Joining a Theater Club Set the Stage for Romance


As freshmen on the College of Alabama, Allison Lyn Mollenkamp and William James McCrary have been amongst a gaggle of seven college students that staged a manufacturing of “Foreplay Or: The Art of the Fugue,” a brief play from the anthology “All in the Timing,” written by David Ives.

A number of weeks in the past, Ms. Mollenkamp and Mr. McCrary, each 26, grew to become the second couple from that group of seven to marry. (A 3rd is engaged.)

Their stroll down the aisle got here nearly eight years after they met by way of a theater membership on campus, in September 2014. Ms. Mollenkamp, who’s from Jefferson Metropolis, Mo., stated she had been a “theater kid” for many of her life, however Mr. McCrary, who grew up in Birmingham, Ala., had solely taken a current curiosity within the artwork kind. “I Googled ‘cool clubs at the University of Alabama,’ or something like that,” he stated, earlier than deciding to hitch.

That fall, when the membership requested for volunteers to direct quick performs, Ms. Mollenkamp jumped on the alternative. Though inexperienced, Mr. McCrary did as nicely, partly to get to know her higher. “I talked to her a little bit,” he stated. “I thought she was cute.”

In “Foreplay,” the 2 have been forged as actors. Whereas chatting at rehearsals, they found widespread bonds. Each are trumpet gamers, in addition to the eldest youngster of their respective households; she has two siblings, he has one. Their first official date, initiated by Ms. Mollenkamp, came about in February 2015, at a Starbucks on campus. Upon assembly, they realized of one other shared trait: Neither drinks espresso. (Each bought sizzling chocolate.)

They quickly started to have common lunch dates and, that March, had a primary kiss. It adopted a theater rehearsal — and a failed kiss try earlier that day whereas they have been strolling alongside the Black Warrior River, which sits between the cities of Northport and Tuscaloosa. As they sat on a bench overlooking the river, Ms. Mollenkamp recalled considering, “OK, we’re probably coming up on a first kiss here, right?” However the second was spoiled by two unicyclists pedaling close by. “It didn’t really feel very private or romantic,” she stated.

When each graduated in Could 2018 — he with a bachelor’s diploma in historical past and anthropology, and he or she with a bachelor’s diploma in English — Mr. McCrary took a yearlong place with AmeriCorps in Birmingham, whereas Ms. Mollenkamp moved to Lincoln, Neb., to work at a public radio station broadcast by what’s now often known as Nebraska Public Media.

Decided to make it work long-distance, Ms. Mollenkamp stated she started to make use of “all of my newly acquired salaried job money on plane tickets.”

That Christmas, she gave Mr. McCrary a toothbrush, which she described as extra of a “symbolic” reward. The gesture meant that “you’ll always have a toothbrush in my place, you can always be here,” she stated.

The next 12 months, after Mr. McCrary accomplished his stint with AmeriCorps, he moved to Lincoln, in July 2019. When the pandemic arrived in March 2020, he additional decreased the space between them by staying for a interval at Ms. Mollenkamp’s condo. “That was when it turned into when we get married, not if we get married,” she stated.

They grew to become engaged that June, following one other reward alternate: For Ms. Mollenkamp’s birthday, Mr. McCrary gave her an engagement ring. The ring, which has a inexperienced tourmaline stone, was bought on Etsy and chosen to match the marriage band she had inherited from her great-grandmother.

In August 2020, they relocated to School Park, Md., with plans for each to attend graduate college on the College of Maryland. Mr. McCrary, who began a grasp’s diploma in historical past and library science, now works as a supervisor on the college’s e-book retailer. Ms. Mollenkamp, who has a grasp’s diploma in journalism from the college, is a fellow on the investigations staff at NPR in Washington, the place the couple moved in June.

On July 23, they have been wed earlier than 29 company within the yard of Ms. Mollenkamp’s dad and mom’ residence in Jefferson Metropolis. Elisabeth Blotevogel, a good friend of the couple who was ordained a Common Life minister for the event, officiated on the ceremony, which included musical performances by the bride’s youthful brothers and her sister-in-law.

“I loved singing with my brothers growing up,” Ms. Mollenkamp stated. “They’ve made music together for a long time.”

One music carried out by the trio, “If We Were Vampires” by Jason Isbell, “makes me think of riding in the car at night” with the groom, the bride stated. “That’s the one that made me start crying.”


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