Actor Spotlight: WJ Cunningham

He’s no stranger to theatre, but he’s a first-timer on the Parkway Playhouse stage. Welcome to the ever-growing theatre community here in Burnsville!

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PP: What made you want to audition for Oliver! ?  

William: I saw an article in the local paper and it was like an old fire horse hearing the alarm go off for a fire.  It had been over 30 years since I set foot on a stage and something in my heart said “Why not.”  I knew that there were several roles for mature actors.  So I gave it a try.  There is nothing like putting yourself out there for the unknown to see.

PP:  What is your theatre background?

William: My theater experience began in the first grade when I appeared in the school Christmas musical.  Years later I became involved with a Community Theater group in Indianapolis, IN, where I performed, directed, choreographed and designed sets and costumes.  This led to the professional arena and the Midwest summer stock touring circuit.

 

Be sure to welcome WJ back to the stage by packing the house opening weekend. We’ll see you there!  

Bonus: WJ is a Toe River Arts visual artist as well and you can check out his work HERE.


Upcoming at Parkway Playhouse

This weekend…

Get the Hook event

To purchase tickets, click HERE or call (828) 682-4285

oliver june 30 through july 14

Saturday, June 30 at 7:30pm (with complimentary Opening Night Reception)
Sunday, July 1 at 3pm (with post-show cast Q&A)
      Friday, July 6 at 7:30pm
      Saturday, July 7 at 7:30pm
      Sunday, July 8 at 3pm (with post-show cast Q&A)
Friday, July 13 at 7:30pm
Saturday, July 14 at 7:30pm
And don’t forget about our FREE outreach theatre program for young audiences
goldilocks promo photo web
10am on Saturday, June 23 on the Burnsville Town Square as a part of the PATH Sizzlin’ Summer Series
11am on Saturday, June 30 at the Orchard at Altapass
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Actor Spotlight: Faith Creech

Faith is no stranger to the stage at Parkway Playhouse, but every time she brings something new and enjoyable to performances. In this production, she has been cast as Oliver himself. Let’s catch up with her about preparing for the role.

Photo by Meandering Photography

PP: How has your experience been playing the part a boy character?

Faith: I have actually played a boy in a few shows before. In Beauty and the Beast Jr.  I played Chip and I actually have done the show Oliver! before and instead of playing Oliver I played the Artful Dodger.  Of course it has been tough, you’d think it would be pretty easy playing a boy since I’ve practically only lived with boys my entire life, but I’m at the age right now where I’m starting to mature more as a woman.  I’m also use to using my chest voice for singing but Oliver has more of a calmer toned voice, like compared to Dodger it’s definitely lighter.  I’m basically having to do the opposite of what my brain is telling me!

PP: How has it been with the dialects in the show? Did someone teach you?

Faith: The last time I did the show Oliver! my director/ drama teacher, Dirk Lumbard, helped me learn how to do a cockney accent for the role of Dodger.  Right after Oliver! I was in the show Mary Poppins and played the role of Jane Banks and I had to learn a British accent.  Since a cockney accent isn’t too different from a British accent it wasn’t terribly hard to learn.  So it’s been pretty easy for me to have a British accent in the show.

PP: What do you think audiences will think about this particular production?

Faith: I think the audience will feel a wide variety of ways about the show!  Mainly during the performance… There are many happy, scary, sad, and thrilling moments in the show.  I really think they will love it, since we have such an awesome cast!


Upcoming at Parkway Playhouse

This weekend…

Get the Hook event

The following weekend…

oliver june 30 through july 14

To purchase tickets, click HERE or call (828) 682-4285

Saturday, June 30 at 7:30pm (with complimentary Opening Night Reception)
Sunday, July 1 at 3pm (with post-show cast Q&A)
     Friday, July 6 at 7:30pm
     Saturday, July 7 at 7:30pm
     Sunday, July 8 at 3pm (with post-show cast Q&A)
Friday, July 13 at 7:30pm
Saturday, July 14 at 7:30pm
And don’t forget about our FREE outreach theatre program for young audiences
goldilocks promo photo web
10am on Saturday, June 23 on the Burnsville Town Square as a part of the PATH Sizzlin’ Summer Series
11am on Saturday, June 30 at the Orchard at Altapass

Actor Spotlight: Daniel Moore

Daniel also finds it hard to believe there are only two more performances of Boeing Boeing! You’ll not want to miss the shenanigans that get him to this overwrought state.  

boeing danielPP: Which scene did you have the most difficult time learning to keep a straight face?

