Alumna returns as guest artist

Alicia Sable
Alicia Sable '01 as Gwendolen Bracknell in "The Importance of Being Earnest."

Alicia Sable ’01 returned to Radford University this month as a guest artist in the Department of Theatre and Cinema’s production of “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

While her degree is in music, Sable became involved in the Department of Theatre and Cinema during her final year at Radford when she auditioned and starred in the musical “The Boyfriend.” Following that performance, Sable attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York.   

“The Importance of Being Earnest,” scheduled to run April 11-16, will feature Sable in the role of Gwendolen, and has her working with her former professors Carl Lefko, Wesley Young and Monica Weinzapfel.

“It’s so nice to work with them again," Sable said.

Current students began rehearsing for the production eight weeks before Sable arrived.

“When I showed up, I was nervous. I had practiced all my lines. I had read all the research. I practiced my English dialect. I felt prepared," Sable said. "But when we had the first rehearsal, the students were on top of their game.

“I’m a new person coming into the show and they didn’t miss a beat," she added.  "I thought my former professors must be fabulous. I am really proud that I graduated from Radford because the program is so strong.”

Sable said she wants to share a strong work ethic and what it is like to be a professional working a “gig" with the student performers.

“The best thing I can offer the students is by showing up and doing this booking as I would any other, even if I was on 57th Street in Manhattan, a film set in LA, a studio or a TV set,” Sable said. “The thing I can do is show up and continue to be who I have been in my career the last 10-plus years and hope that I can lead by example.”

"The Importance of Being Earnest."

Left to right: Drew Callahan plays John Worthing, Alicia Sable is Gwendolen Bracknell, attending them is Daniel McNulty as the butler, Christopher Phillips plays Algernon Moncrieff and Kathleen Harshberger portrays Lady Bracknell.

Sable hopes to show students the importance of being prepared, the importance of taking direction and being able to apply adjustments – and “The Importance of Being Earnest,” she joked.

Sable's exposure to Radford University began as a child. She grew up in Narrows, about a 45-minute drive from campus. The close proximity allowed Sable to conveniently take Community Arts lessons at Radford University from Betty Turner, who later ended up teaching Sable as a student.

Sable eventually starred in the Broadway revival of "Gypsy" alongside Patti Lupone and appeared in movies and TV shows – most notably Amazon’s “Alpha House."

She returns to Radford University this month, courtesy of the Charles L. Hayes Endowment and the “Curtain Up!” dinners prior to “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

Funds earned from the Charles L. Hayes Visiting Artist Endowment are used to support the Theatre Visiting Artist Initiative, which brings guest actors, directors, designers, playwrights and other artists to campus to work closely with students. Whether through masterclasses, workshops or production work, the guest artists provide opportunities to students as well as exposure to the entertainment industry.  

Apr 5, 2017
Max Esterhuizen