Actor Spotlight: Strother Stingley

Strother Stingley makes his second Mainstage appearance this season! And we get sense from this cast they’re each trying out out-funny the next…strother punch

PP:  You each have to play countless roles in this play, but you also have a character “type” if you will… What is your stage character like?

Strother: Awkward but enthusiastic

PP:  What is your favorite Shakespeare play?

Strother:  CATS

PP:  What is your dream Shakespeare role?

Strother:  Falstaff, if I’m being honest

PP:  What color tights do you wear?

Strother:  Mustard.

PP:  We understand there is a fair amount of improv in the show?  Is that a stretch for you or is it in your wheelhouse?

Strother:  Given a framework to to operate in, but creative license to improvise, is one of my favorite places to be.

PP:  Do you think this play makes Shakespeare roll over in his grave?

Strother:  I bet he, given an understanding of modern times and his works’ impact on society, would ******* love it (when done well).

PP:  We suspect that watching rehearsals (and “outtakes”) might be as entertaining as the final product. Are you able keep straight faces?

Strother: We crack during rehearsals so that we don’t during performances.
                                In theory.

PP:  Best rehearsal moment? 

Strother:  When the director actually laughs (tough crowd… fair, but tough)

PP:  Which Shakespeare play do you think gets mocked the most in the show?

Strother:  Die Hard

PP:  Do you have a favorite prop?

Strother:  Yes.

PP:  I guess we’ll just have to see the show to see if we can tell which is your favorite.  One more question: After Dial M for Murder  and now The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) [Revised], back-to-back Parkway Playhouse performances, will you experience Burnsville withdrawal?

Strother:  I always do. Since playing Marcellus in The Music Man all those years ago.  And Lazar Wolf in Fiddler, Marasczek in She Loves Me, Alfie Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Friar Tuck in Robin Hood.
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Don’t you miss the chance to see the always-funny and charming Strother!

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Get TICKETS by calling the box office at 828.682.4285 or purchasing ONLINE.

Saturday, September 22 at 7:30 (followed by the usual Opening Night reception)
Sunday, September 23 at 3:00 (followed by an actor talk-back)
Friday, September 28 at 7:30
Saturday, September 29 at 7:30
Sunday, September 30 at 3:00 (followed by back-talking actors)
Friday, October 5 at 7:30
Saturday, October 6 at 7:30

 

Upcoming Parkway Playhouse Events:

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GTH Oct 2018 FB Event

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Actor Spotlight: Graham Livengood

If ever there was an actor to answer the spotlight questions unpredictably… it’s Graham.

grahamGraham Livengood (center) in the oh-so-serious photoshoot by Meandering Photography

PP:  We suspect that watching rehearsals (and “outtakes”) might be as entertaining as the final product. Are you able keep straight faces?

Graham: No, not even a little bit. It’s been so much fun working with two really funny guys and a very funny director. We’ve been able to play a lot with this show, so straight faces lets you know your scene needs more work.

PP:  Best rehearsal moment?

Graham:  See above. We didn’t have a single rehearsal that wasn’t stopped for some giggles.

PP:  You have to play countless roles in this play, but you also have a character “type” if you will… What is your stage character like?

Graham:  A friend who has done this show a few times broke down the three characters: the one who knows Shakespeare, the one that dies, and the one who wears all the dresses. I’m the one who dies. And my character is excited, but clueless.

PP:  What is your dream Shakespeare role?

Graham: Audience member. Unless it’s translated into contemporary English–them words is hard.

PP:  Do you have a favorite Shakespeare play?

Graham:  My favorite would be Twelfth Night. I think it’s one of the few comedies that’s actually funny and it’s made for some really great adaptations. Seriously, “She’s the Man” is way better than you think.

PP:  So, how would you characterize your “relationship” with Shakespeare?

Graham:  I’d say my relationship with Shakespeare is complicated. I still love him, but we’ve really grown apart as time has gone on.

PP:  What color tights do you wear? Did you get to pick them yourself? Any codpieces?

Graham:  I’m in blue shorts and green tights. Fun fact about cod pieces (which had just fallen out fashion as Shakespeare became known): the stuffing that went into a codpiece was called bombast.

PP:  We understand there is a fair amount of improv in the show?  Is that a stretch for you?

