Mary Hickox, ‘15, recently received a national scholarship from Alpha Psi Omega, a National Theatre Honor Society. With the help of Phyllis Gibbs, chair of the theatre arts department, Mary applied for the APO award and won with an essay entitled, “I Want To Be An Actress.” The Alpha Psi Omega scholarship is given to a student who plans on using the scholarship to further his or her education and/or professional goals in theater.
But a scholarship is only where Mary’s story begins. This story isn’t about an award, but about one student’s passionate journey through the beginning of her college career.
Mary’s childhood was unlike many of her Flagler College classmates. With a father in the military, Mary has had the unique experience of living all over the world. Currently, her family lives in Ukraine.
Mary explained that growing up in a military family “prepared [her] for a world in the performing arts, because you have to really be on your toes as a military kid.” From the first time she was on stage as a 3-year old ballerina, her mother even said she could see a sense of understanding in Mary’s eyes: she was meant for the stage.
After spending years supporting Mary in church plays and community theatre productions, Mary’s family wanted her to make a more realistic career choice. This only pushed Mary to want to make her dreams of being an actress on Broadway a reality. “The world likes to tell you ‘go out and follow your dreams’,” says Mary. “But that’s only if you want to be a doctor or a lawyer. But there’s this stigma if you want to be in the arts, you’re not going to make it...it’s up to us, as artists, to make it happen.”
As a double major in both theatre arts and communication, Mary is realistic about her career choice. She understands theatre as a business and plans on working in it in any way she can. Mary will graduate in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in theatre arts, which she explains is much more marketable in the theatre world than a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts).
For now, she continues to take an active role in the theatre productions that Flagler hosts yearly.