Work: He's a major gift officer at RMU and she's a tax consultant at Ryan. But Dave and Kate are best known as stars of the Pittsburgh stage – most recently as Tarzan and Jane at the Byham Theater. "Her big challenge was to learn an English accent," Dave says of the production by Pittsburgh Musical Theater, a professional company founded by RMU professor
Ken Gargaro, Ph.D. "My challenge was to physically prepare myself to be in a loincloth."
Home: The Tooles just bought their first house in Ross Township last month.
Best RMU Experience: They met on stage in auditions for "West Side Story." Kate was already a polished actress who had majored in theater at NYU before transferring closer to home; Dave was the singer in a rock band and had never been in a play before. They got the lead parts of Maria and Tony, and went on to star in a string of shows at RMU and then downtown. A few years ago, Dave got the keys to the Massey Hall theater over Christmas break and proposed to Kate on the stage where they met, as the love theme from West Side Story swelled on the sound system. "Couples that play together, stay together," says Kate. They celebrate their first wedding anniversary on Saturday.
Favorite RMU Event: "We go to Homecoming every single year," Dave says. They'll be back for their 5-year reunion in October. "Every year it gets better."
Why They Stay Connected: Kate didn't used to go to sports events. But when a member of the men's basketball team stopped her to compliment her performance as Maria, it made her think: "My gosh, if they're coming out to support us, I need to go support them." She's been a regular at games since, including the recent NIT tournament victory over the Kentucky Wildcats.
Proudest Achievement: Dave says it's earning his Actors' Equity card. For Kate, it was organizing a free income tax preparation service for low income families, veterans, and international students at RMU, where she is now working towards her third university degree — a B.S.B.A. in accounting. (She also has a master's in instructional leadership; Dave's working on one in competitive intelligence systems.)