Theater employee dead at 47


Jenny Gonzalez

According to the Los Angeles Coroner’s report, Renee Bloch died by suicide and was found dead in her home last Thursday.

Bloch was the Performing Arts Promotion Specialist in the Fine Arts/Communications division.

Colleagues and students described Bloch as kind, “always smiling” and “always happy.”

Instructional Lab Technician I in the Fine Arts/Communications division Alicia Edquist knew Bloch for 17 years.

She said, “She was one of my best friends and I am lost without her here on campus and in my life. She was one of the most passionate, loving, humorous, courageous, caring and smart women in this world. Her light shined so bright, her laugh contagious and her style…[she] always looked amazing.”

Edquist continued, “One of my fondest memories was how much she loved surprising me and how much she knew I hated surprises but yet continually would try and surprise me.

“Two years ago she decided to drive me out to USC and had me really confused about what we were doing there. We drive up and I suddenly see the sign for The Harlem Globetrotters. I was completely surprised she even remembered that was something I wanted to see forever. I started crying because it’s things like that, that was so Renee. We had the time of our life that day. She remembered things from years ago I said and lo and behold, we would end up doing [them],” Edquist said.

Theater major Chloe Avila was surprised to hear about Bloch’s sudden death.

She said, “I couldn’t believe it at first. The theater department is not going to be the same without her. She did a lot of things- she made the programs, she put posters up, she took all the pictures for the plays. She pushed everybody to do what they love.”

Avila mentioned that Bloch encouraged her to perform in Late Night Burnight, […] Big Love, and Women of Juarez.

She said things like, “Don’t give up, keep doing it you know you’ll do great.”

“She came and saw the English and Spanish [versions] even though she didn’t understand Spanish. [Experiencing] moments like that is how [I knew] she is every actor’s number one fan and she always sat in the front row of every show,” Avila said.

“Whenever we did an improv show here, I [was able to] pinpoint her laugh. I [didn’t] even have to see her, like I [knew] when its Renee laughing and her laugh was very contagious,” Avila said.

Mascot Franco Falcon was visibly upset as he carried flowers and poster boards to what once was Bloch’s office.

Students and staff members gathered outside her office and took time to write messages on the poster boards placed outside Bloch’s office.

Edquist made purple ribbons with yellow flowers in honor of Bloch’s death.

There will be a vigil to honor Bloch’s memory held on Thursday, at 6 p.m. at Burnight Center Theater.