Graham:  I may or may not have done some improv before. A little bit.

PP:  Do you think this play makes Shakespeare roll over in his grave?

This question assumes that Shakespeare is, in fact, dead. I think that’s just a little bit presumptuous.

PP:  Do you have a favorite prop?

Graham:  My hat for the nurse in Romeo and Juliet is very close to my heart. It reminds me of a favorite movie from my childhood. See if you can figure out which one when you see the show.

PP:  You’ve gotten a new job (in Yancey County!) and had a kid (!) since the last time you appeared on stage here… How have those changes affected rehearsals?

Graham:  I also bought a house. Adulting is hard. But somehow I have time to write and direct “Murder in the Moonshine” a murder mystery experience to benefit Parkway Playhouse at the NuWray Inn. Get tickets from the Nu Wray for late October, we’ve sold out for the past two years. 2018 Murder Mystery Moonshine square

See you at a Parkway Playhouse event soon!

Upcoming Events at Parkway Playhouse:

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Get TICKETS by calling the box office at 828.682.4285 or purchasing ONLINE.

Saturday, September 22 at 7:30 (followed by the usual Opening Night reception)
Sunday, September 23 at 3:00 (followed by an actor talk-back)
Friday, September 28 at 7:30
Saturday, September 29 at 7:30
Sunday, September 30 at 3:00 (followed by back-talking actors)
Friday, October 5 at 7:30
Saturday, October 6 at 7:30

choco sensation

GTH Oct 2018 FB Event

2018 Murder Mystery Moonshine square

 

 

 

Actor Spotlight: Luke Haynes

You will soon think of him as the notorious Tony Wendice.

Luke Headshot 3 (2)

PP:  Your last Parkway show was the musical Bonnie & Clyde… Which do you prefer? Musicals or straight plays?

Luke:  I love singing. Its a huge passion of mine, but there is something about diving into a straight play and playing with a real meaty subject. It gets me excited about tone, story telling, and overall feel. So, I would say I prefer musicals but I am fascinated by this show and my character.  

PP: Tell us a little bit about your character. What about them captures your attention? or What about them do you find a challenge to portray?

Luke:  Tony Wendice is driven and cunning but also obsessive and manipulative. Every detail mapped out, and every move calculated. The challenge is that Tony has an agenda to push, and what decisions and reveals does he make to the other characters force that narrative on them. This challenge has been a great deal of fun to play around with.

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

Luke:  Scene 2. It allows me, as an actor, to really stretch the proverbial acting muscle and I believe that Mike Yow and I get to play this really fun game of cat and mouse.

dial m promo photo1PP:  How have Michael’s directorial prompting brought new energy to the show?

Luke:  Discoveries all the time. Every rehearsal, I am learning new motivations and adding new variables.

So, be a part of new variables by being an audience member opening weekend… and watch the motivations unravel before your eyes.


You can purchase tickets online HERE, or by calling the Box Office at 828.682.4285

dial M for wkyk
Saturday, August 25 at 7:30pm  (opening night party)
Sunday, August 26 at 3:00pm (plus Q&A after the show)
      Friday, August 31 at 7:30pm
      Saturday, September 1 at 7:30pm
      Sunday, September 2 at 3:00pm  (plus Q&A after the show)
Friday, September 7 at 7:30pm
Saturday, September 8 at 7:30pm

What Audiences Are Saying…

about Dial M for Murder after opening weekend…

“The buildup was wonderful and the 2nd Act was just amazing to pull off!  The Inspector was outstanding… with intrigue.”    ~ Gay Teel

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“I thought it was done very well.  Everything flowed very nicely.”  ~Anon

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“I think the natural organic interaction between the characters was very well done.”  ~ Jennifer Williams

dial m cheyenne 1photos by Cheyenne Dancy

You can purchase tickets online HERE, or by calling the Box Office at 828.682.4285

 

dial M for wkyk
Saturday, August 25 at 7:30pm  (opening night party)
Sunday, August 26 at 3:00pm (plus Q&A after the show)
      Friday, August 31 at 7:30pm
      Saturday, September 1 at 7:30pm
      Sunday, September 2 at 3:00pm  (plus Q&A after the show)
Friday, September 7 at 7:30pm
Saturday, September 8 at 7:30pm

Actor Spotlight: Alesa Bryant Laws

Always up for an acting challenge, Alesa Bryant Laws takes on the role of Inspector Hubbard in Dial M for Murder.

