Actor Spotlight: Kai’ana Stella

Kai’ana is no stranger to the Parkway Playhouse stage! She is currently in rehearsal for Junie B. Jones JR, playing  one half of the dynamic duo of twins, Camille and Chenille. 

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PPH: Tell us a bit about yourself!

Kai: My name is Kai’ana Stella and I am 9 years old. I am playing Chenille in Junie B. Jones  JR. and I have been acting with Parkway Playhouse since I was 5. I go to Spruce Pine Montessori School and my hobbies include soccer, dance, and piano. I have been in a total of 13 plays (Junie B. Jones JR. is my 13th) and I am very excited to have been cast as Young Amelie in Amelie on the main stage of Parkway Playhouse this summer.

PPH: Junie B. Jones JR. has a ton of awesome songs. Which song is your favorite to sing/perform?

Kai: Some of my favorite songs from the play are: You Need Glasses, Top Secret Personal Beeswax, and Kickball Tournament  (Reprise).

PPH: What has been the most difficult part of the rehearsal process so far?

Kai: To me the most difficult part is remembering all the blocking and choreography.

PPH: Were you familiar with the Junie B. Jones book series before you were cast in the show?

Kai: I was not familiar with the Junie B. series and I will confess that for a little while I thought it was Beezus and Ramona.

PPH: What excites you the most about performing this show in front of a live audience?

Kai: I am pretty excited for the costumes and pretty much the whole thing excites me.

 

**You can also catch Kai’ana this summer as Young Amelie in Amelie!**

Be sure to catch Kai, along with the rest of the cast, in Junie B. Jones JR! Performances will be: April 12th and 13th at 6:30pm, and April 14th at 3pm. Tickets will be sold at the door (adults: $12, members: $10, children: $6).

 

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Actor Spotlight: Breanna Duncan

Breanna Duncan plays the role of Lucille to perfection in Junie B. Jones Jr!

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PPH: Tell us a bit about yourself!

Breanna: My name is Breanna Leora Duncan. I am 13 years old, my birthday is on July 14th, 2005, and I play Lucille! She is a really sassy girl. I go to Cane River Middle School and am in 8th grade. My previous theatre experience includes: Annie Jr, Aladdin Jr, The Little Mermaid Jr, and 101  Dalmatians Jr. I love to do gymnastics and cheerleading but the thing I love most is singing. I love to sing! I have been a gymnast since I was 2 years old, and this year was my first year cheerleading. I am a competive gymnast which means I go all around the world and compete, but my dream is to become an actor. My cousin is a actor and a believe that I inspired him to become one! He came and saw me perform in a show at Parkway Playhouse and he loved it. I really want to be an actor when I grow up. That’s my dream.

PPH: There are tons of fun songs in Junie B. Jones Jr. Which is your favorite to sing/perform?

Breanna: My favorite song to sing is “You Can be My Friend” even though I don’t sing , that is my favorite song in Junie B Jones Jr. But my favorite song that I sing is “Kickball Tournament (Reprise)”. My favorite song to dance to is “Gladys Gutzman”.

PPH: What has been the most difficult part of the rehearsal process so far?

Breanna: The most difficult part so far is really nothing. The dancing can be hard every now and then. And the singing can be hard every now and then, but most of the time singing and dancing is not really hard. As I said before I love to sing, but I have never danced before so that’s new to me.

PPH: Were you familiar with the Junie B. Jones book series before you started rehearsing this show?

Breanna: I was sort of familiar with Junie B. before the play. I have not read all of the books, but I have read some of them. My favorite book is the Thanksgiving one.

PPH: What excites you the most about performing this show in front of a live audience?

Breanna: The best thing about performing is being who you are. You see I get bullied a lot at my school for my singing. But when I go to parkway I finally get some freedom. I can be who I am. When I perform I feel like Lucille. I feel like who I am suposed to be in the play. Breanna is not on stage, it’s the character that is performing. I love to perform in front of a audience. When you are in rehearsal, you will never get that same feeling as you do when your performing.

 

Catch Breanna, along with the rest of the cast in Junie B. Jones Jr., April 12th and 13th at 6:30pm, and April 14th at 3pm! Tickets will be available at the door ($12 for adults, $10 for members, and $6 for children)

Actor Spotlight: Sydney Edwards

Sydney Edwards is having a blast performing as a twin in Junie B. Jones Jr!

