Tal Lostracco was an influential teacher and mentor to students and teachers across the state. With a laugh larger than life and a personality just as big he was an unmistakable force in Texas educational theatre. Born Tony Angelo Lostracco in Free-port Texas on October 3rd 1958, he became better known by the acro-nym â€œTalâ€. Tal graduated from Katy High School in 1977, where his love for theater was nurtured under the direction of Bo Williamson. He graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown in 1981 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a Minor in Theatre where he studied under two legendary theatre professors Angus Springer and Dr. Richard Hossalla. He went on to receive his Masters Degree in Theater from Lamar University.
At the time of his death, he was head of the theater department at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens. Before serving as the head of the department at TVCC, he served in the same position at Lon Morris College. He also taught fifteen years in high school and junior high. He taught at Canadian HS, Dumas HS, Seminole HS, and at Rosenberg BF Terry HS. His shows made nine UIL One-Act Play State Meet appearances in conferences AA, AAA, and AAAAA. while teaching at Canadian High School in the panhandle he won the state championship in 1987 with What I Did Last Summer by AR Gurney. He returned to the state meet 8 more times, placing first runner up four times and 2nd runner up once. While teaching at the collegiate level his production of The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek was nominated to the regional festival of ACTF.
Tal was best known across the state of Texas for sharing his love of acting and theater with thousands of students and teachers. He conducted numerous workshops and clinics in prepa-ration for the UIL One-Act Play contest, and served as an adjudicator for the UIL OAP contest culminating with the honor of judging the UIL OAP State meet contest in 2005 prior to his death. In an effort to provide training to students and teachers across the state Tal founded a summer theatre camp at Lon Morris College in the summer of 2001. In 2004 the camp moved to Trinity Valley Community College where he assumed the role of chair of the theatre department. After his unexpected passing in 2006 the camp was renamed in his honor. In 2009 the camp moved to Southwestern University and recently the camp relocated to Baylor University.
His summer theatre camp has become regarded as one of the premiere summer theatre training programs in the state of Texas. The nonprofit program is guided by a collective of artists and educators that have been a part of the camp since its inception in 2001, with the mission to improve and enhance the quality of educational theatre in the state of Texas through advanced and accelerated classes in acting, voice and movement, stagecraft, and production concepts.