Who: María Gabriela Rosado González, CTC conservatory actor.
This season, González has had the chance to participate in two of CTC’s shows — A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as the Fairy Queen Titania and Duchess Hippolyta, and One Man, Two Guvnors, as Pauline.
She was also involved with the Young Playwrights Project, performing in a bevvy of plays written by local elementary school students.
Of all her experiences on Chautauqua’s grounds, González said the Young Playwrights Project was amazing because the children were “so smart and so funny,” but working on One Man, Two Guvnors has been her favorite.
“I love that it is a huge playground,” González said. “I think comedy is even trickier than drama because it has to be so precise, yet so free, and it’s amazing being able to be onstage with these incredible artists who are willing to play with you and feed off of you and each other. There’s always something unexpected happening onstage.”
Where she’s from: San Juan, Puerto Rico.
She grew up in San Juan, and attended the University of Puerto Rico, where she earned her bachelor’s degree. Afterward, she moved to Providence, Rhode Island, where she enrolled in the MFA program at Brown/Trinity Repertory Company.
Despite her multifaceted involvement with CTC’s summer season, González wasn’t always an actor. She began her performing career as a dancer, and continued dancing until she was injured in high school.
She began performing in local theaters and church shows, but didn’t decide to fully embrace theater as a career path until college.
“I was majoring in chemistry, and halfway through my degree I thought, ‘Ah, I’m missing something,’ ” Gonzalez said. “So I started working with another community theater and decided to take a class at my school. My teacher said, ‘I think you can do this if you want to pursue it.’ And so I did.”
Since that time, Gonzalez said she’s come to realize what she loves about acting is being able to tell stories.
“I feel free to be whatever I want to be, to tell whatever stories people want to hear,” González said. “I love the challenge of stepping into stories that are not my own and playing a part in them.”
Favorite theater memory: Her time playing Vanda Jordan in Venus in Fur, by David Ives, last summer.
González said the role challenged her in ways she didn’t expect, and that she enjoyed the chance to work with a director of color who led the story in such a way that it felt like the perfect role for González.
“To be worked with, supported and challenged in that way so early in my career was a very impactful and amazing opportunity,” González said.
Favorite food: Mofongo, “definitely.”
The popular Puerto Rican dish is one that González grew up loving and continues to enjoy to this day. The meal is made of mashed fried plantains served with any number of meats or vegetables packed inside or around the plantains.
In the rare event that she isn’t in the mood for mofongo, González said that it’s impossible to go wrong with pizza and ice cream.
Favorite part of Chautauqua: González said she couldn’t narrow it down to just one.
“First, I absolutely love to run here,” González said. “There’s something about the nature of this place, but also the feeling of being in a welcoming neighborhood that just makes me feel so at peace.”
Aside from the relaxation she feels jogging through the scenic, sun-dappled streets of Chautauqua, González said she loves how the community encourages her to explore herself and her relationships with others.
“You really get to see where people’s hearts are here,” she said. “People are so supportive of what we do here, and they’re really just cheering for us. I love knowing that there’s a whole community supporting us and being proud of what we do.”
Dream vacation: A winding, meandering backpack adventure through South America.
González said that, if it was an all-expenses-paid trip, she’d take the chance to not worry about food or money and just explore the length of South America by foot and car to really take in all the area has to offer.
“It’s so big, and encompasses so much, that I think you get a little bit of everything,” González said. “Everything you could ever dream of seeing, you could probably see there.”
What’s next: Short term, she plans on making the “big move into the Big Apple.”
In New York City, she hopes to pursue opportunities in acting and performing amidst the bustling, creative scene the city boasts.
After that, she said she hopes to continue performing, directing, writing, producing and all-around entertaining as much as possible.
“I’m just excited to see what the future holds, even if it isn’t something I expect,” González said.