Kim O’Rourke began directing and teaching acting and technical theatre at St. Lucy’s Priory High School, a private Catholic girls’ school in Glendora, California, in 1975. As the twentieth century turned into the twenty-first, she developed a model program for external examinations of student work in conjunction with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Twice a year, examiners from LAMDA traveled to individual schools throughout California to adjudicate students one-on-one in acting, mime, improvisation, choral speaking, public speaking, and the speaking of verse and prose. The program has become an assessment tool for theatre teachers, and Ms. O’Rourke hoped to introduce it to other states.
Ms. O’Rourke is also an active member of the theatre community outside her school. She has led adult workshops at Pasadena Playhouse, served on the board of the company’s alumni association, and participated in their committee on educational theatre. She has encouraged other Playhouse alumni to adjudicate at California festivals, such as the Thespian conference, and organized the theatre’s own festival.
Ms. O’Rourke received associate’s degrees from Pasadena Playhouse’s College of Theatre Arts and Citrus Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Scripps College, and a master’s degree from California State University-Fullerton. She also pursued graduate studies at the University of Southern California and earned a certificate in classical acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Ms. O’Rourke has served as the Los Angeles County representative on the California State Thespian Board of Directors, vice president of high schools for the Drama Teachers’ Association of Southern California, and vice president of high schools for the California Educational Theatre Association.
The principal of St. Lucy’s Priory High School, Sister Monica Collins, wrote that Ms. O’Rourke was worthy of recognition “because she has shared her talent and passion for acting and the stage with numerous teachers and countless young people. Her love of theatre has always been a gift that continues to be given.”