Inspiring Alumni | Rosalind Jackson Roe ’16
“STEPPING OUT ONTO THAT STAGE, I FELT AN INTOXICATING CONNECTION BETWEEN THE WORDS COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH AND THE LIVING RESPONSES OF THE AUDIENCE. IT WAS THAT MOMENT WHEN I KNEW THIS WAS WHAT I NEEDED TO BE DOING.”
Rosalind Jackson Roe ’16 has always had a penchant for storytelling.
“In fifth grade, I did a piece from Anne of Green Gables for Elementary School Speech Day. I remember having this gingham dress, my little riding boots, and my hair in two braids – for Anne, of course. Stepping out onto that stage, I felt an intoxicating connection between the words coming out of my mouth and the living responses of the audience. It was that moment when I knew this was what I needed to be doing.”
With a career that has taken her around the world, Rosalind is thrilled to be returning to the Alberta stage in a role she was –- quite literally – born into. “I’m playing Rosalind in the ( Prime Stock Theatre Company’s) summer Shakespeare production of, As You Like It. It’s extraordinary to arrive at her; she’s who I was named after.” Rosalind will also appear in Prime Stock’s production of Henry IV, Part 1, as Worcester.
As a theatre artist and digital marketer, she is passionate about bringing the classics to life for contemporary audiences. “I think (Henry IV, Part 1) should be a curriculum staple in High Schools. It’s representative of history, but it’s, more importantly, a blend of comedy, tragedy, and adventure. When you boil it down to essentials, it is about a teenager afraid of disappointing their parents and not living up to familial expectations.”
“Being a teenager and figuring out what kind of person you want to be in the world, and coming into your own –- it’s such a beautiful and relevant journey. I’m 24 and still figuring out how (to) exist. You have ambition and goals and dreams; how can you fulfill them while still being the kind of person you want to be?”
Rosalind’s story reflects some of the same fascination as the characters she plays. As a Grade 11 student at STS, she received a scholarship to complete Senior School at the United World College of the Adriatic in Duino, Italy –- a dream that STS helped make a reality. “I remember sitting with Mr. Julian, our Principal, and the speech and debate coaches, Mr. Fink and Ms. Conway. Together we worked through my interview questions. The STS network helped me get there.”
She received a degree in Theatre Performance from Baylor University in Waco, during which time she also co-founded the theatre company Wild Imaginings and its New Works Festival. The latter provides a free platform for emerging playwrights from the U.S. and worldwide to present and workshop their plays. “It was imperative to us that it was accessible…and I think the opportunity to leave behind a little piece of myself that can help other artists is something I’m proud of.”
She soon found herself crossing the Atlantic once again, where she completed her degree in Digital Marketing from the Paris School of Business and Baylor University jointly. In addition to performing, she now works freelance as a member of the Concord Theatricals Rodgers and Hammerstein social media team.
Rosalind is incredibly grateful to have the chance to lend her talents to the timeless classics that have inspired her life and career. “The thing to remember about Shakespeare, and classical work in general, is that there is a reason it continues to be directed and performed. These are people who are experiencing the most heightened and most essential emotions.”
“(In) Much Ado About Nothing, there is a gorgeous portion where Beatrice says, in response to her cousin being shamed and betrayed, ‘I would eat his heart in the marketplace.’ That is much more evocative than simply saying, ‘I’m angry.’ It is direct, primitive, and recognizable. Those words describing that specific feeling will allow someone in the audience to better understand their experience as a human being. And what could be more important?”
Published in the 2023 edition of Optimum Magazine