First-year plays many roles
Having spent only a few weeks on the Hill, Kyle Rogacion ’15 has already stood out in the theater scene.
First-year Kyle Rogacion made his memorable theater debut at the College as Jimmy Harper, the lead in this year’s Powder and Wig one-week musical Reefer Madness. With his priceless facial expressions and inexhaustible energy both on and off stage, Rogacion has the unique ability to make people laugh until they cry.
Rogacion hails from Monterey, Ca., having moved there from Brea, Ca. (pronounced “Brie”). He laughingly noted, “I moved from one place named after a cheese to another place named after a cheese.” Appropriately enough, he now attends a college that shares its name with cheese as well.
Having spent a whole four weeks on the Hill at this point, Rogacion’s current hope is to fulfill the course requirements for the pre-med track and is considering a major in theater and dance with a concentration in acting and directing. Surprisingly, acting is a somewhat recently developed passion in Rogacion’s life: he only first became involved in theater in the spring of his junior year of high school.
Rogacion never considered performing until a teacher encouraged him to audition for his first play. His initial thought was, “‘I’ve never done theater before; I’m not really that kind of person.” But after landing the lead role of Johnny Pateen-Mike O’Dougal in The Cripple of Inishmaan, Rogacion began to think, “Hmm, maybe I might not be so terrible at this”—an understatement.
Rogacion described the experience of being onstage before an audience for the first time and overcoming his pre-show jitters, saying, “Once I stepped on stage and the lights swept over me, I just got into the role…got tunnel vision, focused only on my character and it was an amazing experience...and that’s why I have continued theater to this day.”
Describing the process of working on The Cripple of Inishmaan, Rogacion said, “As the weeks progressed, as we got further into the play, as we got to know our characters and got to know the script and got to know each other, I felt really comfortable in this role.” The relationships Rogacion developed during the rehearsal process became as important to him as the performing experience itself and truly fostered his love of acting.
In a short time, Rogacion took on and excelled at a host of new artistic risks, including developing a passable Irish accent for his first role.
This high school foray into theater opened Rogacion up to the possibility of exploring other performing arts as well, and he joined his high school choir during that same year. Rogacion admitted that he does not have a lot of confidence in his voice, but that he still very much enjoys singing with groups. “I was even more introverted and self-conscious in my early high school years,” he confessed, “so joining theater kind of gave me a boost of self-confidence.”
At the College, Rogacion continues to challenge himself to pursue his interests. He is a new member of Broadway Musical Revue (BMR) and sings tenor in the College Chorale. Outside of the performing arts, he plans to take courses in drawing after completing Foundations in Studio Art this semester. “Much like theater, drawing is something that I just kind of jumped into,” Rogacion said. While he hopes to advance his drawing skills through study at the College, he does not yet feel qualified to identify himself as a visual artist.
Rogacion will also appear in the next two Powder and Wig productions this semester, having been cast in both Unwrap your Candy, which will be performed Oct. 20-22, and Scaramouche, which will premiere Dec. 1-3. Drawn to the theater group by the enthusiasm of the “Wiggians,” Rogacion plans to stay very involved with the club and also hopes to have the opportunity to perform within the theater and dance department.
As for after college, Rogacion does not plan to pursue a career in performance, but he hopes to keep theater in his life. “I just want to do theater for the sake of doing theater,” he said. “So it doesn’t matter if I’m on Broadway or if I’m in a local community theater, as long as I’m with a bunch of great people and we’re putting on a great show. That’s all that matters.”