from the Choreographer, Julie Becton Gillum

I have enjoyed my role as choreographer for a plethora musicals at Parkway Playhouse through the years and look forward to many more. Working with actors-in-training as well as more seasoned players is both exciting and challenging. During my time at Parkway I have witnessed an influx of talent as well as skill. At auditions there were many young “triple threats” (kids who can sing, dance, and act). I think credit should be given to the training offered by skilled theatre professionals teaching, acting, and directing in the WNC region. From high school drama programs to summer theatre camps (like Parkway’s), students have access to theatre as a practice and as a potential career option.

Kimberly Grez web

Parkway Playhouse brings together a team of directors, community /professional actors, dancers, and musicians to create a lively production of “Footloose”. I think audiences will love this musical because it has a clear and simple message delivered through lots of energetic dancing and poignant moments with familiar and not so familiar music from the 80’s. How can you go wrong?!

talk back web
Choreographer, Julie Becton Gillum is in the center, wearing black; Musical Director, Ginger Haselden is seated on the far right; and Director Kristen Livengood is standing on the right during Sunday’s post-show discussion.  There will be another post-show opportunity for you to ask questions of the directors and actors Sunday, August 13.

I am excited to be working with familiar collaborators like musical director, Ginger Haselden, with whom I have worked often, both at the Playhouse and around the area. Kristen Livengood as director, has infused the cast and production team with clarity, organization, and vision. She is patient and relentless. Thank you Kristen, I will work with you again any time. I would also like to thank my dance captain, Samarie Wilson, who has helped to clarify, memorize, and drill the numerous, intricate, and confusing steps. I couldn’t have done it without you!

Mama Says 2 web
Willard (Hunter Taylor) leads in “Mama Says”

Creating the choreography for all the pieces has been lots of fun. The actor /dancers have struggled with some of the movement, but everyone has been patient with practice and adjustments. I think the script and score are cleverly coordinated to tell the story, yet leave room for creative interpretation. I love the vaudeville style of “Mama Says” performed by the men. Other favorites are the campy “I Need A Hero” and teaching Willard how to dance in “Let’s Hear It For The Boy”.

Willard Learns to Dance web

Rehearsals have been full of spontaneous energy. I appreciate that these actors are open to trying and perfecting new moves. Their willingness and persistence has kept me excited about the production.


Tickets are available by calling (828) 682-4285 or purchasing them online HERE.


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Parkway Playhouse, located in the Appalachian town of Burnsville, NC, is a haven of theatre talent. While people come to the mountains to get away, Parkway Playhouse is a natural gathering place to connect. Likewise, we are an extension of traditional mountain talents: singing, dancing, and, foremost, storytelling. By giving rise to energetic new voices and through a wide variety of plays and musicals, we invite our audience into experiences that are thought-provoking, adventurous, and entertaining. Together we reimagine the world in every live performance, creating dynamic conversations that last far beyond the curtain call. This blog is will feature stories, helpful information, insight and features about the performances.

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