Actor Spotlight: Alesa Bryant

Today we are speaking with Alesa Bryant, who is joining us for our upcoming production of A Good Day.

PPH: Do you relate to your character? Why or why not?

Alesa: Yes, my youngest child just completed his first year in college. It is, indeed, heartbreaking….and emancipating!

PPH: How is this show different from other shows you’ve done in the past?

Alesa: I’m not sure many people have done a show like this. Covid has made us rethink theatre, and this platform is a wonderful way to take theatre to an audience.

PPH: What about this show are you most excited about?

Alesa: I want to see the audience and bystanders’ response to bumping into a play on The Square.

PPH: How did you get into theatre?

Alesa: High School English class. The Crucible. I was smitten.

PPH: What’s your favorite activity to do in Burnsville?

Alesa: Rehearse at Parkway.

PPH: What’s your favorite thing about being a performer?

Alesa: Analyzing the script and, of course, the applause!

Biography

Thrilled to be back in the theater, Alesa returns to Parkway Playhouse after playing Cynthia in In the Middle of Nowhere at Magnetic Theatre. Her previous roles include Momo in The Humans, Vernadette Simms in Dixie Swim Club, Chief Inspector Hubbard Dial M for Murder, Ethel Thayer in On Golden Pond, Ouiser of Steel Magnolias, Amanda Wingfield of The Glass Menagerie, Ida May Combs in The Quiltmaker, Mattie Rigsby of Walking Across Egypt. Some of her other productions include Morning’s at Seven, Steel Magnolias, Oklahoma!, Our Town, Look Homeward Angel, Big River, My Fair Lady, You Can’t Take it With You, The Boys Next Door, and others. Alesa taught drama and english at Mountain Heritage High School, directing the drama department to as many as thirty regional and state titles awarded by the North Carolina Theatre Conference; some award-winning productions include: All in the Timing, Dancing at Lughnasa, the Laramie Project, Wit, The Rimers of Eldritch, Proof, The Diviners, The Sunset Limited, and more. Alesa is a native of Mitchell County where she lives with her family.

Life is full of moments that define us. A Good Day follows ten relationships that experience a life-changing moment. In this outdoor walking experience, audience members follow one scene to the next and witness uplifting moments in the lives of strangers.

Showing September 12-19, 2021. Grab your tickets here: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=125932

Director Spotlight: Kristen Livengood

Today we are speaking with Kristen Livengood, who is the playwright and director of our current production, A Good Day!

PPH: What gave you the idea to write A Good Day?

Kristen: During the pandemic, I really missed seeing live theatre. Watching a filmed stage production was holding me over, but it’s never the same as being in the same space as the actors. One of the theatres in Asheville produced a show where audiences walked from scene to scene and it was such a joy to be able to safely watch live theatre that I wanted to bring that experience to the Burnsville community. With the show, I wanted to explore different relationships and how there are specific moments that change the course of that relationship. I also knew I wanted the show to be uplifting since we as a community have been unable to safely be with each other.

PPH: Which scene is your favorite in this show?

Kristen: Because this is a show where audiences are the ones expected to stand during the performance, I wanted to be sure the show length is around an hour. I wrote ten scenes, but only seven made it into this production. My favorite scene is actually one that didn’t get chosen because I didn’t have the right cast for it. It was about a mother and daughter who have really high expectations for each other but learn that there’s no such thing as perfection.

PPH: What makes A Good Day so unique?

Kristen: A Good Day is more of an experience than a typical show that Parkway Playhouse produces. The audience will be traveling from scene to scene and will seem to be eavesdropping on a conversation. All of the scenes will feel as if they’re in real time and they were written to be relatable in the hopes that audiences will have different favorites that they connected to the most.

PPH: What COVID precautions can audiences expect when they come to see A Good Day

Kristen: At the performances, we are asking that audiences wear masks regardless of vaccination status. We are doing this to keep our audiences safe so they won’t have to think about how close they are standing to other audience members. The other reason we are doing this is so that we can give the audience a performance where the actors have the option not to mask.

Biography

Kristen Livengood (Playwright/Director) holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre from UNC Greensboro, and has appeared onstage at Diana Wortham Theatre, Parkway Playhouse, HART, The Feichter Studio, and ACT.  Some of her recent roles at Parkway Playhouse were Ronnette in Little Shop of Horrors, Myrtle in The Great Gatsby, Amandine/Philomene in Amelie, and Aimee in The Humans. Some of her favorite directing credits include The Fox on the Fairway and Footloose for Parkway Playhouse and The Music Man JR, James and the Giant Peach JR, and Elf JR for Parkway Playhouse Junior.  She is also the founder and director of Parkway Playhouse’s high school improv comedy troupe Get the Hook, who have been featured on the WUNC radio show “The State of Things” and have performed at the NC Comedy Arts Festival (2016, 2017), the AICFest (2019) and the New South Comedy Festival (2017-2019).  She would like to thank the loves of her life, Graham, Grey and Etta, for supporting her as she continues to follow her dreams.  She would also like to thank the amazingly talented cast, creative team and crew of A Good Day for all their hard work and the great memories!

