RSVP MAGAZINE: SHE'S A STAR

CENTERSTAGE

She's known her passion forever: the desire to be center stage, in the heat of the lights, acting and singing her heart out. "I remember being three years old, taking my clothes off and saying, 'Look, I'm Gypsy Rose Lee.'" While the stages have changed and the costumes have been a bit more complete, the passion of theatre and the drama of drama have stayed right in the heart of Groeschen (Ingersoll).

Angela Groeschen, in the few years that she has called Memphis home, has been actively thrilling the Memphis audiences through her work at Playhouse on the Square and their family of stages. Groeschen came to Memphis from Indianapolis, where she grew up as a child, Ithaca, New York, where she attended college, and New York City, where she waited tables and did the struggling actor's thing. There was the year back in the Midwest doing more regional theater before she and Michael Ingersoll, boyfriend and now her fiance, were both accepted by Playhouse on the Square to become part of the team. Groeschen spent a year as an intern before becoming a resident member of the company and more than a team player for all-that-is-Memphis-theater. She's a star.

When Groeschen speaks of her theater experiences, she speaks respectfully and in awe of the names who have guided her-too many to mention really, but one high school teacher, Dr. Carroll Stegall, is always at the forefront of her performances. "I still think of him as if he's in the audience." She wants to do her best for those who have guided her.

She's downright emotional when she speaks of her passion for theater and acting. "Doing Shakespeare is my favorite thing in the world," she notes. And, her language reverberates with someone in love with every aspect of theater: "I love listening to directors. I learn something in every play." And, as she has learned, she has thrilled Memphis audiences with memorable performances in a host of plays: Macbeth ("I thought I was way too young and didn't really expect to get the part." Others thought differently, thank goodness) Bat Boy: The Musical, Jekyll & Hyde, The Philadelphia Story, The Wizard Of Oz, and on and on. On the horizon, she'll take leading roles in Of Mice And Men, Man Of La Mancha, and Beauty & The Beast.

As for her future with soon-to-be husband, Michael Ingersoll: "We're researching theater in Chicago, a bigger market." The idea of her Midwestern family being able to see her on stage adds an incentive to get back to that part of the country. She also sees herself directing, if it is a bit later in life: "I always had a dream in the back of my head of having my own space."

Whatever she's doing in theater and wherever she's performing or directing, it's a good bet that Angela Groeschen will bring drama to life for audiences for a long time. And, we suspect there will be more than one or two rousing curtain calls for this dedicated artist.

Cover Photo: Brandon Dahlquist Photography