Rosemary was born in Hoboken, New Jersey and lived there until she was twenty-three.
Although her formal name is Rosemary, she is Sissy to her friends and family; it was Sissy who grew up above an Irish bar near the docks made famous by Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront, and it was there that she first realized her life’s work was to teach theatre. She was a fifteen-year- old Hoboken High School student when she attended her first Shakespearean production ~ Hamlet. This experience was transformative and gave her the direction and meaning that she unwittingly longed for. Rosemary believes theatre is a life affirming discipline with redemptive power and shares this message with her students and community.
Rosemary earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater and secondary education from De Sales University, a Masters from Villanova, focusing her studies on women and theatre, and a Masters from West Chester University in English. After completing course work for English certification at West Chester, she completed courses to become a Literature Fellow. Something of which Rosemary is extremely proud is that she was one of sixteen teachers selected from across the country to study “Directing Shakespeare” at Juilliard earning her the title of Juilliard Directing Fellow.
Rosemary has directed, produced, created, and taught theatre for over thirty years at both the secondary and college level. As an Adjunct Professor at Rosemont College, Rosemary taught and developed theatre courses such as Dramaturgy, Acting, Playwriting, and Theatre History. She also taught Methods for Teaching English at the Secondary Level, Children’s Literature, Educational Assessment and Women and Gender Studies.
During her years as a high school teacher, Rosemary taught Advanced Placement Literature and Composition for twenty-five years and was an AP essay reader for the College Board. As a high school drama director, Rosemary directed over fifty plays, musicals, and dance programs. Her theatre program and students were nominated for, and won, many CAPPIE Awards such as best play, best leading actress, best comic actor, best ensemble, best choreography, and best special effects. It is no surprise that many of her students have gone on to work professionally in regional theatre and Broadway. She is also the proud founder and former artistic director of the Warrior’s Performance Group. This organization uses theatre, art, dance, and community service to raise awareness about women’s issues while celebrating diversity and the human spirit. Rosemary has also founded and directed several church drama programs and coffee houses, directed street theatre in Ireland, and founded and advised The Muse, a literary arts magazine.
Among the awards and honors garnered by Rosemary are the following:
Methacton Diversity Oversight Committee Member
Irene Ryan Acting Award Nomination
$15,000 Federal Grant for Empowering Women Through the Arts
President Clintons’ Certificate of Merit for Celebration of Women’s History Program
United States Department of Education Presidential Scholar
Congressional Award for Outstanding Women’s History Program
Peer Consultant for National Character Education with the University of Pennsylvania
Montgomery County Woman of Vision Award
Montgomery County Commission on Women ~ Education Committee
Pennsylvania Honor Roll of Women
American Association of University Women Bridge Award