BOONE, N.C. — Theatre performance major Roy Dale Cox’s career goal is to perform on Broadway. The opportunities he’s had at Appalachian State University for roles in on-campus productions, visits to New York’s theatre district and personal attention should help get him there, he said.
“Never think your dreams are too big,” said Cox, a senior. “I know I’m in the right place — the faculty see something in me and are helping me realize my dreams.”
A vocalist, Cox has been performing in musicals since age 13. He started singing as a child, first in his church choir, and later won “The Gift” inspirational singing competition presented by McDonalds Corp. in 2009. He said he was bitten by the acting bug while performing in “13” the musical.
An Alabama native, Cox attended the highly competitive Shades Valley Theatre Academy in Birmingham for high school and said he chose to continue his studies at Appalachian because of its sense of community.
“When I was touring and researching schools, I wanted to find a place where art is not only a part of the school and the theatre department, but a part of the local community,” he said. “I also knew that at App, I would be challenged not only as a person, but as a performer as well.”
While a student, Cox has performed in several productions, including “Avenue Q” and “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” He was also chosen to perform a song for Tony Award-winning performer Beth Leavel, who conducted a master class at Appalachian in spring 2018.
One of Cox’s most memorable experiences, he said, has been participating in the department’s study away trip offered each semester. During these weeklong trips, students stay at the university’s New York Loft in midtown Manhattan, attend Broadway performances, tour backstage areas at Radio City Music Hall, the Lincoln Center and other New York venues, meet with cast members and Appalachian alumni working in the field and even receive audition tips from casting directors and producers.
“It was an amazing opportunity. We were able to network with agents, casting directors and meet with people who have done this. They talked to us about what we want to do and what we should be doing right now to do what they’re doing in the field,” Cox said.
Cox described Appalachian’s Department of Theatre and Dance as family. “The faculty, the students — we’re all here to support each other and help each other grow,” he said.
About the Department of Theatre and Dance
The Department of Theatre and Dance is one of seven departments housed in Appalachian’s College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to facilitate transformative experiences for students and the public, which cultivate compassionate, creative and collaborative communities through theatre and dance. The department also offers coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Its dynamic co-curricular production program provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region. Learn more at https://theatreanddance.appstate.edu.
About the College of Fine and Applied Arts
Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments, bringing together a variety of perspectives, experiences and real-world education to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Art, Communication, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theatre and Dance. Learn more at https://faa.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.