Rochester, N.Y. (WROC) — Adele Fico’s mission is to preserve things that are beautiful.

That means to her, among other things, theater, music and comedy.

Fico has been living out her mission for decades, gracing a number of stages in Rochester.

She’s known by many for her role in the local female comedy troupe EstrofFest, but many School of the Arts alum know her as the Arts Center Director, a role she held for two decades.

Fico sat down with Adam at GEVA Theatre Center for an interview to talk about her professional life, including how it all started.

Adam Chodak: The theater world in Rochester, you’ve been part of it…

Adele Fico: Forever. You know, I got tapped on the shoulder when I was 13 years old and walking down the hallway of Mercy High School by a nun, her name was Sister Pious, and she was an amazing person and she tapped me on the shoulder and said “I expect to see you at 3 o’clock at auditions for Midsummer Night’s Dream tonight.” She said “you have spirit and I think it’ll come across on stage. I expect to see you at 3 o’clock,” and that was how it all sort of started.

AC: What was it like to be such vital part of Estrofest?

AF: It was magic. The theme song was Girls Just Want to Have Fun that we played at the intro of the show and I can remember the opening night and it was 1999 backstage waiting to go on and that music started and Allison grabbed my hand and she squeezed and I squeezed it back and we were like (claps) and that place was full and they went crazy because we made them laugh and we were crazy and we didn’t care.

AC: When you do coach young actors and actresses, what do you find yourself saying most to them?

AF: Tell the truth. Find the truth and tell the truth and know your truth. Everybody knows, everybody sees when something is fake on the stage, but the magic moments, the moments that touch us on the inside are when somebody has gotten right down to the truth of the matter. And I don’t care if you’re doing drama, or comedy or you’re singing opera, I don’t care what it is, if you are willing to be vulnerable on a stage, you’ll find the truth and that will come through in that character, to know that character.

AC: It’s not just acting. It’s music, it’s comedy, it seems like, from what I’ve read, there’s a theme that you like to be part of things or produce things that are beautiful…

AF: You hit the nail so on the head, you make me choke up because we to preserve beauty and I believe that one of the ways that we can do that as a society, as a community is by taking things and shining the light on beautiful things and making people go, “Oh my god, look at how beautiful that is,” because for two little itsy bitsy seconds in that person’s life you take them outside of themselves and you give them something really magical.