TGIT: Anna Rose Guerrero

Assistant Chair of the NKU theatre and dance department, Michael Hatton, was thrilled to announce last week’s TGIT (Thank God It’s Theatre) performance by BFA acting junior, Anna Rose Deleon Guerrero,in the Corbett Theatre. Guerrero came to NKU in August 2012  seeking an opportunity to study Western musical theatre

The TGIT was set up by Professor Sandra Foreman 25 years ago to offer students a chance to entertain each other. “Students come up with a program…  it could be anything,” Foreman said. “It is something different every week and it is nonjudgmental.”

Saipan is part of the capital of The US Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and is host to the Chamorro and Carolinian people, which is said to be one of the oldest civilizations in the world. The island is located in the Pacific Ocean and is home to approximately 48,220.

“I wanted to study theatre here, and Saipan had no professional theatre.” Guerrero said. “I knew I couldn’t do everything I wanted to at home, and I was ready to take bigger steps, and go bigger places, so I auditioned, and was accepted into the BFA program at NKU.”

After her first show playing July the orphan in “Annie Jr.” Guerrero caught the bug as many performers do at a young age.

“Since my first show, I’ve been a veteran of the arts in Saipan, and I plan to become a virtuoso here in the U.S.,” Guerrero said.

According to Dr. François Le Roy, Director, International Programs, NKU is home to approximately 600 international students from over 50 countries.

Like many international students on the NKU campus, Guerrero faced the challenge of making new friends and building relationships.

“I have made several amazing friends here who have become like family to me, and a few teachers who have guided me and taught me a lot, and who care about me both as a performer and as a person,” Guerrero said.

Guerrero talked about her how coming across an ocean has given her perspective over her life at NKU.

“I grew up being exposed to many different cultures, and understanding them gives me such a different way of looking at things,” Guerrero said.

The TGIT gives students a channel in which they can express their passions and cultures. In her TGIT performance, Guerrero reveled in the chance to expose her peers to her culture and offer a part of herself to the audience.

Guerrero told stories of Polynesian history through traditional dancing. Originally from Saipan, Guerrero grew up performing Polynesian dances as well as performing in western theatre. It was this experience, married with the close patriotic connection, that inspired her performance.

“I grew up in the islands, and in addition to learning about my Polynesian cultures, I also grew up in theatre and noticed a lot of similarities. I really wanted to show that today,” Guerrero said.

Guerrero even got some audience members on stage, trying their hand (and hips) at some Polynesian dancing.

“The idea [of getting the audience on stage] was to share our cultural way of sharing how we express love with people who are more used to western arts,” Guerrero said.

Guerrero performed with her brother Gideon Thorpe Lorete and friend Keanna, who is also a BFA acting major at NKU.

They hoped to reveal the inner workings of art to the audience.

“In any type of art you have, whether it be cultural, or western theatre or Polynesian dance, where you have art, you have love,” Guerrero said.

Not just a fan of all things theatre, Guerrero talked about her hobbies off stage.

“I really like soccer and archery, but I haven’t played or practiced in forever, but when I did do those things, I had a lot of fun…I also like art and drawing, and really anything artistic,” Guerrero said.

Guerrero has acclimated into North American culture well since arriving in August 2012, although she still has tendencies to let her “island ticks slip.”

“People still get confused when I do things like throw up my Shaka hand sign,” Guerrero said.

Guerrero is set on exploring her talents and following them wherever they take her.

“I hope to go to NYC, LA, Chicago, or even stay in the area – as long as I’m working, I’m good. I want to do everything in my career, why limit myself to one place?” Guerrero said.

TGIT is hosted by the Center Stage Players [CSP] every Friday at 1:00p.m. Students can reserve one Friday a semester and perform a piece of their choice.

The department’s next TGIT performance will be next Friday, Jan. 23. There will be a guest artist from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Dr. Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk, who will be giving a Master Class and Performance.