It’s a big week for Hunter Taylor. First, he’s heading up the Miscast Cabaret on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he begins his new job as Education Coordinator here at Parkway Playhouse. Then, this Saturday, he has his final Goldilocks and the Three Bears performance at the Mount Mitchell Craft Fair (10am on the stage on the town square). Oh, and three more performances of Godspell this coming weekend!
PP: You have a solo song in the production. What does that song mean to you, and what were the biggest challenges when learning the piece?
Hunter: My solo piece is a wonderful song called “All Good Gifts”. It is a beautiful ballad, and I really feel like I get to showcase the best of my voice. It is a hard piece, and I had to start working on it several months ago with my voice teacher to make sure I had to time to work t into my voice and feel as comfortable as I could with it. The song has a gorgeous melody and lyrics that really speak to me. It is talking about how grateful we should be for all of the gifts God has provided for us. Sometimes we need a reminder, at least I do, that even though there are terrible things happening in the world, there are even more wonderful things that we often take for granted. In addition to singing the lyrics in English, I also get the chance to sign in ASL. It has been really exciting to learn the song in a totally new way, and I think that the result is very powerful.
PP: Has your own spirituality informed your performance in any way?
Hunter: I grew up going to church very frequently, and once I entered high school, I went every single week and sang in the sanctuary choir, played hand-bells, attended youth group, the whole thing. I love church, and I love being close with God, as it gives me a sense of peace and security. A big reason why I did this show was because it was so close to me. It hits home on a very spiritual level, and on a very personal level. It was my late grandmother’s absolute favorite show, and it became “our show,” so each time I perform the piece, or even listen to it, I feel closer to God, and closer to her. Be sure to come see the show and take bets on how many time I cry (hahaha). You will probably walk out a richer man!
PP: I see you go by your own name in the program. Could you expand a little more on your character in the show? Is it based on yourself?
Hunter: Yes! At the beginning of the process Dwight, our director, told us that we would be using our own names. In the script, each character is listed by the names of the actors who were in the most recent Broadway production, so by using our own names, it makes it all that more personal. The character of “Hunter” is in fact myself. Everything I do onstage during this show is what I would do. Every reaction is genuine, and every instinct is one I would make. I think that it is such a cool thing to be able to drop all pretenses and just be myself onstage; I don’t get to do that very often. Dwight also said to look in the front of the script to see what the characters were “supposed” to be like, and to the cast’s amazement, the character description for each of us was surprisingly accurate to our own personalities, so that made it even easier to connect to the material!
So, wish Hunter well this week and come see him in something! You’ve got 5 chances!
To purchase tickets, click HERE or call (828) 682-4285
Friday, August 3 at 7:30pm
Saturday, August 4 at 7:30pm
Sunday, August 5 at 3pm (with post-show cast Q&A)
Friday, August 10 at 7:30pm
Saturday, August 11 at 7:30pm