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Posted on January 14, 2011


Due to flight delays and inclement weather, today's reception scheduled from 4-6 p.m. in Steele Hall Mainstage lobby is CANCELLED.


The Department of Theatre and Dance will welcome its first artist-in-residence on Jan. 26. Director and choreographer Gary John La Rosa will work with theatre students on campus until Feb. 25.

During his stay, la Rosa will cast and direct Twilight of the Golds, the Theatre Department’s spring drama. He also will present workshops on topics such as auditioning and breaking into the business of professional theatre.

La Rosa, who lives in New York City, has worked on nearly 200 productions including off-Broadway and regional theatre, industrial shows, dinner theatre and summer stock. He also coaches performers looking to sharpen their acting and auditioning skills.

“I love emotional depth, where the characters (in a play) are different at the end than they were at the beginning,” says La Rosa. “That’s what I like to do as a director — help students realize their potential and not be afraid to experiment and grow as artists. … “You have to be fearless and willing to expose yourself as an actor. Twilight of the Golds is an opportunity to bare your soul.”

Dr. Michele Pagen, a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, says that working with La Rosa can benefit students who intend to make performing their career.

“Our kids will make a connection here that will be useful down the line,” she says. “If they move to New York and need a coach, they’ll know Gary. He’s not just a contact for the students he casts; he’ll be a contact for everyone.”


Members of the campus community, as well as the general public, can see La Rosa’s work as a director when Twilight of the Golds is presented in the Blaney Theatre, the “black box” theater inside Steele Hall. Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. Feb. 24 and 25 and at 2 and 8 p.m. Feb. 26.

Ticket price is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors; students are admitted free with a Cal Card and a $5 refundable deposit.

The production is not suitable for the youngest patrons. For reservations, call the Steele Hall Box Office at 724-938-5943.