Kimberly Goff

Kimberly Goff

You may recognize Madeline Golden, but you may want to call her by a different name – perhaps Rona Lisa, Florence, or even Vernadette.

Golden's passion for performing in the Starkville Community Theatre has led her to take on many different names and characters over the years. In fact, she's practically a local celebrity, having performed in some 65-70 productions since she began in 1983. In still other productions, she's helped back stage.

Golden and other cast members just wrapped up the recent production of "See How They Run," in which she played Miss Skillon. In February, Golden was Rona Lisa Peretti in the "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," and before that she played Vernadette Sims in "The Dixie Swim Club."

"That show was particularly fun because we already had such a great chemistry. We all had known each other for years and years," Golden says of the group of actresses who played five college friends who reunite for an annual vacation.

The play went on to Mississippi Theatre Association and Southeastern Theatre Conference competitions. Golden claimed the best actress award for Mississippi, as well as an award for outstanding performance for her portrayal of Vernadette at the regional competition. The cast also received an award for outstanding ensemble.

"Creatively, it's just such a great outlet. It's a way to escape and be somebody else," Golden says. "I can do things on stage that I could never do as Madeline."

Golden says rehearsal for a production requires an intense schedule – five nights a week for a six-week stretch, ending with a nine-show run.

"It's a killer when you work. But it's a nice problem to have – having to do so many shows to get the people in who want to see the play," she says.

In addition to her love of theatre, Golden says it's the second family she's formed with other cast and crew members who keep her auditioning for more. "They are special to me. We really do have a good group of people, and that's the best part," Golden says.

Golden's dedication is evident in her theatre work, but also in her role at Mississippi State as an accounting assistant in the Office of Agricultural Communications. After attending MSU, she began her career with MSU's Extension Service, starting with 4-H youth development before serving in community development and human sciences. She has worked with Ag Communications since 1998.

Golden said recognition for her 30 years of service to the university made it difficult to claim to be 29-years-old; but, she plans to continue working as part of the service department. Agricultural Communications serves the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.