Actor Spotlight: Wesley Harmon

Packed with thrills, romance, laughter, and immortal characters like Little John, Friar Tuck, and Maid Marian, Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood tells the enduring story of a hero of the people who take on the ruthless powers that be.

We reached out to Wesley Harmon, one of the incredible actors in this production to find out more about him and his experience working on this fun show!

How did you get into theatre?

As a kid, I was obsessed with the classic movie musicals of the 1950s and 60s; particularly “Hello Dolly,” “The Sound of Music,” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” While I loved those musicals, it had never occurred to me that I could be a part of it all. On a whim, I auditioned for a children’s theatre production of “The Wizard of Oz” in eighth grade. I was cast as the cowardly lion, and I was hooked… probably for life. I kept myself busy with as many community theatre shows as I could back home in Virginia. Then in 2020, I enrolled at ETSU as a musical theatre student, and in 2021 I finally signed my first professional contract at Tweetsie Railroad. I’m proud to say I’m now a professional actor, with the iconic performances of Barbra Streisand and Julie Andrews to thank!

What’s your favorite thing to do in Burnsville?

As a current resident of Boone, NC, I sadly don’t get to spend as much time in Burnsville as I would like. But with what little time I get, I love exploring downtown! Fill-More, Plott Hound Books, and The Book Cellar are just some of my favorite stops! And of course, you can’t forget breakfast at App Java or lunch at Munch Box!

What have you loved about working on this production?

The challenge of it all! I came with just over a week to learn the show, and it’s exhilarating! Not only do I have to find the unique characterizations of each of my ensemble roles, but I have the fight training as well! While my current day job has given me loads of training in hand-to-hand combat and theatrical firearms, this is the first time in a long while I’ve wielded a sword… let alone one almost as tall as I am!

What do you love about working with Parkway Playhouse?

The uniqueness of it all! I love how unique the space is, with the old production shots lining the walls and the gorgeous old amphitheater sitting parallel to the Playhouse, it gives me a sense of the stories and performances (and possibly ghosts!) that have filled this space for almost 80 years!

What is your favorite part of this show and why?

The pacing! This show moves a mile a minute… which most certainly leads to exhausted actors… but almost definitely means no bored audience members!

Biography

Wesley is excited to join the cast of Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood as part of his whirlwind summer of performing! Before Sherwood, Wesley toured Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary singing with the international award-winning choral group ETSU Chorale and returned to Parkway Playhouse (and America) in just enough time to join the cast for their last few rehearsals! By day, Wesley is a performer at Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock, NC, and a rising senior at East Tennessee State University, where he majors in Musical Theatre. Past favorite roles include “Freddy and Others” in Parkway Playhouse’s recent production of Working: A Musical and “Matt” in the regional premiere of Straight White Men (ETSU), for which he was nominated for an Irene Ryan Performance Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. When Wesley isn’t performing, he proudly serves as the founder and creative director of The Wandflower Theatre, an untraditional theatre project in Galax, Virginia, now in its fifth year of performances.

Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood is showing at Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville, NC. Grab your tickets here: https://parkwayplayhouse.com/tickets/get-tickets/ 

Actor Spotlight: Zak Hamrick

Packed with thrills, romance, laughter, and immortal characters like Little John, Friar Tuck, and Maid Marian, Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood tells the enduring story of a hero of the people who take on the ruthless powers that be.

We reached out to Zak Hamrick, one of the incredible actors in this production to find out more about him and his experience working on this fun show!

How did you get into theatre?

I did a tiny smidge of acting in high school. I loved it, but I was a band kid. When I moved to Asheville I saw the Montford Park Players, said I wanna do that so bad, and hit the 2019 open audition with no monologue prepped, no resume, and no headshot. Astonishingly, that worked! I was cast in two shows that summer. To each and every person who’s ever, even the tiniest amount, considered acting, I highly recommend shooting your shot. This year has been my busiest yet. I keep going to auditions and people keep casting me, so I’m gonna keep doing it till they stop. (Please don’t stop, I love this so much)

What’s your favorite thing to do in Burnsville?

I haven’t done many things in Burnsville… I had a really good sandwich at Appalachian Java once. I’ve hiked nearby. I’ve seen shows at Parkway, including Sleepy Hollow in the theatre, and A Good Day, the show that was hosted all over town square. Do you have a favorite Burnsville thing? Tell me after the show and I’ll start a to-do list.

What have you loved about working on this production?

The sword ting ting sounds! The carpool goofin’! Working with our director Daniel for the first time! Most of all I love all the wonderful people I’m meeting for the first time. The majority of the cast/crew/staff are completely new to me, and I’m so glad that Parkway attracts such wonderful, fun, talented people. Ah, and of course, I love that I get to yell at them all, pretty much the whole show. Come to the show and I’ll yell at you, too! Guaranteed yelling!!

