Rixey Terry, Distinguished Davidsonian
Rixey Terry’s earliest memories of theater were seeing big summer musicals staged by the Davidson Community Players. “My mom would house-manage the shows, and I’d go along as an usher to give out programs,” he recalled. “I couldn’t get enough of it and would see the shows three or four times. Even back then it made me want to be on stage myself.”
He has realized that dream and become an award-winning high school actor. But before he began doing theater, Rixey was a member of the Allstar team at the Acrofitness gymnastics school. The group performed in parades, festivals, schools, and at halftime of sporting events. “Instructors there taught me dance and staging, which led me to theater,” he said.
Rixey’s home schools were Bailey Middle School and Hough High School, but he chose to attend Northwest School of the Arts, a CMS arts magnet. Time has shown that to be a wise decision. “Northwest has changed my life and taught me everything I know,” he said.
Rixey started out as a middle schooler at Northwest doing straight theater. But he loved song and dance and auditioned for the musical theater program, though he hadn’t done much singing other than the church choir. “I was winging it,” he said.
The first year at Northwest, he auditioned for The Little Mermaid, which was the first time he had to sing a solo. The teachers cast him in the sidekick role of Flounder and helped him through the musical challenges.
Rixey has enjoyed performing in a variety of shows at Northwest. After The Little Mermaid, he was the comic genie in Aladdin, and the love interest in Thoroughly Modern Millie. The two shows allowed him to play very different characters in other productions in high school. In All Shook Up, he was Dennis, the goofy sidekick. In Big Fish, he played Will, the son, which was a much more real and honest character.
His performances in All Shook Up and Big Fish were recently recognized with two Blumey Awards, given by the Blumenthal Center for the Arts, for Best Supporting Actor.
Rixey has also performed in other venues around the area, including Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, CPCC, Theatre Charlotte, and Old Courthouse Theatre in Concord. One of his favorites was acting in the ensemble of 42nd Street with the Davidson Community Players (DCP) when he was a seventh grader. He said, “After watching so many DCP productions there, being on the stage of Duke Family Performance Hall was a dream come true.” He also served as dance captain during that show, which involved teaching and running the choreography for the rest of the cast.
He has also served as dance captain for a number of other shows, and just finished working as an assistant choreographer for a run of Hairspray at the Community School of Davidson. That gave him a long-sought opportunity to shadow local choreographer, Emily Hunter. The show was staged in a Black Box theater with stadium seating, which put the audience on both sides of the stage. Rixey realized the show was completely different, depending on whether the patron was on one side or the other.
Rixey will be back on stage again this summer, playing Romeo in the ensemble of Newsies at CPCC’s Halton Theatre. He has always wanted to act in that show because of its extensive dance scenes. “And it will likely be a chance for me to tumble on stage!” he added.
Now a rising senior at Northwest, Rixey will also tour a few colleges this summer to look at their musical theater programs and prepare for auditions. He also takes dance and piano at Northwest and will be singing with his friend, Nailyah Gardner, in a Northwest student jazz band called “Sound Syndicate.”
He loves the many opportunities for artistic collaboration at Northwest. He said, “All the groups are performing with other groups, like the tap dancers collaborating with the jazz band, and visual artists with the orchestra. This past year, the musical theater department did a performance with the chamber choir. Its helped me expand my repertoire and find my personal artistry.”
Finally, Rixey recognizes that his parents, Ann Todd and Richard Terry, have been tremendously supportive in his growth as a performing artist. “They have opened up so many doors for me,” he said. “It’s up to me to take advantage of it.”
You can find more about Rixey Terry from a CMS article at this URL.
Bill Giduz was the son who followed his father’s footsteps into journalism. He has been involved his entire life with news and photography in schools he attended and jobs he’s held. He believes now that he’s got a few good years left to devote to The News of Davidson.