Academy Theatre shines forth with a new Super Star

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KeTaira Phillips

Academy welcomes Ms. Cox to the spotlight!

Jessica Riddle, Entertainment Editor

Acting, performing, applauding… just the tip of the iceberg, according to Academy’s new performing arts teacher and theater aficionado, Ms. Melissa Cox.

Ms. Cox offers an extensive background that includes experience as a dramatist, a theater teacher, and a Thespian coach.  Although she was an English major in college, theatre was in her blood, and she just could not leave the performing arts behind.  Ms. Cox earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of North Florida, with a minor in secondary education, but her passion for the theater goes back as early as sixth grade when she began performing on the stage.

“Without being a part of that world I would be different; I was a shy kid. Being onstage, all the insecurities melted away when I was onstage.”

These experiences with developing her own self-confidence made her  want to provide the same experience for teenagers.

“I love theater so much that I want to share it with young people, and make girls feel confident about themselves.”  Ms. Cox’s favorite memory of the theatre is the first time she went to Thespian States competition as a student. “Surrounded by nothing other than drama kids just like me. The most fun I ever had.”

When asked what quote she wanted to be remembered by, she responded with, “You can’t limit yourself to where you think you belong, where not believing in yourself is worse than taking a chance.” She also gave one of her favorite quotes by the writer Anais Nin “…And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was greater than the risk it took to blossom.”

As a drama teacher, she has problems with people who do not follow through with promises or who don’t put in consistent effort, or worse yet, who are unwilling to try something new. Overall, Ms. Cox stressed that she regrets those who use excuses for not seizing opportunities to improve or expand their skills and talents.

When asked about Academy’s future in the Arts, Ms. Cox stated that she plans to eventually produce very serious theatre, professional shows with important themes, and intricate technical props. Since the program is still developing, the transitions will be in baby steps. Her final plan for Academy theatre is to get more involvement with Jesuit.

“You can’t build a house without a foundation.”

Ms. Cox is an important new addition to the Performing Arts Department.  Students will want to support her efforts by attending the  musical revue on Friday through Sunday, November 16-18, with evening performances on the first two days at 7 pm and an afternoon show on Sunday at 3 pm  for all of the family to enjoy.