Actor Spotlight: Annelise Lewis

Today we are speaking with Annelise Lewis, who is joining us for our upcoming production of A Good Day.

PPH: Do you relate to your character? Why or why not?

Annelise: Yes, because I’ve been dancing for a long time! I started taking dance lessons one week before I turned two years old.

PPH: How is this show different from other shows you’ve done in the past?

Annelise: Well, I get to dance in it 🙂

PPH: What about this show are you most excited about?

Annelise: Dancing of course! 

PPH: How did you get into theatre?

Annelise: I like acting, performing, and dancing.

PPH: What’s your favorite activity to do in Burnsville?

Annelise: I love dancing, going to the park, going to the pool, oh and tennis!

PPH: What’s your favorite thing about being a performer?

Annelise: Showing the audience what we’ve practiced, practicing with the cast, and being on stage is so much fun!

Life is full of moments that define us. A Good Day follows ten relationships that experience a life-changing moment. In this outdoor walking experience, audience members follow one scene to the next and witness uplifting moments in the lives of strangers.

Showing September 12-19, 2021. Grab your tickets here: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=125932 

Actor Spotlight: Daniel Moore

Today we are speaking with Daniel Moore, who is joining us for our upcoming production of A Good Day.

PPH: Do you relate to your character? Why or why not?

Daniel: I can relate in a way that, I think everyone does when it comes to seeing someone again for the first time. We’ve all experienced a time in our lives when we felt that overwhelming rush of memories and feelings that accompany seeing a loved one again after years of being apart.

PPH: How is this show different from other shows you’ve done in the past?

Daniel: This is the first show I’ve ever done like this. It’s a very fun script and I think the walking element is super cool. I’m excited to be a part of the experience and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun for everyone.

PPH: What about this show are you most excited about?

Daniel: Doing it. Hopefully.

PPH: How did you get into theatre?

Daniel: Usually the front door if I’m watching a show. The shop door if I’m involved… That’s the VIP entrance.

PPH: What’s your favorite activity to do in Burnsville?

Daniel: For years I’ve had the tradition of stopping at the gas station by Pizza Hut and getting a few chicken tenders and a corn dog. I love it. Even if I’m not doing a show and I find myself in Burnsville it’s hard not to stop for a corn dog now.

PPH: What’s your favorite thing about being a performer?

Daniel: There are a lot of things about performing that are so amazing. The shared experience between the audience and the cast and crew, the friendships you form after weeks of working together, the blood, sweat, and tears shed in pursuit of a common goal, but my favorite part of being a performer is experimenting in rehearsals. I love messing around and trying things in different ways over and over and over again just to see how it looks and feels.

Biography 

Daniel is a Mars Hill based Actor/Director who studied Theatre at Greensboro College. He has been an actor in the WNC community for well over a decade. Some of his recent acting credits include; Marvin in Dark of the Moon at Parkway Playhouse, Mendel in the NC premiere of Indecent by Paula Vogel at The Magnetic Theatre, he was also an actor and director for the dramatic series How to be a Human, or at Least Try at NC Stage. Other directing credits include Blades, Screens Can Only Do So Much, and Airport; all of which were featured in The Magnetic Theatre’s 2nd Annual One Act Play Festival. Daniel will also be directing The Legend of Sleepy Hollow premiering at Parkway Playhouse this Fall. Daniel first came to Parkway in the Summer of 2010 as an acting intern. His first featured production that year was Leaving Iowa. Daniel returned as an intern to Parkway Playhouse for the 2011 and 2012 seasons performing such duties as actor, assistant director, set designer, set construction, theatrical electrician, and administrative assistant. Being a WNC native and Parkway alum, Daniel has always had a special connection with the Playhouse that has lasted through the years and is sure to last many more.

Life is full of moments that define us. A Good Day follows ten relationships that experience a life-changing moment. In this outdoor walking experience, audience members follow one scene to the next and witness uplifting moments in the lives of strangers.

Showing September 12-19, 2021. Grab your tickets here: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=125932 

Actor Spotlight: Austin Dakota Whitehead

Today we are speaking with Austin Dakota Whitehead, who is joining us for our upcoming production of A Good Day.

PPH: Do you relate to your character? Why or why not?

Dakota: I relate a lot to Shawn, he’s a flamboyant bundle of nerves who doesn’t know when to stop talking. As someone who lives with an anxiety disorder, I often use a bubbly personality to hide that I’m constantly questioning what’s going on around me just as Shawn does.

PPH: How is this show different from other shows you’ve done in the past?

Dakota: Almost everything is different! I’m used to be on stage with a set, lights and sound, and being away from the audience, but this show puts us in the “real” world!

PPH: What about this show are you most excited about?

Dakota: Honestly, I’m just excited to be performing again!

PPH: How did you get into theatre?

Dakota: As a small child I always wanted to be front and center in my church Christmas play, in grade school my late grandmother encouraged me to take theatre classes which eventually led to me becoming an apprentice, then actor, then intern, then designer here at parkway playhouse! Without all of her love and support, I may have never discovered this thing that I love so much.

