On Monday night, September 12,
Trisha Rae Stahl will host a watch party in Los Angeles to see her debut
in a new TV series. She hopes a lot of people back here at IUP will be
Stahl, a 1998
IUP graduate, recently completed work on the Tyler Perry show Too Close to
Home, which began its first-season run in August 2016 on TLC. It’s a drama series
that follows a young woman from a working class life who becomes embroiled in a
political scandal involving the fictional president of the United States.
Jolene, the matriarch of the Hayes family. After playing the loveable Mille
Rose on Glee for two seasons, playing Jolene is quite a change of pace.
absolute polar opposite of my character on Glee,” she said via telephone from
Los Angeles. “(Jolene is) kind of the source of the family’s dysfunction. And,
of course, she’s a product of her own environment as well. She’s not the best
mother figure. But she’s not in the best place in life. It’s fun, but it’s also
sad to play.”
makes her debut during Monday night’s episode, and Stahl will be hosting some
friends and cast members from the show to watch it. It’ll be the culmination of
a whirlwind journey that brought Stahl to the show.
in Los Angeles last year, and was told the next day that Perry, the creator and
producer, wanted to meet her in person at his Atlanta studio, where he makes a
lot of his movies and shows. Stahl flew out to Atlanta the next day, auditioned
again for Perry, and the day after that was offered the role of Jolene.
surreal,” Stahl said of the process. “I can’t put into words how I got through
it. I was on autopilot.”
For her next
project, Stahl is working on an independent horror movie called Let it Kill
You, which is in preproduction, with a plan to begin shooting soon. She also
will head back to Atlanta to film the second season of Too Close to Home,
which was recently renewed for a second season.
several other things going on, too, making her quite a busy woman in Hollywood.
It’s a long way from IUP, but she believes her education here has served her
“I think of IUP as
home,” she said. “I felt safe and taken care of there. Theater was a close-knit
department, and I got a very high quality education. I got a lot of experience going
to IUP that I might not have gotten if I went to a big-name theater school.”
Watch Stahl in a 2012 interview about landing her role on Glee.