Benjamin T. Rome School of Music

May 12, 2018
11:45 a.m.
Ward Hall front Lawn and Portico

Graduates should come down to the School of Music immediately after the main ceremony to line up in the lower lobby by degree level and last name.

Family and friends may please take their seats under the tent.  The forward sections are reserved for the graduates; please observe the reserved seating signs.

Rain Plan

In case of rain, the main 10 a.m. ceremony will be cancelled. The School of Music Diploma Ceremony will be at 10:30 under the tents or, if weather is violent, in JPH (room 220).

Guest Speaker Roberta Gasbarre

Roberta is thrilled to be back home at Catholic University where she graduated with a BA in Speech and Drama in 1974. She remembers fondly Joan Thiel’s history of theatre course (which she uses more than she could have imagined,) Joe Lewis’s junior year acting lab (in the depths of the basement underneath the Hartke) and Bill Graham’s love and inspiration. Two of her favorite memories are working in the Greek chorus of Medea with Mercedes McCambridge and helping Helen Hayes learn lines for O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night. Roberta also remembers Father Hartke, and participated in two of his famous tours, one to Central and South America, and another as a visiting professor in Poznan, Poland, while performing in The Effects of Gamma Ray on Man in the Moon Marigolds

Roberta’s 40+ year career has kept her close to CUA, although she only just returned this year to direct Kiss Me Kate. She is recognized as a leader in all aspects of arts-based learning, and her primary interests are in mixed forms, new works, chamber musicals, experimental forms, heritage arts, and theatre for young audiences. Her professional credits include work at most of Washington DC-area theaters including five years respectively at Arena Stage’s outreach company Living Stage (Production Coordination) and The Shakespeare Theater (choreography and movement.) Her work has been Helen Hayes nominated numerous times and two of her productions have earned Helen Hayes awards: A Dance Against Darkness: Living with Aids (Co-director) & Quilters (Assoc. Director/Choreographer.) Roberta’s choreography, movement work and directing have been seen regularly all over town at such venues as Roundhouse Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, and the Washington Jewish Theatre. Fluent in sign language, she also served on the faculty at Gallaudet University.

Roberta has taught acting, movement and period style in workshops or classes at such institutions as American University, UMD College Park & Baltimore, Wolf Trap and through Kaiser Permanente’s AIDS and health education initiative. She loves working with young performers and has done so at George Washington University (Hair & Pippin) and at Montgomery College Rockville and their Summer Dinner Theatre program since 1991.  In 1999, Roberta became the Director for Discovery Theater, the Smithsonian Institution’s museum theater program, writing, directing or producing over 350 performances of touring shows, school residencies, and shows on the National Mall for 50,000 people a year. She is also longtime Artistic Director of the Washington Revels, whose Christmas Revels performs annually at GW’s Lisner Auditorium for close to 10,000 happy audience members.

Roberta received her MFA from Towson University, specializing in interdisciplinary world theatre.  She lives in Silver Spring, MD, very near her dear friend, and chair of the CUA music theater program, Thomas Pedersen. Son Jamie is on faculty in the music department at Amherst College and her daughter, Caelyn, writes interactive media in Boston.