Goffs make theater a family affair
By Richard Zowie— The day before his freshman year at McMurry University in Abilene, Kerry Goff entered a Starbucks and met a young lady named Ashleigh Chisholm.
Kerry is a fifth-generation Fredericksburg resident while Ashleigh is from Abilene. But, they had one common interest: theater. Ashleigh was working in the MCMU theater department while Kerry was there to earn a degree in directing.
The two became friends, began dating and, shortly after Kerry graduated in 2010, became husband and wife.
And now, for the past three years, the two have worked at the Fredericksburg Theater Company. Kerry is the artistic and technical director while Ashleigh directs the Freddyburg Youth Theater. She currently is directing “The Miracle Worker,” which is in rehearsal.
Kerry is from a non-theatrical family and first got into theater as a high school upperclassman needing a fine arts credit. To borrow a show business cliché, he was bit by the acting bug and became involved in about 30 different productions prior to attending college. He spent about four years in FTC plays and musicals before leaving for college.
“Jeryl Hoover (FTC’s founder and Fredericksburg mayor) had told me, ‘If you want to become a director, you need to go to school,’” Kerry said.
Unlike Kerry, Ashleigh comes from a theatrical family. Her father has been a regular volunteer in local community theater in Abilene while her mother sat on a children’s theater board and directed one-act plays.
“I decided to try out theater once when I was in third grade, and I loved it,” Ashleigh recalled. “I didn’t return to the stage until high school, but I just always kind of stayed around it. I’ve always loved the performing arts, the ability to express myself by not just talking but also with dance, facial expressions, physical movements. It’s always really interested me a lot.”
That, along with her love for working with children (she taught gymnastics to kids for 11 years) and being involved with FTC led to her working with Freddyburg.
The Goffs also have a son, Logan, who is now eight months old.
For the couple, working in theater while having their own family requires a lot of comparing of day planners.
“It’s a lot like ‘Tag, you’re it! I need to go direct so you’ll have Logan for a while,’” Ashleigh said. “Then, if I’m teaching class, Kerry will watch Logan.”
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