Asbury Actors Shine at Lexington Opera House and Pinewood Studios – Asbury University
Shapemaximize playTriangle
Watch The College Tour
Contact Us

Asbury Actors Shine at Lexington Opera House and Pinewood Studios

August 1, 2023

Catherine Gaffney (left) and Lauranne Rose ’20 (right)

Asbury University adjunct instructor Catherine Gaffney and alumna Lauranne Rose ’20 recently performed in the Lexington Theatre Company’s production of “The Sound of Music.” Celebrating the 80th anniversary of legendary composer/lyricist team Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, the show combined Broadway veterans, rising stars and local professionals for a production that ran from July 13-16 in the Lexington Opera House. Gaffney portrayed “Frau Schmidt,” and Rose played a Nun/Ensemble/and Understudy for “Sister Margaretta.”

“I enjoyed getting to work in the supportive environment at the Lexington Theatre Company, which remains committed to getting to know each other as people first and then as artists,” Gaffney said. “Post-pandemic, it is so important to have everyone in a room together watching stories take place in front of us.”

As a professional stage actress for more than 30 years and Equity Membership Candidate, Gaffney recently played Helen Hubbard in Cortland Repertory Theatre’s (N.Y.) production of “Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express,” which ran from June 7-16. She also has directed Asbury Theatre productions including “Electra” (2022) and “Doubt” (2023), and she looks forward to directing Oscar Wilde’s “A Woman of No Importance” this fall. In addition to her stage work, Gaffney is a voice over talent and film actress (“Can I Get A Witness Protection?” now on Amazon Prime). Learn more about her work at

After graduating from Asbury with a double major in music and theatre in 2020, Lauranne Rose has performed as Ariel in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” (Jessamine County Arts), as Glinda in “The Wizard of Oz” (ACT Louisville Productions), and as Betty Haynes in “White Christmas” (Woodford Theatre).

“My professors at Asbury helped prepare me for my musical theatre journey,” Rose said. “Being in Chorale for three years taught me how to blend well with other singers and how to sing in various languages, such as Latin, in which we sang for ‘The Sound of Music.’”

Asbury heads to England

Asbury students holding certificates from the Creative Media Skills Institute, a Pinewood Studios-based center of excellence for film training.

While Gaffney and Rose rehearsed for the musical, Asbury Director of Theatre Kris Dietrich traveled with Asbury students to Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath, England.

“We toured the studio and spent the week talking with professionals who worked on ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ and more,” Dietrich said. “We even met Terry Ackland-Snow, a production designer who built the Batmobile for ‘Batman’ (1989).”

In addition to meeting industry professionals, Dietrich and Asbury students learned more about several art departments including production design and prop creation.

“With students interested in various areas, we experienced the collaboration of all of the departments in a studio setting,” Dietrich said. “We hope to offer this trip every other year, alternating with the Globe Theatre trip to London.”

Pinewood Studios recently received approval from the British government to expand its space with 21 additional sound stages, a backlot filming space, an education and training hub, and a publicly accessible nature reserve. Once the development is complete, Pinewood Studios will be the biggest studio complex in the world, with a total of 51 purpose-built stages (TVBEurope).

The Asbury University Communication & Theatre Department offers three majors (in communication, health communication, and theatre) and five minors (in communication, leadership, public relations, social media, and theatre). Last summer, Asbury theatre students participated in acting intensives at The Globe Theatre in London and performed original plays at the renowned Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. To learn more about Asbury’s Theatre program, visit