In addition to teaching this summer, Kellogg Community College math professor Anna Cox is keeping busy as a volunteer at Augusta’s Barn Theatre.
Cox is assisting the theater with their Backstage Xperience program, which gives groups of K-12 students an opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at the professional theater world through tours, interactive presentations, Q and A sessions with theater staff and an opportunity to view a production free of charge.
“The evening is magical,” said Cox, who helps out at the registration table and takes photos for the program. “You get to see places that are behind the scenes and end your evening with seeing the show.”
Cox said the educational program is funded through grants and donations, which allows the theater to offer it at no cost to participants. Participation requires a minimum of four youths aged K-12 and an adult chaperone, she said, and the theater is offering the program for many of the remaining shows this season.
“Truly all children — well, people in general — should experience live theater, and we have one of the best summer stock theaters in the country in Augusta,” Cox said. “The performers are amazing and will leave you awestruck.”
Upcoming Backstage Xperience productions include “Peter Pan” (June 27-28 and July 3-5), “Tarzan” (July 25-26 and 31 and Aug. 1-2), “Shrek: The Musical” (Aug. 8-9 and 14-16) and “Young Frankenstein” (Aug. 22-23 and 28-30).
“I really have a very, very small part, but it is such an amazing thing for our community,” Cox said. “It’s so exciting and it’s all free.”
Adding to the KCC connection at the Barn Theatre this season is the presence of former KCC student Jillian Weimer, a second-year apprentice currently pursuing a BFA in Music Theatre with a minor in Broadcasting and Cinematic Arts and Business Administration at Central Michigan University. Weimer, whose father, Ken Weimer, is a business/economics/IT professor at KCC, appeared in several plays at KCC during her time at the college.
For more information about the Barn Theatre’s Backstage Xperience program, visit www.barntheatreschool.org/outreach.html.