Montgomery Media: Gonglewski Cast in Arden Theatre's 'Women in Jep'

July 5, 2012

Grace Gonglewski, Adjunct Professor of Theater Arts and Acting, appears in Women in Jep (July 5-15), the Arden Theatre Company’s inaugural production for The Writers’ Room, an innovative playwright residency program, as reported by Montgomery Media Correspondent Rita Charleston. Gonglewski, who has appearred in more than 20 Arden Theatre Productions, discusses how she made her dreams come true.

Gonglewski says she knew from a very young age that the theater was her calling. “I used to tell my mother that when I grew up I wanted to be a star, although I didn’t fully understand how to make that happen — until the day I visited my sister, who was attending Penn State.”

With time on her hands, Gonglewski decided to visit a small theater on campus and watched a production of “The Good Doctor” by Neil Simon. She remembers that when the girl in the play spoke about wanting to be an actress, the words really hit home.

“I remember I cried and vowed from that point on that acting was exactly what I wanted to do, too. That was my moment of truth, and I eventually headed off to North Carolina School of the Arts to get my basic training and my degree.”

In her senior year, she and other schoolmates headed to New York to audition for a number of theater groups. Gonglewski was spotted by the Walnut Street Theatre and called to audition for their new apprenticeship program.

“But I said no because I had just bought a one-way ticket to Europe where I hoped to find success. I had had a great German teacher in college who told me that Europe had many English-speaking theaters where English-speaking actors were always needed.”

However, urged on to audition for the Walnut, she decided to do it, and within 15 minutes was offered a job. Today, with no regrets, that audition has turned into many happy associations with many local and regional theaters. Additionally, her work has been rewarded by many accolades. She is the proud recipient of four Barrymore Awards, the F. Otto Haas Award and the Dorothy Haas Fellowship.

When Gonglewski is not onstage, she can be heard doing voice-overs or teaching audition techniques classes at Arcadia University.

“I tell my students to question authority and trust yourself. After all, you are doing this for yourself because you must,” she concludes.

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