Ken Gargaro Honored at PMT Gala

When I look back at my life, I often fantasize about how I’ll be honored. Will people throw down bags of Swedish Fish at my feet? Will I hear a medley of Journey performed by Dave Toole? Maybe they’ll just sit and stare at me for a few minutes before they realize I’ve tricked them into attending a ceremony that clearly has no direction or merit.

But perhaps, just perhaps one day I can say that I’ve done as much for the arts community as Dr. Ken Gargaro has.

A tour de force of creativity since his early years as a Pittsburgh Playhouse director and producer in 1982, Gargaro was recently honored by 250 of his peers, students, and co-workers at the Pittsburgh Musical Theater’s One Sensational Gala.

The PMT theater was effectively changed to the Gargaro Theater, putting a great man and his vision on display.

Gargaro embodies the spirit of the arts, founding PMT in 1990 and providing young performers an avenue to express themselves through theater, dance, and other creative outlets. Gargaro is also a professor at Robert Morris University where he teaches and serves as the coordinator for the college’s Colonial Theater.

I think it’s safe to say, Gargaro likes the theater business.

As of October 1st, Gargaro will vacate his leadership role with PMT and take a sabbatical from RMU to travel around the world discovering creative explorations and connecting with old students.

The evening’s festivities included a heartfelt tribute performance from Garagaro’s predecessor, Colleen Petrucci, and other PMT alumni. Elite Show Band also performed, and a repertoire of reminiscent speeches from David Jamison (Robert Morris University), Chris Rawson (One of the Honorary Chairs (Post Gazette) along with Kevin McMahon of the Cultural Trust) added to the jovial atmosphere.
Last but not least, the theater dedication and toast took place, cementing Gargaro’s legacy into the Pittsburgh arts scene.There was dancing, laughing, and probably some crying during the night, but overall it was a great celebration of the arts, and what they can do to change the world we live in.
So many opportunities have been given to so many talented young performers because of PMT and Ken Gargaro’s efforts to pilot a creative engine that liberates and educates.
Congratulations, good sir. We all appreciate your creative spirit, entrepreneurship, and passion.
The PMT season kicks off October 23-26 with “A Chorus Line”. Visit the PMT site for tickets
Photos courtesy of Dawn Biery

 

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