatre Company's "Soul Samurai" at Theater Wit. Courtesy of Anthony LaPena

By day, Barrington High School grad Christine Lin is a mild-mannered quality engineering consultant. But at night, she becomes a samurai named Dewdrop, a young woman out to find the gang of vampires who murdered the love of her life.

Lin, you see, is the star of InFusion Theatre Company's production of "Soul Samurai," a new action-adventure drama, which opens this week at Theater Wit in Chicago.

"To get revenge on her lover's killers she trains with a ninja," Lin explains. "She becomes a smooth samurai lady."

This is not the first time Lin has lived a double life. In fact, she has been juggling engineering and acting since she graduated college in 2003 and moved back to Chicago.

"I was an engineering major at Duke University," Lin explains. "I studied electrical and biomedical engineering. But when I moved to Chicago, I felt the tug of theater."

It had been awhile since Lin, who had done theater in high school, had felt that tug. In college, she had focused on preparing for a more technical, but stable, career. She had no idea she wanted to return to the stage until she joined the work world. Then, as a creative release, she began taking classes in theater around town.

She joined the ensemble at Halcyon Theatre and the Asian comedy troupe Stir-Friday Night! And she has appeared at Silk Road Theatre Project and the Goodman Theatre.

Earlier this year, a friend recommended she try out for the role of Dewdrop. She knew the role would involve stage combat, but she didn't realize how demanding it was until she was cast.

"I have a lot of stage combat I have to do," Lin explained excitedly. "There are a lot of bad guys."

How many bad guys? Lin compares her role to the one Uma Thurman plays in "Kill Bill."

"I do love 'Kill Bill,'" Lin says, "and we have been calling the show 'Kill Bill' meets 'Shaft.' There are lots and lots of martial arts in the play, along with axes and knives. One of the other cast members is like, 'My mom is going to have a heart attack.'"

Lin is not intimidated. "The stage combat was what I found exciting about the role," she says. "I have always dreamed of becoming an action hero."

And like a good action hero, she has a mild-mannered alter ego to retreat into when she isn't fighting bad guys. Good thing Lin still likes engineering.

"I like that when I am doing my job I don't have to ask myself constantly how I am feeling," Lin says, laughing. "But I like theater too, because in theater I get to play."