AY: I received a callback from Parkway Playhouse at the WNC Unified Auditions and my curiosity was piqued; this is my first Shakespeare play and my first production with Parkway.
Q: What shows might people have seen you in before?
AY: Most recently, you may have seen me at HART as Irene Molloy in Hello Dolly! You may also recognize me from past productions with Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, Asheville Lyric Opera, Different Strokes PAC, or Attic Salt Theatre.
Q: Have you met new friends in the cast?
AY: I have been friends with Andrea (Hippolyta) and Dwight (Bottom) for many years; our paths crossed when we were all earning our undergraduate degrees in music and singing in the Asheville Lyric Opera chorus together. A few castmates – such as Dominic (Oberon), Trinity (Helena), Will (Lysander), and Jeff (Quince) – I’ve had pleasant social interactions with in the past, and I look forward to cultivating closer friendships with them and everyone else in the cast who is entirely new to me!
Q: What has been your favorite moment from rehearsals?
AY: Working on the fight choreography has been a delightful challenge. Having our first read-through interrupted by a babbling chicken outside the window was also pretty amusing.
Q: What is your favorite line from the show?
AY: “I am amazed and know not what to say.” I speak this line in the aftermath of some serious shenanigans, and that line is my character’s moment to break the fourth wall and acknowledge the absurdity of what has just transpired. It’s Hermia’s unguarded moment with the audience.
Q: At what age did you first know you wanted to act?
AY: When I was eleven I saw an off-Broadway tour of Les Miserables. That production affected me so completely that it awakened the desire to become a performer myself.
Q: What’s the #1 reason someone should see this show?
AY: Two words: High jinx. This is the Bard at his Vaudevillian finest.
Q: What is your favorite Shakespeare play?
AY: The prose of Richard II, I feel, is unsurpassed. The language communicates visceral emotion through a superbly incisive and eloquent filter.