Actor Spotlight: Alexa Edelman

Alexa Edelman is a newcomer to the Parkway Playhouse stage, portraying the character of Sheree in The Dixie Swim Club. Come and see her in our last weekend of performances!

PPH: What has been your favorite part of rehearsal?

Alexa: My favorite part of rehearsal has been the time we have spent at the start of each day discussing our characters. We have really worked out a lot of the history between our characters, which has added so much depth to what I do onstage.

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PPH: What do you like about acting at Parkway Playhouse?

Alexa: Being that this is my first endeavor at Parkway, I have really enjoyed getting to know more of the talented acting community in Western NC… and the drive – it’s a long drive from Asheville, but so so beautiful here in Burnsville!

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PPH: Tell us a little bit about your character? What about your character is the least like you?

Alexa:  The element that is the least like me, and frankly the hardest to relate with my character, Sheree, is that she is always the first one to any particular event. She’s not just on time, but early!!! That is so hard to wrap my mind around! On the other hand, at the start of the show, I am the exact same age as Sheree.

There are TWO more chances to catch The Dixie Swim Club: Friday, June 14th at 7:30pm, and Saturday, June 15th at 7:30pm. Call our box office (828 682 4286) or purchase your tickets online here!

 

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Actor Spotlight: Ron Powell

We are so happy to welcome Ron Powell back onstage as Worley in Along About Sundown!

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PPH: You were in the first production of Along About Sundown. What has been your favorite part. about the process of this production?

Ron: This is my second chance to play the character Worley in this cool play. I was part of the 2011 production and got to help with picking the songs that are a big part of the show. It’s so much fun to play these songs with such a fabulous group of musicians every night. I really like working with the kids in this one. Eli, Sidney and Gabe add so much to this show.

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PPH: For those who might not be familiar with your work, tell us a bit about yourself!

Ron: Since the last production I retired from teaching and I am now part owner and a General Contractor with CSC construction company since 2017.

 

PPH: What makes this particular experience unique?

Ron: I really like the addition of Swannanoa Tunnel to this play.  It is performed by the incomparable Tommy Goldsmith. He accompanies himself on his 100+ year old mandolin. Haunting!

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You can catch Ron in Along About Sundown, May 10-18! For tickets, you can call our box office (828-682-4285) or you can purchase them online here!

Actor Spotlight: Shane Dinan

Shane Dinan, a Parkway newcomer, makes his debut in a big way in Along About Sundown!

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PPH: This is your Parkway Playhouse debut. Tell us a bit about yourself!

Shane: I’m originally from Wilson, NC- a small town near Raleigh. I started doing theatre in high school and continued throughout college and graduate school. I received a music degree with a vocal performance concentration from Western Carolina University. However, I went on to get a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from James Madison University. My day job consists of performing physical evaluations and treatment for patients in a hospital setting and determining the safest next step for them in their recovery. It is an honor to be able to help these individuals in times of crises. I will say- doing shows such as this is what I love most, and I hope to continue to pursue that.

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PPH: Are you acting with an old pals (or new acquaintances)? How has that been?

Shane: This is my first performance since moving to Western North Carolina almost a year ago, and I did not know any of my cast mates prior to this show. It’s been strange to start from scratch in a new place, but being a part of this show makes me all the more excited of what this region has to offer. It has been a pleasure to work with these talented people.

 

PPH: Tell us a little bit about your character! What about your character is the least like you?

Shane: I’m actually a pretty introverted person, although you may not be able to tell upon meeting me right away. Ethan does not hesitate to put himself out there to chase his musical dreams and finds himself amongst a large group of total strangers. As the show progresses, you see Ethan’s character evolve from an initially timid newcomer into someone that feels like he has known and played with these fellow musicians for years. I admire his bravery, and to be honest, I feel like Ethan in a lot of ways- in terms of my own anxiety coming into this new atmosphere with strangers who have now influenced me greatly and helped me grow as a musician.

 

PPH: Do you have a favorite song in the show?

Shane: “Bury Me Beneath the Willow” is definitely my favorite song from the show. I could listen to Tomi Lunsford’s interpretation of this iconic folk tune all day. Her vocal expressiveness is just incredible.

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PPH: What has been your favorite part of the rehearsal process?

Shane: Listening to Tommy Goldsmith play the guitar. People like Tommy are the reason I decided to pick up the guitar when I was in high school. He is an incredible musician.

 

You can catch Shane in Along About Sundown, May 4-18! For tickets, you can call our box office (828-682-4285) or you can purchase them online here!

Actor Spotlight: Thomas Goldsmith

Thomas Goldsmith reprises his role in Along About Sundown, thrilling audiences once again with his amazing guitar skills.

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PPH: We are glad to have you back with us! For those who may not know you, tell us a bit about yourself!

Thomas: I’m a proud North Carolinian who has spent more than 50 years absorbing and playing music traditional to this state, as well as a lot of other styles. My work in theater is mostly recent, including a role in 2018 as neocon Paul Wolfowitz in a Burning Coal Theatre production of “Stuff Happens.” It’s great to be in the mountains in springtime, playing mountain music.

 

PPH: Are you having fun with accents? Any tongue twisters in there for you?

Thomas: Accent? Ah don’t have a accent.

 

PPH: What has been your favorite part of the rehearsal process?

Thomas: Playing music and enjoying the work of my talented fellow cast members.

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PPH: Are you acting with any old pals (or new acquaintances)? How has that been?

Thomas: Oh, yes. Tomi Lunsford, one of Bascom’s great nieces, has been a friend and musical collaborator since we both lived in Nashville, Tennessee, in the early 1970s.

 

PPH: What do you enjoy the most about working at Parkway Playhouse?

