Meet Ralph del Rosario: A love for performance and creationBy Liza Scales
Ralph del Rosario has learned to reach for more than what he thought he could do as a theater and performance studies major at Kennesaw State University. He says with a passion, “I love theater because it’s about love—love is truth. We create life on stage.” Ralph did not initially plan to be a performer. His parents emigrated from the Philippines to escape poverty before he was born, and Ralph and his siblings were expected become financially successful through medical careers. “I started out at Georgia State in dental studies, but I wasn’t happy,” he says. “I remembered how much fun I had in a high school acting class, so I took a theater class there for fun. It was great, but Georgia State doesn’t have a theater program. I heard that KSU’s theater department was great, and it is! Any student considering KSU should come here.”
Ralph’s favorite course has been Acting II with Assistant Professor Harrison Long. “I learn something new every day. I soak up everything like a sponge—it’s a feast!” Ralph is constantly impressed with his professors and looks to them for guidance. “My professors are gaping holes of information,” he says. “I am surrounded by so much talent in students and professors, and I push myself to match them.”
Ralph does not have to push hard. Outside of his academic studies, he is a member of the student-organized group, the Kennesaw Improv Society, Stupid! Their purpose is to “attack the senses of the audience. We use body contact, dance, poetry, art—anything that works to reach our audience. We have a great time!” Ralph’s friend and fellow T&PS colleague Phillip Justman, says that “all the students have talent, but Ralph always transmits a joy to the audience that makes him stand out.”
At the beginning of March, Ralph performed in “Revolutio: Children of an Idle Brain” at Theatre in the Square’s Alley Stage performance theater in Marietta. “The show was created, produced, and funded by theater students and alumni from KSU,” he says. “It was a beautiful show about revolution in modern times. We used improvisation to springboard ideas off of Peter Weiss’ play, ‘Marat/Sade’ and other texts.” Long says that “students like Ralph are building our excellent reputation at KSU. All the pros at TIS are terribly impressed with our students.”
On March 27, Ralph’s play, “Floating” will debut during the “New Works and Ideas” festival in the Stillwell Theater. The story is about two astronauts floating off into space—and dying—as they run out of air. “This is an existential view of human behavior under extreme stress,” explains Ralph. Associate Professor and Artistic Director Dean Adams coordinated the program of ten-minute plays written by students.
Ralph is also preparing for a global experience. Associate Professor Karen Robinson and faculty from Hassan II University in Morocco are planning a series of intercultural workshops for KSU and HIIU students to explore oral history and performance ethnography. Ralph is one of 10 students who auditioned and were chosen to participate. The KSU theater students will perform ‘Moby Dick’ in French and in Arabic. Though Ralph doesn’t speak any foreign languages, he looks forward to the performance opportunity.
Ralph’s plan for a destination after graduation is California. “It doesn’t matter what I do, as long as I am creating love in works of honesty and integrity. I have a huge imagination, and I’m a very creative person. I’m chosen for this profession.” He wants to explore doing professional voiceovers because of his special love for cartoons. “I grew up on them; they were a great escape for me as a kid.”
He lives by a favorite quote by Long: “I am humbled in the face of this craft.” Ralph says he is not only humbled by theater, but amazed, as well. “This craft is seething with potential. It’s a bubbling, undecipherable, intangible, and breathless want—it’s life!” Long believes in his student’s future success. “Ralph has a hunger to master his craft, which will take him far,” he says. “He never lets his ego get in the way. He’s great to work with because he’s so thoughtful to his peers.”
In his free time, Ralph writes poetry, is an enthusiastic blogger, and avidly paints and draws. "I love the creation process!" he says.