Dial M Inspectorphoto by Meandering Photography

PP:  What have you enjoyed about the rehearsal process so far?

Alesa:  I love ALL parts of rehearsal! I love when actors discover the nuances in their character (and in the story line) because I get to watch them create multi-dimensional characters whose every move, expression, and gesture in specific to that particular character. It is utterly fascinating to observe actors take the flat character on the page and layer him into something full and dynamic. Its easy to play a character’s stereotype; it’s hard to uncover and learn the real character. Michael makes us do that, and the actors I work with do it extremely well.

PP:  Are you working with anyone you’ve acted with before?

Alesa:  What a joy it has been to work with Michael Lily again. Working with him last season in On Golden Pond was a blast. Working under his direction has given me even deeper appreciation for his talent. Love working again with Mike Yow, sheriff in The Quiltmaker and Strother Stingley, Alfie Doolottle My Fair Lady.
 

PP: We often get to see you act in the summer, and typically it seems to have been early n the season, but this is your first show this season… What have you been doing with yourself this summer?

Alesa: This is my first show this season. Before rehearsals began I spent my days digging in the dirt, growing my flowers, petting goats, traipsing through the woods, spending time with my sisters, and loving the heck out of my children.
Remember our opening night reception following Saturday’s performance — it’s quite a treat!

You can purchase tickets online HERE, or by calling the Box Office at 828.682.4285

dial M for wkyk
Saturday, August 25 at 7:30pm  (opening night party)
Sunday, August 26 at 3:00pm (plus Q&A after the show)
      Friday, August 31 at 7:30pm
      Saturday, September 1 at 7:30pm
      Sunday, September 2 at 3:00pm  (plus Q&A after the show)
Friday, September 7 at 7:30pm
Saturday, September 8 at 7:30pm

Actor Spotlight: Andie Morgenlander

Playing the role of  Margot Wendice is one new face in the cast:  Andie. We hope she sticks around….Andie

PP: So what drew you to audition for this role?

Andie:  I knew Brenda Lilly (director Michael’s wife) through friends at Western Carolina University, and she is the one who first mentioned to me that Michael was directing Dial M for Murder. Brenda had spoken to me about Michael’s directing style; the fact that he gave actors a ton of autonomy on the front end of rehearsing, and trusted his actors to contribute majorly to both character development and movement (blocking) onstage. The style of directing sounded like a great fit for me, so I pursued the opportunity further!

PP:  What have you enjoyed about rehearsal process thus far?

Andie:  My favorite part of rehearsal has been transitioning from the rehearsal room into the space. There is something magical about working on the Parkway Playhouse stage, and as Bruce adds more and more to the set, our energy as actors continues to rise! I love leaning into the environment to make new discoveries about Margot’s personality and why she makes certain choices and says specific things.

Dial M smalll photoPP:  We hope you’ve enjoyed working here. What’s your experience been?

Andie:  My experience working at Parkway Playhouse has been amazing. Firstly, the people. The artists that work here are so connected to the community and so dedicated to keeping it vibrant. The positivity is infectious. I also love working in a space that is so seasoned….so many individuals, artists, performers have created in this theatre, and it feels so wise, almost like it holds you and supports your work.

PP: Are you working with anyone you know in this cast?

Andie:  I am working with all new acquaintances. It has been a blast! I’ve spent the duration of my last three years working in film, so I had almost forgotten the uplifting and energetic nature of working in the theatre. My cast mates are so much fun, each one is so incredibly unique. It’s interesting to get to know new artists, and to find out what drives them to tell the stories that they tell.

PP: You mentioned working in film.  What is your acting background?