Thomas: It’s a great welcoming atmosphere and I love the small-town feel.

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Catch Thomas in Along About Sundown, (May -18)! For tickets, you can call our box office  (828-682-4285), or you can purchase them online here!

Actor Spotlight: Tomi Lunsford

Tomi Lunsford takes to the Parkway stage once more in Along About Sundown!

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PPH: Tell us a bit about yourself!

Tomi: I’m a singer songwriter and musician living in Nashville Tennessee but
I was born in Asheville North Carolina and I am the great niece of
Bascom Lamar Lunsford, the subject of Along About Sundown. The
writers, Sandra Mason and Brenda Lilly are my first cousins. Needless
to say this is a family affair for me and I’m loving every minute of
it!

PPH: There are so many wonderful songs in the show! Do you have any favorites?

Tomi: Besides the big numbers where everybody’s interacting and having a
good time my favorite part is when I sing a duet with Minnie Powell
(Alma). It’s like singing with my sisters which I used to do a lot.
It’s a natural and good feeling.

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PPH: What makes this particular experience unique?

Tomi: I’m excited that my good friend Tommy Goldsmith (Tom) is in the play.
We worked together quite often when he lived in Nashville. He was part
of all my favorite bands including my own!
Working again with Michael Lilly (director) and Jan Powell (music
director) is such a pleasure. They both have the perfect balance of
fun and keeping it real.

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Catch Tomi along with the rest of the cast in Along About Sundown, May 2nd-18th! Tickets are available through our box office (828-682-4285) or online here!

Actor Spotlight: Kai’ana Stella

Kai’ana is no stranger to the Parkway Playhouse stage! She is currently in rehearsal for Junie B. Jones JR, playing  one half of the dynamic duo of twins, Camille and Chenille. 

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PPH: Tell us a bit about yourself!

Kai: My name is Kai’ana Stella and I am 9 years old. I am playing Chenille in Junie B. Jones  JR. and I have been acting with Parkway Playhouse since I was 5. I go to Spruce Pine Montessori School and my hobbies include soccer, dance, and piano. I have been in a total of 13 plays (Junie B. Jones JR. is my 13th) and I am very excited to have been cast as Young Amelie in Amelie on the main stage of Parkway Playhouse this summer.

PPH: Junie B. Jones JR. has a ton of awesome songs. Which song is your favorite to sing/perform?

Kai: Some of my favorite songs from the play are: You Need Glasses, Top Secret Personal Beeswax, and Kickball Tournament  (Reprise).

PPH: What has been the most difficult part of the rehearsal process so far?

Kai: To me the most difficult part is remembering all the blocking and choreography.

PPH: Were you familiar with the Junie B. Jones book series before you were cast in the show?

Kai: I was not familiar with the Junie B. series and I will confess that for a little while I thought it was Beezus and Ramona.

PPH: What excites you the most about performing this show in front of a live audience?

Kai: I am pretty excited for the costumes and pretty much the whole thing excites me.

 

**You can also catch Kai’ana this summer as Young Amelie in Amelie!**

Be sure to catch Kai, along with the rest of the cast, in Junie B. Jones JR! Performances will be: April 12th and 13th at 6:30pm, and April 14th at 3pm. Tickets will be sold at the door (adults: $12, members: $10, children: $6).

 

Actor Spotlight: Breanna Duncan

Breanna Duncan plays the role of Lucille to perfection in Junie B. Jones Jr!

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PPH: Tell us a bit about yourself!

Breanna: My name is Breanna Leora Duncan. I am 13 years old, my birthday is on July 14th, 2005, and I play Lucille! She is a really sassy girl. I go to Cane River Middle School and am in 8th grade. My previous theatre experience includes: Annie Jr, Aladdin Jr, The Little Mermaid Jr, and 101  Dalmatians Jr. I love to do gymnastics and cheerleading but the thing I love most is singing. I love to sing! I have been a gymnast since I was 2 years old, and this year was my first year cheerleading. I am a competive gymnast which means I go all around the world and compete, but my dream is to become an actor. My cousin is a actor and a believe that I inspired him to become one! He came and saw me perform in a show at Parkway Playhouse and he loved it. I really want to be an actor when I grow up. That’s my dream.

PPH: There are tons of fun songs in Junie B. Jones Jr. Which is your favorite to sing/perform?

Breanna: My favorite song to sing is “You Can be My Friend” even though I don’t sing , that is my favorite song in Junie B Jones Jr. But my favorite song that I sing is “Kickball Tournament (Reprise)”. My favorite song to dance to is “Gladys Gutzman”.

PPH: What has been the most difficult part of the rehearsal process so far?

Breanna: The most difficult part so far is really nothing. The dancing can be hard every now and then. And the singing can be hard every now and then, but most of the time singing and dancing is not really hard. As I said before I love to sing, but I have never danced before so that’s new to me.

PPH: Were you familiar with the Junie B. Jones book series before you started rehearsing this show?

Breanna: I was sort of familiar with Junie B. before the play. I have not read all of the books, but I have read some of them. My favorite book is the Thanksgiving one.

PPH: What excites you the most about performing this show in front of a live audience?

Breanna: The best thing about performing is being who you are. You see I get bullied a lot at my school for my singing. But when I go to parkway I finally get some freedom. I can be who I am. When I perform I feel like Lucille. I feel like who I am suposed to be in the play. Breanna is not on stage, it’s the character that is performing. I love to perform in front of a audience. When you are in rehearsal, you will never get that same feeling as you do when your performing.

 

Catch Breanna, along with the rest of the cast in Junie B. Jones Jr., April 12th and 13th at 6:30pm, and April 14th at 3pm! Tickets will be available at the door ($12 for adults, $10 for members, and $6 for children)