Spring Commencement 2023: Meagan Cox, College of Visual and Performing Arts
As a theatre major, Meagan Cox kicked off her first year with a promising start. After overcoming some initial shyness, she scored a part in the campus production of the popular musical satire "Urinetown" and was on board to make her Radford debut.
The costumes were ready, the blocking was set, and the choreography was all but complete.
In comedy, however, timing is everything and, alas, Cox's show was due to open in April 2020. Which is to say, it was canceled by the pandemic before its first curtain ever rose.
"It wouldn't have hurt as much if we weren't so far into the process, but we were, and we'd gotten so excited about it," she said. "Luckily, I was a freshman, so I had three more years after that."
Cox put that time to good use, both in front of audiences and behind the scenes.
She served as a stage manager on five shows, including last fall's ambitious "Rainbow Fish" musical, and also appeared in "Recent Tragic Events," "The House of Yes," and, most recently, a main stage production of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing."
Although not a fan of the Bard at first, Cox said, “I took the Shakespeare class with our professor, Molly Hood, and fell in love with the work. Then I got to do ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ as my last show.”
Across her sophomore, junior and senior years, Cox also served leadership roles with the CVPA Ambassadors, representing Radford University and the College of Visual and Performing Arts, first as the group's secretary, then as vice-president and, finally, as its president.
“It was a great way to end my time here,” she said.
After she graduates this month, Cox will spend this summer performing with The Lost Colony in Manteo, North Carolina, but hopes to eventually make her way to The Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, one of the first stages on which she saw live drama.
"Every single time … I would try to find out how I could do what they're doing, just because of the way it made me feel. It was an experience I'd never felt before,” she recalled.
Perhaps as a result, her first love as an actress remains performing for a live audience.
"My main goal with theatre is to touch audiences, to make them feel something,” Cox explained.
“I like to leave them having a better day or just forgetting whatever they're dealing with for a little bit, because that's how theater was for me."