Alumni Spotlight Megan Cox


03/01/2019

Megan Cox graduated from St. Ambrose University in May 2003 with a bachelor's degree in Theatre and Public Relations/Mass Communications.

"After college, I worked for USA TODAY/Gannett Newspapers in Chicago from 2003 until 2013," Cox said. "I started as Marketing Coordinator, was promoted to Account Manager and spent several years as the Regional Marketing Manager. I worked with partners in hospitality, healthcare and higher education to promote and distribute print and digital editions of USA TODAY."

"I leveraged my love of performing when I presented our campaigns or led training sessions. I incorporated the tools for script analysis I learned from Cory [Johnson] with each sales and marketing plan I created and Kris' [Eitrheim] devotion to the concept when strategizing and planning events. And I always "hit the back wall," as Mr. Kennedy taught us, to project our voices [and ideas]."

Since then, Cox and her husband, fellow Theatre alumnus Matt Cox '04, moved in 2013 from Chicago back to the Quad Cities.

"I've spent most my time as a stay-at-home mom [of Will age 8, Nora age 5, and Eliza age 2] and have had the good fortune to act professionally with the Mississippi Bend Players [in Rock Island, IL] for the last two summers [as Kate in Brighton Beach Memoirs and Amanda in The Glass Menagerie]."

She can do it all – including offering some sage advice to the younger theatre generation on how to prepare for auditions.

"I read the play ahead of time and prepare a monologue that complements the material. I also try to figure out what to do with my arms. How does one act with arms?!"

For the actual production, Cox says working with the entire crew is what she enjoys the most.

"My favorite part of being in a show is working with the director, production team, and fellow actors to create a performance that moves and challenges the audience," Cox said. "I also love spending time with and getting to know new and old friends."

Her favorite role to date has been Aunt Kate in Brighton Beach Memoirs.

"I was fortunate to play her in 2002 at Ambrose [with Daniel Rairdin-Hale '02 as Eugene] and again in 2017 at the Mississippi Bend Players [both directed by the inimitable Cory Johnson]!"

Cox has most recently been cast by Broadway director Phil McKinley as the mother in A Green River, written by Aaron Randolph '04, performed by the Mississippi Bend Players. 

"I'm thrilled to work with the production team led by Philip Wm. McKinley," Cox said.

two adults with two children

Megan Cox '03

Majored in Theatre and Public Relations/Mass Communications

"My favorite part of being in a show is working with the director, production team, and fellow actors to create a performance that moves and challenges the audience," Cox said. "I also love spending time with and getting to know new and old friends."

Knowing all of the success Cox has had in the 16 years since leaving Ambrose, she says communication is the key to it all.

"Following up with people is a difficult but a key skill to learn as you meet and work with people," she said. "It isn't enough to shake someone's hand or get their contact information. To set yourself apart from the crowd, you should follow-up and tailor your message to that specific person or audience. Find out what is important to that person."

"Author and activist Glennon Doyle Melton writes, 'The most revolutionary thing we can do is introduce people to each other,' and I wholeheartedly agree. Theatre allows us to introduce concepts to our audience. Building a network of people allows you to reach out to others and let them reach out to you. These connections bring meaning and opportunity to your life."

Many who have seen Cox's work cannot wait to see her in A Green River this summer. Cox continues to thrive as both an actress and a mother while making delicious desserts and always maintaining a kind smile.

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