Theater community grieves at passing of longtime supporter

Andre De Lorenzo

If you were involved in the arts community in Fayette County, you knew Andre De Lorenzo and, chances are, he knew you too. He was active in the arts in Fayette County for 30 years, most recently publishing the Southside ARTS Agenda, a weekly e-magazine, and also serving as executive producer of “The Southern Crescent Arts Round-up,” an hour long television program broadcast over Comcast Cable Television. De Lorenzo also recently served on the panel of judges for the 2010 Shuler Hensley Awards, which celebrate excellence in high school musical theatre.

De Lorenzo passed away last Thursday due to heart complications.

I first met Andre when he was an actor in a comedy at Baci Italian Cuisine with the House Red company. The show was about a wedding and he had some of the best lines and a lot of the biggest laughs. He and the rest of the cast had so much fun that I decided to go back into theater as well, starting with the House Red group. It was there that I met his extremely talented son, Craig, and got to perform with him and watch him grow as a performer. Craig was undoubtedly inspired by his Dad and vice versa.

Our love for the dramatic arts had Andre and I running in the same circles for a number of years, whether it was with Fayette Community Theatre, where he lobbied for the group to give me a chance at directing, the Endowment Committee for the Cultural Arts, where he was a member of the Board of Directors and a 2007 Applause Award recipient, or the Fayette Family YMCA, where he was also a member of the Board of Directors and the 2006 Volunteer of the Year. He was a tireless volunteer and his visions were big and inspiring.

It is a dream of many in Fayette County for theater to have a larger presence and Andre and his fellow enthusiasts, myself included, have longed to see the opening of a community theater that the local organizations could use. Andre, and others, also wanted the local groups to come together, and they did, with the YMCA Family Festival of the Arts. It is my hope that the Fayette County arts community continues to work towards those goals and I’m sure that’s what Andre would have wanted too.

He will be missed.

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