Marian Weage is not a typical student. In fact, her youngest child is 24 years older than the average 18-year-old college student. Weage is a 69-year-old, first-year theatre major who made her debut on Northern Kentucky University’s stage as Rebecca Nurse in this year’s performance of “The Crucible.”
Weage said she always wanted to go back to school, but never had the money to pursue her dream.
“One day I was walking down the street,” Weage said, “and there was a young girl – and she was a single mom who went here – and we were talking about school.”
As they discussed school Weage mentioned that she could not afford to go. The girl stopped her and told her about the Donovan Scholarship, which offers free tuition for people over 65 who want to go back to school.
“So I called up the school and said, ‘Is this true?” she said.
When told that it was, Weage said, “Okay when do I start?'”
Weage said her children, who have all gone to college, have been very supportive of her, and on her birthday in May they bought her a backpack on wheels filled with school supplies.
Weage said she was proud of all of her children and their accomplishments. Her oldest and her youngest daughters both are chiropractors, her middle daughter teaches music and theatre at an elementary school and her son studied theatre and is now a casting director in New York City.
“They caught the (acting) bug from me, that’s for sure, ” Weage said. “I did a lot of community theatre and some professional theatre.”
Weage has done other things in her life revolving around acting, she said. She and a Lexington man act in commercials for Indiana Beach, an amusement park about an hour-and-a-half from Indianapolis, for 13 years and, Weage said, they have become almost famous around the area.
“Last year we made a personal appearance,” she said.
This being her first year at NKU, Weage said she was excited about her part in the play. “I was kind of happy to get a part right away,” she said. “The kids are just great. I’m accepted as just one (of them).”
“I have never felt, ‘Oh, here is his old lady, why should we bother with her?'” she said. “It’s been really nice. I’ve been encouraged and accepted into the fold.”
Weage said the rest of the people at the university have been as accepting as the people in the theatre department.
“I like the courtesy here at NKU,” Weage said. “They stress when you are given notes from the director you say, ‘Thank you.’ I see it done by everyone here on campus.”
Weage said, while she is taking 13 hours at NKU, and acting in “The Crucible,” she also works as a church secretary for St. Paul United Church of Christ and works, on occasion, for Grand Bahamas Vacations.
“Sometimes I think, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m so busy I need to get rid of something,'” Weage said. “Then I feel I have too much free time so I have to add something.”
She said she just added sewing for “Lucky Stiff,” the third play this season.
Before she began school, her son said, “‘Oh Mom, you are just going to shake thinks up at NKU,'” Weage said.
And even with her busy lifestyle it seems she has, because Weage said she is just having a blast going to school and learning.