Andie:  I am originally from Durham, North Carolina and I received my Bachelor of Arts from Louisiana State University in theatre performance. Throughout my childhood, teenager and college years I both acted in and costume designed a variety of pieces. During my time spent in “Hollywood South” (New Orleans) I began to dabble more with film and film production. I became disenchanted with the roles that were being offered to me as a young woman in the industry, and fell in love with writing and directing. After graduating from college, I got certified to teach yoga and starting working on my first feature film, Luke & Jo, which will be playing next in Statesville, NC at the Full Bloom Film Festival! I co-wrote this film with my partner Joshua Overbay, who directed and produced while I wrote, produced, acted and costume designed. It’s been an incredible journey co-creating with him. I’ve moved to Asheville where I’m diligently creating short and feature length narrative films and working for a non-profit called Light A Path which shares yoga with under resourced communities. I’ve been hired as the Production Manager for Western Carolina University’s School of Stage and Screen, and feel incredibly grateful to be on board with such a passionate and creative group of people.

Don’t miss Andie’s first show at Parkway Playhouse… We hope she lives through the experience!  


You can purchase tickets online HERE, or by calling the Box Office at 828.682.4285

dial M for wkyk
Saturday, August 25 at 7:30pm  (opening night party)
Sunday, August 26 at 3:00pm (plus Q&A after the show)
      Friday, August 31 at 7:30pm
      Saturday, September 1 at 7:30pm
      Sunday, September 2 at 3:00pm  (plus Q&A after the show)
Friday, September 7 at 7:30pm
Saturday, September 8 at 7:30pm

From the Director of *Dial M for Murder* –Michael Lilly

You may remember Michael Lilly’s outstanding performance last season in On Golden Pond, but for this show, he shows his brilliance as a director.  Let’s catch up with him and how this production of Dial M for Murder is shaping up to be unlike any other!

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Actor and director, Michael Lilly–plus lighting designer Jason Williams vaults the voms.

PP: What’s it been like working with this cast?  It’s a lot smaller than the last cast you worked with…

Michael:  Just prior to starting work on Dial M For Murder I staged a production of Robin Hood for the Montford Park Players. There were about 35 actors in the show and we rehearsed outdoors. Lots of swashbuckling, romance and good versus evil characters. It was a lot of fun even thought we worked in the rain and heat and on some days there were actors missing. But it all came together nicely and over 6,500 people attended the five weekend run.dial M coustumer
     On Dial M I have had the distinct pleasure to have all five actors in the same place at the same time for the most part. This is a solid, professional cast.
Dial M luke
During the casting process I decided (because of several people who read for the show) that I was going to open my mind to some different options. I set the play in early 1970’s London and the Inspector is played by a woman (Alesa Bryant). So a crime against a woman is solved by another woman. Moving the play into the 70’s also changes the dynamic between the husband and wife. It makes Margot less of a victim for most of the play. She fights back. And the rough and tumble nature of the music scene in London at the time adds a soundtrack that reflects the wild, unsettled side of the sexual relationships in the play.

Dial M andieMichael takes a look at the costumes Dakota and the cast have assembled.

PP:  Has the script presented any challenges?

Michael:  One of the biggest challenges those of us working on this show have faced is keeping track of the intricate plotting of the murder. Keys, coats, handbags all take on larger than life significance. Thank God for our Stage Manager Daniel Moore. He acquired virtually everything we need to rehearse early on which has been tremendously helpful. And still, one night early in the rehearsal process, four of the actors and Daniel and I were completely confused as to where a key was supposed to be, who did or did not put it there, why it was there and really WHAT OUR NAMES WERE! This can be some heady stuff!

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Alesa Bryant, Michael Lilly, Bruce Chuvala, Dakota Whitehead, and Daniel Moore sit in the house prepping for a technical rehearsal.

PP:  What do you think audiences will enjoy about the show?

Michael: When everything is said and done Dial M is a cracking good mystery. Frederick Knott has created some beautiful, flawed humans and Andie, Strother, Mike, Luke and Alesa are going to bring them to life in unexpected and exciting ways.
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Let this fantastic cast, crew and director take you on a wild ride.

You can purchase tickets online HERE, or by calling the Box Office at 828.682.4285

dial M for wkyk
Saturday, August 25 at 7:30pm  (opening night party)
Sunday, August 26 at 3:00pm (plus Q&A after the show)
      Friday, August 31 at 7:30pm
      Saturday, September 1 at 7:30pm
      Sunday, September 2 at 3:00pm  (plus Q&A after the show)
Friday, September 7 at 7:30pm
Saturday, September 8 at 7:30pm