MEET THIS MIAMI-BORN ACTRESS: 51 years later, she’s back.
Miami-born and -raised actress Mary Lou Rosato stars in The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Miami New Drama’s 2019-2020 season-opening play. The show runs through Sunday, Nov. 17 at The Colony Theatre.
She has always had a drive to perform. As an eight year old in Catholic school, she lobbied for herself to portray the blessed virgin in the school’s Christmas pageant. She was successful in her appeal and it was her first stage role.
Her passion for performing continued off-stage as well. She would direct the neighborhood kids during puppet shows and various stories and plays.
Mary Lou was urged on as a performer by her North Miami Senior High School drama teacher, Ellen Davis. “She put the proverbial hand on my back and said, ‘Go,’” Mary Lou remembers.
“She helped me find my way into the University of Miami and told me, ‘Yes, you’ve got what it takes to go do it,’ and with her affirmation I participated in almost every single project that I could get myself into.”
Mary Lou left the University of Miami in 1968 to attend the highly-competitive Juilliard School in New York City, joining its first class of students in the drama division. That first class is referred to as Group 1 and includes other notable actors Patti LuPone and Kevin Kline.
Mary Lou currently teaches acting at Yale.
ABOUT THE SHOW: In The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Mary Lou portrays Doña María, a character she describes as a lonely woman struggling — and fighting — to connect with her daughter through a long series of letters.
The play tells the story of five travelers whose lives unexpectedly intertwine while crossing an Incan rope bridge in colonial Peru. It is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Thornton Wilder that Time Magazine called “one of the best novels of the 20th century.”
FUN FACT: One of the first shows Mary Lou performed at the University of Miami was the musical “Once Upon A Mattress.” She played Queen Aggravain. In 1996, she again played Queen Aggravain — this time on Broadway alongside Sarah Jessica Parker.
QUOTABLE: “When you study as a young actor, you learn a certain amount, but experience teaches you more. Every single experience you have continues to develop you, change you, and inform you.”
HOW YOU CAN SEE THE SHOW: Tickets for The Bridge of San Luis Rey start at $39.
The three remaining shows of Miami New Drama’s 2019-2020 season include: The Cubans, the debut play from Cuban-American playwright and actor Michael Leon; A Wonderful World, the world-premiere musical about jazz legend and singer Louis Armstrong; The Great Leap, a play that involves political conflict and the intricate, fractured links that immigration forges across cultures and generations.