Daniel:  Early on in the rehearsal process it was quite difficult to keep a straight face about 90% of the time.  Now, the only part that gives me trouble is the last few lines of the show.  You’ll understand why once you’ve seen the show.

boeing floorPP: How has having two weekends under your belt helped the performance come together?

Daniel:  Well, with a show like this one it’s just joke after joke.  There is no way to know how or when the audience will respond, so having them there is like adding that final ingredient.

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PP: How have audiences reacted in unexpected ways? Did they think something was funny that you weren’t expecting?

Daniel:  Yes, absolutely.  You can always guarantee, when you open a new show, that audiences will react in ways you never could’ve imagined.  So far, everyone seems to leave with a smile on their face.

You’ve only got two more chances to be one of those people who leaves the show smiling!  Don’t miss your chance.


To purchase tickets, click HERE or call (828) 682-4285
boeing boeing june 2 through 16
Only one more weekend!
Friday, June 15 at 7:30pm
Saturday, June 16 at 7:30pm

Actor Spotlight: Christine Caldemeyer

Don’t be as skeptical as Christine is in this photo! Both she and the entire cast of Boeing Boeing are world-class.

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PP: Do you have a favorite scene in this show? Why is it your favorite?

Christine: There are so many great scenes in this show, it’s very difficult to try and pick one! I do have to say though, the moment that comes immediately to mind are in scenes with just Berthe and Robert, played by the brilliantly talented Allen Law.  Particularly in the moments when she’s onto his sudden, enthusiastic interest in one of the fiancés, and the ways they parry and repost one another is the absolute best.  Allen’s comedic timing and commitment to the moment is a dream to work with, but, to be fair, there’s not a flat moment with anyone on that stage.  One doesn’t often get the chance in roles to be as shady and sassy as Berthe gets to be to poor Robert, and it wouldn’t be possible without what Allen brings to the scene.

PP: Which scene did you have the most difficult time learning to keep a straight face?

Christine: Oh, easily the first scene with Gretchen.  Morgan Miller gives 110% to the passion and intensity of her character, making choices and delivering her lines in ways that still crack me up!  She gets the most physical with Berthe, and in my mind is the one our Parisian housekeeper is the most intimidated by, which opens so many wonderful doors for moments of utter hilarity.

boeing christine sing

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

Christine: Samantha Lebrocq and Allen Law are good friends, and it’s always an educational privilege to work with them.  I got to act with and costume them both earlier this year in Twelfth Night, and there’s not been a single show I’ve seen them in where their gift of storytelling is anything but perfection.  They consistently inspire me to push my limits as a performer.  Myra McCoury and Daniel Moore are new stage buddies, but I got to costume them for Blithe Spirit, where Dan’s easy charm and Myra’s vocal shapeshifting made for a wonderfully funny show.  This is my very first time working with Morgan Miller in any capacity, but I must say the reputation that preceded her in no way disappointed.  I feel like this whole experience has made stronger what bonds already existed, and forged wonderful new ones!  I  would count myself very lucky to share the stage again with any of these gifted humans.

To purchase tickets, click HERE or call (828) 682-4285
boeing boeing june 2 through 16
Only two more shows!
Friday, June 15 at 7:30pm
Saturday, June 16 at 7:30pm

Actor Spotlight: Morgan Miller

Don’t let the calm headshot photo fool you, Morgan Miller blasts onto the Parkway Playhouse stage with the full range of wild emotions in this production of Boeing Boeing.

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PP: In which scene did you have the most difficult time learning to keep a straight face?

Morgan: It’s not necessarily so much one scene as it has been very hard to keep a straight face just running through all these scenes as they’ve developed more and more over time because they just kept getting funnier!

boeing morgan rage

PP: Are you having fun with accents? 

Morgan: Having an accent is very fun – while very challenging of course – but anytime I have to get “worked up” or a little “angry” I tend to speak rather quickly, which doesn’t work too well for the audience because they can’t understand a single word I’m saying!  So I just have to be very cautious of that when running through the show!

PP: What has been your favorite part of rehearsal?

Morgan: So many things have been wonderful about this entire process but just getting to know everyone and going through the rehearsals and watching each one get better and funnier because we would find more and more to play with each time and that has been so fun to watch!  Everyone is so incredibly welcoming and sweet and I have loved each and every second in this process with them!

boeing morgan sweet

PP: This is your first show at Parkway Playhouse.  Will you tell us a little about yourself?

Morgan: I’m originally from Charlotte but moved to Cullowhee (NC) three years ago to start going to school at WCU.  I am an upcoming senior in the musical theatre department.  Some other roles and shows I’ve been lucky enough to be apart of are, Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical, Catherine in Pippin, The Witch in Into The Woods and most recently Jeannie in Hair!  I have a few little jobs here and there to help support me through school but as of right now, the main focus is on school.


