Angelina LaBarre, a California native, and busy 29 year old graduate student/professor shares her life experiences in the classroom, and the theatre.
Act I: “Theatre kid from the get-go.”
Professor LaBarre is a self-proclaimed “theatre kid from the get-go” she speaks about her childhood, saying that she once wrote a play entitled “Mrs. Fox” when she was only 6 years old. Her love for theatre became evident from an early age and remained throughout the years.
LaBarre later had the opportunity to direct Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” in San Diego, California. On February 6th 2011, the day before opening night an unfortunate accident left LaBarre unable to direct her play. A truck t-boned her small car, and broke her back.
(Fade Lights Completely)
Act II: Away From Home
After the accident, LaBarre made a life-altering decision. The California native moved to Staunton to study fine arts and teach. She speaks of her job in Staunton fondly, saying that she likes it, but misses home as it’s the first time she has left California. LaBarre discovered Mary Baldwin after her accident and has lived here for two years and a half.
Understandably, she wanted to find a theatre that wouldn’t require her to do “too much physically” as pain is now a constant part of her life. Mary Baldwin would also allow her to obtain a Master of Fine Arts, the highest degree a theatre major could obtain, as well as give her the opportunity to teach.
Teaching is what she calls a realistic job. “You’re not gonna get by just by acting” she says. LaBarre has taught at elementary and high school levels. More recently, her teaching career has extended to college, as she not only teaches at Mary Baldwin, but has spent time as a guest lecturer for James Madison University. Her desire is to perform, direct and continue teaching by applying at more schools.
For now, she teaches Public Speaking under the direction of Bruce Dorries, and holds office meetings at Coffee on the Corner. You can find her sitting at one of the wooden tables with a cup of coffee and a rolling pin donut. LaBarre says that she likes having her office at Coffee on the Corner, because it’s a welcoming environment to be in. She wrote her thesis there.
LaBarre holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from Sacramento State University, a Master’s Degree of Letters from Mary Baldwin, and is currently working towards her Master’s degree of Fine Arts.
Act III: Parting words
“Forever be striving to improve yourself,” says LaBarre as she is always looking to grow and improve as a performer and as a person.
On the stage, she strives to perfect her vocal technique, and off the stage, she strives to become more efficient in her work. LaBarre has to deal with pain regularly, but it’s only an obstacle to overcome and not a barrier.