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PPH: Tell us a bit about yourself!

Sydney: My name is Sydney Edwards and I am 14 years old and I play a first grade twin Camille. I attend to MHHS where I am involved in FBLA, and dance club. I also do tennis and sing in the high school choir. I mainly enjoy acting and singing at parkway, which I have been doing for 6 years and do not plan on stopping anytime soon.

 

PPH: There are tons of fun songs in Junie B. Jones Jr. Which song is your favorite to sing/perform?

Sydney: My favorite song to sing in Junie B. Jones Jr is “top secret personal beeswax” because it’s so upbeat and crazy and you dance like nobody is watching.

 

PPH: What has been the most difficult part of the rehearsal process so far?

Sydney: The most difficult part of the rehearsals is transitioning from classroom to bus and then back to classroom.

 

PPH: Were you familiar with the Junie B. Jones book series before the how? If so, which was your favorite story?

Sydney: Yes, I was familiar with Junie B. Jones before this play, I practically grew up reading Junie B. Jones. My favorite book was “Junie B. Jones and the stupid smelly bus”. I love this book the most because I can relate to Junie’s opinions on things, and who doesn’t love to die laughing at a first grader who says the funniest things.

 

PPH: What excites you most about performing this show in front of a live audience?

Sydney: I can’t wait for the opening show, we get to finally show that our months of practice has payed off. And the best part of it all is getting the biggest adrenaline rush after performing your first number on stage and getting an around of applause.

*You will have another opportunity to see Sydney onstage this summer in Along About Sundown*

Catch Sydney, and the rest of the cast of Junie B. Jones Jr. on April 12th and 13th at 6:30pm, and April 14th at 3pm. Tickets are sold at the door ONLY (Adults: $12, members: $10, children $6). 

Actor Spotlight: Ansley Caterson

Ansley Caterson is a Parkway Junior staple, and we are thrilled to have her step onstage once again as Mother in Junie B. Jones Jr.
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PPH: Tell us a bit about yourself!
Ansley: My name is Ansley Caterson, I’m 14 and I play Mother and Grace in Junie B. Jones Jr! I attend Mayland Early College. My hobbies including drawing, singing, and playing piano. I had the amazing opportunity to be in Mary Poppins Jr, which we took to JTF earlier this year, and I played the Birdwoman. I was also in Peter Pan Jr. as Mrs. Darling. I’ve been participating at theatre at Parkway since I was 8 years old, and my first show was Aladdin Jr!
PPH: There are tons of fun songs in Junie B. Jones Jr. Which song is your favorite to sing/perform? 
Ansley: My personal favorite is “Top Secret Personal Beeswax”, which is the opening number. The song is super high energy and so much fun to sing! Another favorite of mine is “You Need Glasses” which is this over dramatization of Junie B. learning she needs glasses. The song has this very creepy vibe to it, but ironically is one of the funnier numbers in the show. I don’t acyually sing or participate in this song but it’s one of my favorites.
PPH: What has been one of the more interesting things about playing a parent at such a young age? 
Ansley: I would say that one of the more interesting things about playing a parent in a show like this, is being a voice of reason in a lot of situations. Junie B. is not exactly a well mannered kid, she’s kind of rambunctious and gets herself in a lot of crazy situations. My job as her mother is to sort of guide her in the right direction. Another interesting thing when playing Mother, is that Ellie (who plays Junie B.) is only 3 years younger than me! So we actually have a lot more in common than you think we would!
Catch Ansley, along with the rest of the cast on Junie B. Jones Jr., April 12th and 13th at 6:30pm, and April 14th at 3pm! Tickets will be available at the door ($12 for adults, $10 for members, and $6 for children)

Become a Member!

Parkway Playhouse is an organization that depends on member support. We love and appreciate our members, and offer some pretty awesome perks!

Become a Member!

By becoming a member, you get to support both Junior and Mainstage seasons. Put your name on an organization that has been performing for the community for over 70 years…in the same location, and be a part of the next 70 years.

Our 2019 Season is especially dynamic – featuring classic shows, local favorites, and a trio of brand new works! Do not miss the opportunity to support a quality crop of performances!