To purchase tickets, click HERE or call (828) 682-4285
boeing boeing june 2 through 16
Only two more weekends!
Friday, June 8 at 7:30pm
Saturday, June 9 at 7:30pm
Sunday, June 10 at 3pm (with post-show cast Q&A)
Friday, June 15 at 7:30pm
Saturday, June 16 at 7:30pm

Actor Spotlight: Allen Law

Boeing Boeing is Allen Law’s first show at Parkway Playhouse, so we thought we’d introduce him. Honestly, though, you really must see him in the production, the pictures do not do his comedic timing justice.boeing allen 1

PP: What drew you to audition Parkway Playhouse?

Allen: I first came to Parkway last summer when I was following around Samantha while she was costuming Bonnie and Clyde.  The thing that really struck me was something Parkway audiences never see, the backstage.  Dating back to the 70’s actors have written their names, the show they were in, sometimes funny, silly, occasionally profound messages on the walls.  It struck me the history that was contained on, and in, the walls of this theater.  There was a strong desire to be a small part of that history and so when the opportunity came up to audition for Boeing Boeing I leapt at it.  Maybe after this summer I’ll find a small, un-scribbled piece of the backstage and leave my name too.  If walls could talk…

PP: Where are you from? What’s your theatre background? What do you do in your “other life” or is it just acting acting acting for you?

Allen: I’m originally from Western Maryland, a small town called Smithsburg.  The closest town to the presidential retreat, Camp David.  After high school I worked for a few years at a dinner theater, playing double duty as an actor and a waiter.  Wanting to continue my training in a more structured, educational setting I then attended Shenandoah Conservatory in Northern Virginia, where I received a BFA in Acting.  Since moving to Asheville I’ve continued to pursue a career in acting, working on stages around Western North Carolina.

When not performing scripted material, I’ve been creating “in the moment” performances with Blacklist Improv.  Improvisation is a very different artistic muscle than performing in a farce, which is quite structured.  Improvisation takes suggestions from an audience to create an entirely new situation that’s never existed before.  I’ve enjoyed exploring this side of performing and teach with Asheville Improv Collective.

boeing bean bag allenPP: What is your favorite prop?

Allen: Is the beanbag a prop?  Call it a prop or furniture, my favorite thing to play with on stage in that gigantic blue beanbag.  It is entirely bigger than anyone expected it to be.  Throughout rehearsal we were using a regular chair, being told that soon the bag would arrive.  And then it came.  It’s the biggest beanbag I’ve ever seen, it’s the biggest beanbag anyone has ever seen.


To purchase tickets, click HERE or call (828) 682-4285
boeing boeing june 2 through 16
Only two more weekends!
Friday, June 8 at 7:30pm
Saturday, June 9 at 7:30pm
Sunday, June 10 at 3pm (with post-show cast Q&A)
Friday, June 15 at 7:30pm
Saturday, June 16 at 7:30pm

Reading is ALIVE…

Reading Is Alive is an exciting outreach program created by Parkway Playhouse in collaboration with Penland School of Crafts, and the Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Library System.

goldilocks promo photoBased on the theme, “Build a Better World,” professional actors will perform for children in Yancey, Avery, and Mitchell. This year we will be performing “Goldilocks and the Three Bears“, the musical based on the delightful children’s story written by Anthony Drewe.

The musical follows Goldilocks into the forest, where she ventures into a seemingly uninhabited house. In the process of making herself at home, she turns the place into a gigantic mess! Little does she know that the house belongs to a family of three bears… who will not be too pleased to witness her handiwork.

And, as a bonus, children who attend a Reading is ALIVE performance will receive a “Reading is Alive” book, while supplies last! This year we will be handing out How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell.

After each performance, Penland School of Crafts will be hosting an arts and crafts booth. And, be sure to stop by the Bookmobile for a free Reading is ALIVE t-shirt, while supplies last!



We are happy to once again partner with Penland School of Crafts and AMY Regional Library  (and the BOOKMOBILE!) on this outreach project.  We are also pleased to have received a grant from Duke Energy Foundation to help us continue to bring these free programs to the children in our counties!  Many thanks to all those involved!

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About the Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of the communities where its customers live and work. The foundation provides more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts. The foundation’s education focus spans kindergarten to career, particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), early childhood literacy and workforce development. It also supports the environment and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture.

Duke Energy employees and retirees actively contribute to their communities as volunteers and leaders at a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. Duke Energy is committed to building on its legacy of community service. For more information, visit http://www.duke-energy.com/foundation.

Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.