Joe Lasher is finishing up his first year at St. Ambrose, and he has already left his mark. Lasher graduated from Davenport Central, where he was a star on the stage. He is currently majoring in Theatre and Music.
Some of his favorite roles include Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Ugly in Honk! Jr. and Officer Welch in Rumors (his SAU debut). However, his all-time favorite role was Gabe in Next to Normal, which he played at his high school and The Black Box Theatre in Moline.
Lasher also has some dream roles he aspires to play some day: "In a perfect world, Christine Daae from The Phantom of the Opera. Otherwise, I'd have to be basic and say Evan Hansen [of Dear Evan Hansen]," Lasher said.
His favorite SAU theatre memory this year was playing Ugly in Honk! Jr., which was SAU's annual children's show this past December.
"I got to tell a bunch of kiddos they're perfect just the way they are," Lasher said.
However, Joe also had a very exciting year at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) last January. He was the first SAU student in four years to make it into the Musical Theatre Intensive Cabaret, which showcases the top 16 singers of hundreds of competitors, with the song "I Believe" from The Book of Mormon. He also earned many callbacks from his professional auditions.
In addition, he was sophomore Ellie Larson's Irene Ryan acting partner. The duo advanced to semi-finals, which means they beat over 300 people and were chosen to be part of the top 60 competitors.
"It was wonderful! Between making it to the semi-finals as Ellie's partner and making it to the MTI finals, I had a bunch of opportunities granted to me," Lasher said. "I got to learn a lot from the professionals and judges that were there, and I made lots of friends. It's awesome knowing everyone around you loves the same things you do."
Still, Lasher has three years to continue growing at St. Ambrose. He has plenty of opportunities to dive into while continuing his education.
"I hope to gain experience in every aspect of theatre on top of becoming a better actor to make myself a more well-rounded individual," Lasher said.
The SAU Theatre Department cannot wait to see what this star accomplishes while at SAU!