PPH: What’s your favorite activity to do in Burnsville?

Dakota: I love grabbing a coffee and exploring all the unique shops downtown, my car is current covered in window stickers from the Colorful Gypsy!

PPH: What’s your favorite thing about being a performer?

Dakota: I love making people laugh! Always have and always will! 

Biography 

Austin Dakota Whitehead is thrilled to be returning to parkway playhouse after a three year hiatus. You may have seen him in Parkway’s productions of The Ballad of Frankie Silver, Grease, The Great Gatsby, Bonnie and Clyde, Footloose, and most recently Oliver! You may have also seen his costume design work in various main stage and junior productions here at Parkway Playhouse. He would like to thank his friends and family for their support, his late grandmother for always believing in him, and his babydoll for pushing him to get back into theatre.

Life is full of moments that define us. A Good Day follows ten relationships that experience a life-changing moment. In this outdoor walking experience, audience members follow one scene to the next and witness uplifting moments in the lives of strangers.
Showing September 12-19, 2021. Grab your tickets here: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=125932

Actor Spotlight: Deb D’Aquin

Today we are speaking with Deb D’Aquin, who will be joining us for our upcoming production of A Good Day.

PPH: Do you relate to your character? Why or why not?

Deb: Yes.  An exaggerated version of me.

PPH: How is this show different from other shows you’ve done in the past?

Deb: Playing to type.

PPH: What about this show are you most excited about?

Deb: The walk about format.

PPH: How did you get into theatre?

Deb: Started as a blind girl 8 yrs old in The Miracle Worker. 

PPH: What’s your favorite activity to do in Burnsville?

Deb: Friday Morning Breakfast Club Pig N’ Grits.

PPH: What’s your favorite thing about being a performer?

Deb: The audience engagement. 

Biography 

CoolHouseConnection by day, Thespian by night. Deb is likely to be caught ‘onstage’ at any hour or any opportunity. Acting in community theatre since she was 8, her Parkway Playhouse MainStage debut was Dark of the Moon, in the feisty role of Edna Summey. A member of Parkway Players Readers Theatre, she played everything from the ingenue in the The Rented Christmas to the high spirited comic relief in various Erma Bombeck sketches. Former stage acting credits included all the notable Old Main School Marms, Ms. Fern, Ms Frost, Ms Bury, Ms Sacrosanct and a turn at Peppermint Patty in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Her faithful sidekick, Sweetman faithfully attends each performance, always adapting his attendance attire to the indoor microclimate of our wonderful Playhouse! Deb and Jerry are also enthusiastic patrons of our local and expanded local theatre scene and are thrilled to be a part of all things Parkway!

Life is full of moments that define us. A Good Day follows ten relationships that experience a life-changing moment. In this outdoor walking experience, audience members follow one scene to the next and witness uplifting moments in the lives of strangers.

Showing September 12-19, 2021. Grab your tickets here: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=125932

Actor Spotlight: Ellie Murphy

Today we are speaking with Ellie Murphy, who will be joining us for our upcoming production of A Good Day.

PPH: Do you relate to your character? Why or why not?

Ellie: I relate to my character in a way that most don’t only because my character is me. I mean as a dancer we don’t have a set made up role and personality so I guess I get to be whoever I want.

PPH: How is this show different from other shows you’ve done in the past?

Ellie: I think it is so cool that this show is an outdoor walking show, I have never been in one and am so excited to see the end result.

PPH: What about this show are you most excited about?

Ellie: I am most excited about the opportunity to get to do so many new things; like being in a mainstage production and performing in a walking show.

PPH: How did you get into theatre?

Ellie: I was signed up for the summer camp of Aristocats Jr. a year after we moved here at the ripe age of 5 years old and have loved it ever since.

PPH: What’s your favorite activity to do in Burnsville?

Ellie: I love to eat and walk around main street and on the square at all of the locally owned, small businesses and restaurants.

PPH: What’s your favorite thing about being a performer?

Ellie: Performing allows me to show off and make people laugh. I love to see the smiles I help to put on people’s faces after every show.

Biography 

Ellie is super excited she gets to be in her first mainstage show, A Good Day, at Parkway Playhouse. Ellie has been in many junior shows at Parkway Playhouse such as Junie B. in Junie B. Jones Jr, The March Hare in Alice in Wonderland Jr, Michael Banks in Mary Poppins Jr, and more. Ellie attends Mountain Heritage High School as a freshman and is 13 years old. In her freetime, besides taking classes and attending rehearsals for Parkway Playhouse, Ellie really enjoys soccer and cross country. Ellie would like to thank her parents for taking her to and from all of her extracurriculars and all of their love and support.

Life is full of moments that define us. A Good Day follows ten relationships that experience a life-changing moment. In this outdoor walking experience, audience members follow one scene to the next and witness uplifting moments in the lives of strangers.

Showing September 12-19, 2021. Grab your tickets here: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=125932