Niagara University theatre major Kathleen Macari made the decision a few months ago that she would forego walking during her undergraduate commencement ceremony on Saturday in order to play the lead role in her first professional show.

So during the curtain call of that evening’s production of Wait Until Dark at the Kavinoky Theatre, Niagara University brought Macari’s graduation ceremony to her.

Adriano Gatto, artist-in-residence in NU’s theatre and fine arts department, surprised Macari by unveiling a purple gown under his performance attire, furnishing Macari with one of her own, piping in “Pomp and Circumstance,” and presenting her diploma.

“If I could thank Adriano Gatto for the rest of my life, I would. He and my mother, Erin O’Brien-Macari, teamed up with the other Kavmates and surprised me with a curtain call graduation walk across the stage,” Macari, of Troy, N.Y., wrote afterward on Facebook. “This is truly the most amazing thing that has yet to happen to me. I am so blessed and honored to have such wonderful people in my life. Thank you times a million.”

Macari played Suzi Hendricks in the Kavinoky production, which also featured Gatto and 2013 NU alumna Renee Landrigan.

To learn more about Niagara University’s programs in theatre and fine arts, please visit