For Immediate Release
Brains, Beauty and Bravado at 79
Shakespeare’s Star Crossed Lovers production
Tues, Dec. 11, 8pm
Wed, Dec. 12, 8pm
Thurs, Dec. 13, 2pm & 8pm
Accompanied by Renaissance Music and Dance
Evergreen Valley College Studio Theater
$5 Tickets; free to EVC students
Evergreen Valley College student and Villages resident Kathleen McNally asks, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” and answers, “Practice, practice, practice!” Because practice is the only way stage actors memorize lines, and since McNally scored four roles in the college’s upcoming medley of Shakespeare’s Star-Crossed Lovers, she’s got a lot of memorizing to do.
At 79 years of age, McNally is the oldest student in EVC’s Theater Arts Program. “You see kids who really blossom. They’re surprised at how far they’ve come and how good they’ve gotten just since the beginning of September, when we started rehearsals,” she says.
This isn’t McNally’s first production, and it certainly won’t be her last. She’s been acting throughout her life, even when she worked as a real estate agent in San Diego and while raising six children. She was so passionate about the stage that she eventually earned a Masters in Fine Arts and Theater, having graduated with her BA in 1949.
Why not just do community theater? McNally believes in academia. “Evergreen Valley College feels like graduate school. You’re continually learning and stretching your mind. And sharing. I share my books about acting with other students.”
Gemma Whelan, EVC Theater Arts faculty, feels McNally’s enthusiasm for her craft rubs off on her other students. “Kathleen's professionalism, energy, and commitment are an inspiration to all of the students. She generously shares her talent and experience and is a wonderful ensemble player.”
Being a good actor means being a good listener, according to McNally, “Acting is re-acting to something else. Without even using words, you can react to a relationship between two people.” In addition to listening skills, McNally feels theater students learn about discipline. “No one will hold your hand or force you to be a good actor. It’s about practice and opening your horizons, feeling, experiencing. You must also contribute—there’s a lot of teamwork involved,” she says.
Currently, McNally only has time to act in or direct three plays a year. As she finished the photo shoot for this story, she said, “I have to go home and cook dinner for my husband. He’s 88!”
ABOUT Evergreen Valley College
With student learning as its primary focus, Evergreen Valley College’s mission is to empower students to expand their human potential and to succeed in a global, multicultural society. The College, which sits on a picturesque 175-acre site in the eastern foothills of San Jose, provides access to comprehensive and flexible post-secondary education to prepare students of all ages and backgrounds for balanced and productive lives and to improve the workforce and quality of life in our community.