For decades the Playhouse has groomed actors, directors, playwrights, scenic and costume designers; we’ve encouraged those who think they might like to act, those for whom theatre is a calling, those who like being out of their “skin” for a couple of weekends, and those who just love the applause.

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Also, your membership supports programs that provide hands-on theatre opportunities for students; by providing opportunities for our senior population, whose enthusiasm and experience never grow old; by connecting the art of reading with the art of theatre for all our youth. Your membership supports our community as their arts organization—a place to learn, grow, interact…and have fun.

Your commitment to Parkway Playhouse builds a lasting legacy of quality programming through imaginative education for children, entertaining social commentary, life-affirming musicals, and evocative drama, all made real on the Parkway Playhouse stage, still solid after all these years.

We offer tons of fun benefits when you sign up for one of our six membership levels! Some highlights include: coupons for free concessions, a VIP backstage tour, complimentary tickets to all of our Junior productions, and even a producer credit on all of our marketing materials!

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Check out all of the benefits of the various Membership Circles, then please download and print the sheet, fill it out, and mail it back with your donation. We appreciate you.

Parkway Playhouse Junior Triumphs at JTF

On Friday, January 18th, the cast of Mary Poppins Jr, four members of the creative team, and about a dozen chaperones/parents headed to Atlanta, Georgia for the 2019 Junior Theater Festival.

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The kids, as well as the adults, had a marvelous weekend, jam packed with wonderful concerts, workshops, and other various theatrical events. Those in attendance were treated to live performances by Broadway performers such as : Cynthia Erivo, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Robert Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Cassie Levy, Ryan McCarten, Taylor Iman Jones, Luca Padovan, and Isabella Russo.

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A large part of the Junior Theater Festival is the adjudication of each group in attendance. Every theater group/troupe who takes part in JTF bring 15 minutes of a junior show they have produced within the year, and performs the selection in front of a panel of judges. The groups are graded on music, acting, dancing, ensemble, and many other categories. Parkway Playhouse Junior took 15 minutes of Mary Poppins Jr. which was performed at Parkway Playhouse last November.

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At the Freddie G. Award Ceremony, Parkway Playhouse Junior received the “Excellence in Music” award (for the first time in Parkway’s history), and also received the award for “Best Individual Performance by a Male” for Aaron Neighbors, who played the Chairman.

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The weekend could not have been more successful! The students, directors, and even the parents have been raving about the trip. We are very excited to attend once again in 2020.

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A Killer Investment (Murder Mystery)

You received a cryptic message from your financial adviser, Felix Venture, inviting you to a special investors’ dinner at the Nu Wray Inn. His invitation said that he’d reveal the most amazing opportunity that he’s ever seen in all his years of investing. Of course you were interested, because you’ve got a lot of money tied up with Felix. At the dinner, what Felix had to say was truly incredible. So incredible, it got someone killed! Now time is running out for you and the other guests to decipher interactive clues and solve puzzles to catch the killer and discover a valuable treasure.

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If this sounds a bit like a Murder Mystery Escape room, you’ve already figured out the first clue. “Kristen and I realized that you can’t have an escape room with 30 or 40-odd people at the same time,”  said creator Graham Livengood.  “But you can use elements from an escape room in a guided murder mystery environment, which is what we’re trying. This murder mystery will utilize the sequential puzzle style of escape rooms while the actors will heighten the tension by establishing and reinforcing a deadline.”

So, even if you’ve done a murder mystery dinner at the Nu Wray before, this one is a different story!

Some of the details remain the same, though:

  • You must have tickets IN ADVANCE
  • To get tickets call the Nu Wray Inn at (828) 682-2329
  • Also the NuWray Inn has a special overnight package for those traveling from out of town (or for those in town who want to make a special evening out of the event)… $250 plus tax which includes 1 night overnight accommodations, 2 tickets to the Murder Mystery Dinner, one bottle of wine, 2 NuWray Inn wine glasses, and 1 NuWray Inn postcard.

 


If you’re looking for a good Valentine’s Day gift you can easily purchase right now with just a few clicks of your mouse, consider giving future dates with a 2019 Season Flex Pass.

Also — 2019 Mainstage Season Auditions are coming up on February 16 & 17.