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Since 1925
The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

Anna’s Adventures: My experience as a RedCoat volunteer at Playhouse Square

MK Feeney
Anna Maxwell describes her experience as a RedCoat volunteer at Playhouse Square.

Throughout my life, I have loved going to the theater to watch musicals and other exciting performances. My family and I would make it a habit to see at least one show per year in order to stay involved with the arts in our city. Over the summer, I went to Playhouse Square to see “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” and was not disappointed with the entire affair. The lights, music, and actors were wonderful along with the ushers, also known as RedCoat volunteers, who assisted my family and me at the beginning and end of the performance. 

I soon realized that I could volunteer as a RedCoat to witness Playhouse Square’s finest performances during my time at John Carroll University. I signed up for training in October and the rest is history. The training lasted for about half of a day and then I was able to sign up for my slot on Saturday afternoons to work as an usher for shows and exhibits that would be put on at Playhouse Square. 

So far, I have gotten to see many wonderful productions while also giving back to my community here in Cleveland, OH. As a college student, sometimes community service can be forgotten because most of one’s time is spent doing work or simply going to class. Even with John Carroll’s highlight on giving back as a Jesuit university, many volunteer opportunities can go unnoticed. However, I am fortunate to have found this wonderful avenue for service. 

Although volunteering is the priority, Playhouse Square is very gracious to give all RedCoats the chance to view the shows that they work for. This has given me the opportunity to see some very interesting shows and displays that I would not have been able to view otherwise. I was able to see “Mrs. Doubtfire” the musical, which has since closed and moved on to another stage. I would have originally not gone to see this show, but it was a surprisingly entertaining production. It was especially exciting because the original actor to play Mrs. Doubtfire from Broadway is a part of the traveling production as well, making it a night to remember. 

During the winter, I got a chance to see both “A Christmas Carol” and Playhouse Square’s new “Mummies of the World” exhibit, which were both extremely well done. “A Christmas Carol” had wonderful stage effects, including their moving set pieces which were very interesting to watch. The “Mummies of the World” exhibit gave me the ability to dive into the history of mummification and to also see mummified bodies displayed throughout the exhibit. Coming up in the spring, I will hopefully get a chance to see great musicals like “Mamma Mia” and “Funny Girl.”

Being a RedCoat has opened me up to many new, intriguing experiences and art that I would not have witnessed had I never taken the chance to sign up for this volunteer position. I am able to give back to the arts community, which I care deeply about, while also viewing wonderful performances and exhibits. Not only all of that, but I have met many amazing people who have great stories to share as RedCoats and about before their time at Playhouse Square as well. 

Volunteering to be a RedCoat has made me feel more at home here in Cleveland, it has allowed me to get out of my shell and meet people, and it has welcomed me into the arts community in Ohio, which is a community that I will never want to leave. 

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About the Contributor
Anna Maxwell
Anna Maxwell, Arts and Life Editor
Anna Maxwell is the Arts and Life Editor for the Carroll News from Ashtabula, Ohio. She is a Freshman at John Carroll University who is an Undecided major. Anna has been writing for the Carroll News since the fall of 2023! In addition to writing for the Carroll News, she is also an Honors student here at John Carroll, and she is excited to continue writing in the years to come! When not writing, Anna can be found reading a new book, or binge-watching her favorite Netflix shows! She can also be found spending time with her friends and participating in events around campus! In the future, Anna aspires to become a writer of fiction novels, and also an editor for a well-known publishing company! To contact Anna, email her at [email protected].

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