Ross makes her stage debut

It’s never too late to discover a passion, as Suzanne Ross can attest. At 62, she’s trying something new and loving every minute of it.

Ross has always dreamed of making her debut on the stage, and recently, she got the chance, playing her first role in the Morehead Theatre Guild production of “The Odd Couple” as Gwendolyn Pigeon. 

Ross remembers first developing an interest in theater when she was young – an interest she and her brother shared, but never talked about. 

“We didn’t know it growing up, but we both wanted to do something like this, but just never had the nerve to do it,” she said. “Our high school didn’t have a theater program. And my brother was into sports and that kept him busy.”

So despite her interest, Ross never got the chance to try acting. Even after she graduated, she never pursued the dream. But when her brother retired, he did. 

“He was in a production last fall or actually last Christmas season called ‘In-Laws, Outlaws, and Other People That Should Be Shot,’ which was really funny. And I went to see him and he said, Sis, you really need to try out,” Ross said. “I said, Well, I’ve always thought about it, but just kind of a little too scared to do that. So he encouraged me and my husband encouraged me. So I went and auditioned.”

She was nervous going into the audition, but after being cast and actually getting the chance to take the stage, Ross has had many of her nerves dispelled. 

“It’s been a blast,” she said. “It’s helped me, honestly, with my seasonal affective disorder. I had a little problem with that in the wintertime where I really get the blues pretty bad, and this has helped me tremendously.”

She’s also found her fellow cast members incredibly gracious and welcoming. 

“All of the people that have been theater people for a long time in some form or fashion, behind the scenes and directing and acting, they have welcomed me with open arms and I’ve learned a lot,” Ross said. 

So how did the show actually go? Ross said she was nervous as she prepared to make her big entrance, but once she did, it felt natural as could be. 

“Opening night was great! The audience was fully engaged and laughed a lot throughout all the production,” she said. “I was feeling nervous as the time approached for me to enter the stage through the ‘apartment door’ in Act II. Once I got out there on stage, I was fine. I remembered all my lines and managed to get some laughs.”

There are a few other shows coming up at her local theater, and she hopes to audition for those as well, and is already seeking new ways to challenge herself as an actor.

“I would like to try something more dramatic just just to kind of see how I do,” she said.