As the Marketing and Public Relations Director, Kori is in charge of a lot of different things. She is the one making sure that the community (you guys) know what is going on at The Rose and she is the person who works with the media on news stories about or from The Rose. She leads the marketing team and oversees the daily tasks of those who work on her team, whether that is in regards to social media, news releases, creating reports–and honestly, that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what she does.
Kori graciously took some time out of her day to tell us about her first experiences with theater. Here’s her story:
“My first theater experience was seeing the Broadway tour of Annie in Denver when I was five years old. From that point on, I was hooked!
So in elementary school, I participated in the usual school plays and the occasional summer theater day camp. It was when I was in junior high that I got my first real acting experience, first through my local community theater and later through my high school. From the time I was in 7th grade through my senior year of high school, I was in every production my school produced, and had leading roles in every play and musical at my school from the time I was in 9th grade until I graduated. I went on to major in Musical Theater in college and participated in their productions, but I eventually changed to Communications to be more “practical.”
I am thrilled that my career ended up leading me back to theater, although in a much different role than I imagined back when I was in high school.”
Of course, with such a rich theater background, Kori’s life has been altered tremendously by being involved in the arts–but we had no idea just how much until she told us about it. When we asked her how theater had impacted and changed her life, she said:
“As a child, I lived a bit of a nomad’s life. My family moved every single year from the time I was an infant until I was in 9th grade, so for most of my childhood, I was “the new girl.” On top of that, I was a shy, quiet girl who was often afraid to speak up. Theater gave me a way to find my voice. While I might not have the courage to raise my hand in class, when I took on another character on stage, I could do anything – belt out a song, engage in a confrontation, dance the Shoopoopie.
When I felt all alone and isolated, I could find comfort on the stage, and eventually in the friends I made through the theater. As a girl living in a small Nebraska town, theater also became my ticket to the world – I could learn about people outside my little bubble through the plays that I read and participated in, consider their motivations, their feelings, their backgrounds. Performing in plays like “Inherit the Wind” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” and even “The Sound of Music” opened my eyes to the injustices in the world and encouraged me to look at history in a whole new way and to delve into the real reasons behind events I had only read about in text books.
Community theater productions helped me learn how to work with people of all ages and backgrounds. Through theater, I learned how to take constructive criticism, how to work together with a team and how to problem solve with a moment’s notice. Through all my theater experiences, I learned important skills about managing my time, prioritizing and being my best self. When it came time for me to go to college and, later, out into the “real world,” I relied on the skills I learned through theater to take a deep breath and convey a sense of confidence.
But all of this pales in comparison to the real gift that theater has given me. From that first performance watching Annie when I was five to the last show I saw here at The Rose, theater stirs something inside my heart. There is a thrill and a rush when the house lights dim and the curtain rises that I don’t get from any other experience. There is no sense of community that matches the one felt when you are laughing and crying together with 900 perfect strangers, all thoroughly engaged in the action on stage. There is no way to describe that haunting melody that echoes in your mind for weeks after you see a musical as you find yourself humming a happy tune on your way home from a stressful day at work.
Theater gave me joy. And it has been the greatest gift of my life.”
There is no doubt that theater does more than just provide a form of entertainment or a form to entertain, even. It provides something deeper–something bigger than any of us bargain for when we start.
Thank you so much, Kori, for sharing your story with us and for doing your part to share theater with so many children. Your work doesn’t go unnoticed!