What do you love about working with Parkway Playhouse?

Preface that this is kinda weird, but I love a building with nooks and crannies? And I’ve never worked here before, and Parkway is BIG, so I spent a rehearsal just scootin’ around backstage, finding all these whacky lil rooms full of this wild variety of props and costumes and set pieces from past productions. Do you have any idea how many secret rooms Parkway has? SO MANY. I’m like a raccoon, I just wanna poke around in the doodads and put my grubby lil hands on some odd/ancient/cursed trinkets. It ain’t much, but it’s honest work.

What is your favorite part of this show and why?

At one point I get to stalk through the audience, hopefully menacingly. Playing among the audience is one of my favorite stage directions. Getting up close to their reactions, feeling whatever energy they’re putting out, it’s so much fun. I’ve never gotten to play a proper villain before, so I’d like to get some up close and personal boos and hisses, and maybe get to glare back or say something sassy. No promises on how clever I’ll be, maybe I’ll just stick my tongue out.

Biography

Zak Hamrick (he/him) most recently performed with the Nemesis Theatre Company and The Magnetic Theatre in collaboration for Midsummer For Haters. Zak has previously worked with Multiverse Theatre Collective, Montford Park Players, and DSPAC. Much love to his partner Eliza, brother Luke, mother Josephine, and all of the friends, lovers, and enemies that have supported him along the way.

Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood is showing at Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville, NC. Grab your tickets here: https://parkwayplayhouse.com/tickets/get-tickets/ 

Actor Spotlight: Jana Renee Malone

Packed with thrills, romance, laughter, and immortal characters like Little John, Friar Tuck, and Maid Marian, Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood tells the enduring story of a hero of the people who take on the ruthless powers that be.

We reached out to Jana Renee Malone, one of the incredible actors in this production to find out more about her and her experience working on this fun show!

How did you get into theatre?

This is my very first season in theater. I’m so happy my wife encouraged me to get over my fears and audition. Now I’m hooked 😃

What’s your favorite thing to do in Burnsville?

Go hiking

What have you loved about working on this production?

The energy of the cast and crew and I’m so excited to be working with our director Daniel for the first time.

What do you love about working with Parkway Playhouse?

I love the community and the space to work and create.

What is your favorite part of this show and why?

My fellow actors. Because they’re awesome!

Biography

Jana Malone just made her musical debut at the Parkway Playhouse in the show Working. A long-time theater enthusiast and lover of music and singing, she has always wanted to be on the stage. Jana has also always had a love of writing and is currently working on the script of a musical with her wife. Jana will also be performing this summer at Parkway Playhouse in Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood. She is super excited to be a part of the Reading is Alive touring show, Elephant and Piggie. Jana would like to thank her wife for her support and for helping her find the courage to audition.

Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood is showing at Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville, NC. Grab your tickets here: https://parkwayplayhouse.com/tickets/get-tickets/ 

Actor Spotlight: Lilly Mills

Packed with thrills, romance, laughter, and immortal characters like Little John, Friar Tuck, and Maid Marian, Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood tells the enduring story of a hero of the people who take on the ruthless powers that be.

We reached out to Lilly Mills, one of the incredible actors in this production to find out more about her and her experience working on this fun show!

How did you get into theatre?

When I was three years old my mother took me to see a community theatre production of Annie Get Your Gun and I said “I want to be up there” and she said “Well you’ll have to learn how to read first” Within just a few months I was a reader and started my acting career, and I haven’t stopped doing theatre since.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Burnsville?

Theatre!

What have you loved about working on this production?

The cast. From day one there has been such a strong and easy camaraderie, and I have learned so much from every last member. There’s not a single person in this show who doesn’t show up every day ready to work and give 110%. I have loved every second of it.

What do you love about working with Parkway Playhouse?

The people. Every person I’ve met through parkway has been so positive and professional. There’s such little toxicity, and everyone is just here to have a great time and put on a wonderful show.

What is your favorite part of this show and why?

I love that all of the female characters are so strong and challenge the patriarchal aspect of the original Robin Hood lore.

Biography

Lilly just moved back to Asheville after completing her Bachelor of Arts in English and Theatre at William Peace University. She is so excited to be diving back into the theatre scene with such a thrilling show and wonderful cast of talented actors. Next up you can see her as Squeaky Fromme at Haywood Arts Regional Theatre!

Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood is showing at Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville, NC. Grab your tickets here: https://parkwayplayhouse.com/tickets/get-tickets/ 

Actor Spotlight: Austin Dakota Whitehead

Packed with thrills, romance, laughter, and immortal characters like Little John, Friar Tuck, and Maid Marian, Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood tells the enduring story of a hero of the people who take on the ruthless powers that be.

We reached out to Austin Dakota Whitehead, one of the incredible actors in this production to find out more about him and his experience working on this fun show!

How did you get into theatre?

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 an intern, then an actor, then a designer here at parkway playhouse! Without all of her love and support, I may have never discovered this thing that I love so much.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Burnsville?

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

What have you loved about working on this production?

I have loved getting to work with Daniel Moore as my director. This is my second show with him and I love the way he always encourages his actors to try something new every rehearsal, he gives full artistic freedom and then helps us shape our characters so that everyone plays off of each other beautifully.

What do you love about working with Parkway Playhouse?

The thing I love most about parkway is the community it’s created for so many of us. As an angsty teenager it gave me a place to express myself openly and freely, and now as an adult it allows to me to continue making the art that I enjoy so much. Parkway Playhouse will always hold a special place inside my heart.

What is your favorite part of this show and why?

I just love how over the top the entire show is. Everyone one knows the story of Robin Hood but the way this show tells it keeps you laughing and entertained until the last line!

Biography

Austin Dakota Whitehead is happy to be back at Parkway Playhouse performing in yet another show! Over the past 10 years, he’s worked with the playhouse as an apprentice, intern, designer, and actor so you may recognize his name. Some of his favorite past roles include Sean from A Good Day, Lyle from Footloose, and Blankstone Stewart from The Ballad of Frankie Silver. He would like to thank his friends, family, and loved ones for their love, care, and support.

Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood is showing at Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville, NC. Grab your tickets here: https://parkwayplayhouse.com/tickets/get-tickets/ 

Actor Spotlight: Jered Shults

Packed with thrills, romance, laughter, and immortal characters like Little John, Friar Tuck, and Maid Marian, Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood tells the enduring story of a hero of the people who take on the ruthless powers that be.

We reached out to Jered Shults, one of the incredible actors in this production to find out more about him and his experience working on this fun show!

What’s your favorite thing to do in Burnsville?

Snap Dragon and App Java are always amazing.

What have you loved about working on this production?

Getting to find the person behind the hero and working with so many awesome people.

What do you love about working with Parkway Playhouse?

The theater itself is one of a kind and also the awesome direction of Daniel Moore.

What is your favorite part of this show and why?

The chance to play one of the most iconic heroes of all time is awesome. Also swords are pretty cool.

Biography

Jered is excited to return to the WNC theater that gave him his start Parkway Playhouse. Jered has been acting in the WNC area for 10 years some of his favorite roles Ken in Red, Roger in In a Clearing and Fortinbras in Dead in Denmark. Jered is so excited to be a part of this amazing cast and talented crew. Jered is also delighted to be the fight choreographer as well.

Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood is showing at Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville, NC. Grab your tickets here: https://parkwayplayhouse.com/tickets/get-tickets/ 

Actor Spotlight: Jason A Phillips

Packed with thrills, romance, laughter, and immortal characters like Little John, Friar Tuck, and Maid Marian, Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood tells the enduring story of a hero of the people who take on the ruthless powers that be.

We reached out to Jason A Phillips, one of the incredible actors in this production to find out more about him and his experience working on this fun show!

How did you get into theatre?

I took some theatre classes when I was a kid and loved pretending to be other people. I loved it so much I decided to major in theatre in college. It is something that has really helped me explore so many versions of myself.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Burnsville?

It’s great for hiking followed by a treat from Appalachian Java. I like a treat after my hikes.

What have you loved about working on this production?

What a fun process it has been. The whole cast and creative team are hilarious and fun to work with. With the balance of silliness and high-stakes drama it’s really a show where you can dive into the world of shared imagination.

What do you love about working with Parkway Playhouse?

This is my third show at Parkway Playhouse and each and every time I’ve been delighted by the talent and energy of my fellow actors and the dedication of the creative teams.

What is your favorite part of this show and why?

I’m very much looking forward to all of the madcap fighting that the audience will get to see!

Biography

Jason A. Phillips (Little John) is happy to be back at Parkway Playhouse after playing the ironworker, the trucker and the mason in Working: A Musical this season. Acting credits include: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, 16 Years Tried, Special Needs, The Misanthrope and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). Writing/Directing credits include: Algorithm & Blues: A Dating Sketch Show and something i cared about. He is very excited about sharing the stage with his daughter this go round. Thanks to Cullen for his unflagging support.

Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood is showing at Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville, NC. Grab your tickets here: https://parkwayplayhouse.com/tickets/get-tickets/