Actor Spotlight: Carol Forbes

Everyone, including Carol, is singing their hearts out! Let’s catch up on some of her favorite parts of Footloose.

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PP: There are so many great songs in this show! Do you have a favorite?

Carol: My favorite song is Footloose because I enjoyed dancing to it as a teenager. My favorite scenes are the ones that I get to act in because that is the most fun. 

PP: Do any of the songs get stuck in your head?

Carol: Somebody’s Eyes gets stuck in my head because I know what it is like when people disapprove of your ways of doing things and how it can make you feel like you are under a microscope.

PP: Have you learned anything about yourself as a performer during the rehearsal process?

Carol: I have found that as a performer, I can push through difficulties better than when we first started rehearsing.

Come see the results of Carol’s hard work!


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


Spotlight on Levi Bradford

The irony here is that Levi Bradford is in charge of the REAL spotlights! Additionally, he’s been cast as Cowboy Bob in Footloose.

Levi Bradford

PP: Do you have a favorite scene or song in Footloose? Why is it your favorite?

Levi: My favorite song in this show is by far Mama Says which is sung by Willard (Hunter Taylor) in the second act. It is a very comedic song so obviously it’s super funny already but when you add in the choreography and the actors, it just makes it hysterical! I think that it will be an audience favorite for sure!

PP: We often ask the Parkway Playhouse Junior performers if they’ve made any new friends during rehearsals, but the same would go for you–especially in a large-cast musical. So, have you made any new friends?

Levi: I’ve been at Parkway for a while now so I’ve worked with just about everyone in this show at least once before but there are a few new people who I have loved to get to know! This show has really helped me to make new friends and get closer to the people I already knew. This cast has been so much fun!

PP: You’re taking a lot of classes at ETSU in theatre tech… How has that influenced your summer at Parkway Playhouse?

Levi: I’ve been working with lighting specifically for right at three years now but being at ETSU for the last year has taught me so much that I didn’t know. It has completely changed how I prepare and execute the lighting for a show. I learned about the proper steps you need to take in planning out where every thing needs to be along with how to properly document the process so that if something isn’t working, it can easily be found and fixed. Also, I learned more about the aesthetics of lighting design such as how the direction the light is coming from can enhance what the actor is saying. Needless to say, I am very excited to get back to ETSU to see what else I can learn in the next year!


Q:  What lighting work have you been the most pleased with this season? Why?

A: Thus far my favorite shows to design this summer has definitely been the musicals. With most plays, you have to stay pretty realistic (ex. if there is a window to the “outside”, there needs to be light coming through it) but with musicals, the lighting can much more expressionistic! You’re allowed to throw in colors without having to justify the reasoning and have stranger lighting because it is used to enhance whatever is going on in the current scene. Musicals overall are definitely more difficult to light but also, less restrictive!
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Lighting to Add Drama, by Levi.
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How to light up a star.

We know nothing would light up Levi’s face more that performing to a full house, so get your tickets  by calling  (828) 682-4285 or purchasing them online HERE.


Please note, if you are coming OPENING NIGHT, the Mt. Mitchell Craft Fair will make it difficult to get to the theatre.  Check out these alternate routes to make your life easier.

Actor Spotlight: Lizzie Bingham

You may recognize this face from the Box Office this summer, and you sure won’t forget her after you see Footloose! The choreography in this show ended up being a perfect match for this Burnsville gymnast: Lizzie Bingham.


PP:  This is our most choreographed show of the season… How have choreography rehearsals gone? Do you have a favorite dance or routine that you or another cast member does?

Lizzie: Footloose definitely has a lot of choreography. The entire cast worked extremely hard in rehearsals, and had so much fun learning the routines. It is really hard for me to pick just one favorite dance move or routine because they are all fantastic, but since I was a competition gymnast for almost seven years I really like that I get to incorporate some gymnastics moves in the opening song and finale. I also love the routine for “Holding Out for a Hero” because it is hilarious!

lizzie beam

PP: What do you like about acting at Parkway Playhouse?

Lizzie: I have been part of Parkway Playhouse since I was six. I was basically raised here, and consider it my home away from home. I missed acting at Parkway when I stopped for a while to keep up with my 4 1/2 hour gymnastic practices. It just has a great atmosphere and phenomenal community spirit. I’m so glad to be back.

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Was Annie really the last show Lizzie was in? Pictured here in the front left.

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

Lizzie: Where to begin? There are numerous things the audience will enjoy about footloose. Not only is it a great story, but it will cause them to have so many different emotions. They will be laughing one minute then crying the next. The audience will also love the talent and energy in it. Each number will pull them in.

So, put on your… theatre shoes… and get down to Parkway Playhouse. We’re certain you’ll leave dancing!


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

Actor Spotlight: Kimberly Grez

Meet Footloose’ Wendy Jo Peters played by Kimberely Grez.   The character Wendy Jo is one of Ariel’s friends, though she is best friends with Urleen.  Wendy Jo is a sweet girl, even if she’s a bit clueless. (We’ve all got one of those friends, right?) The role of Wendy Jo demands great comedic timing, strong dancing, and a great voice, as she is featured in several songs… So let’s learn a little bit about the actress we found with those qualities!

GrezKimberly Headshot

PP:  Since you’re new to the Parkway Playhouse stage, we’re curious about you… Tell us a little bit about yourself and your performance background.

I’m Kimberly Grez from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I am a junior at ETSU studying music vocal performance with a minor in theatre. I have spent the past 2 years under voice instruction with Dr. Sunjoo Oh.

PP:  So, what prompted you to audition?

I had heard from a friend that Parkway Playhouse would be doing some musicals in the summer and Footloose has always been one of my favorite shows, especially since it was one of the first musicals I got to do when I started getting into musical theatre. It’s a fun show and I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to audition for it.

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PP:  Why pick this show to be the first time you’re on stage here?

This show brings back a lot of great memories from when I first started performing and it’s just a privilege to get to do it again and make new friends and new memories here.

Come be a part of Kimberly’s good memories — ones filled with full houses and thunderous applause!


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

Please note, if you are coming OPENING NIGHT, the Mt. Mitchell Craft Fair will make it difficult to get to the theatre.  Check out these alternate routes to make your life easier.

Actor Spotlight: Amy Weinmeister

Amy Weinmeister has worn a myriad of hats at Parkway Playhouse (lead teacher, stage manager, board member, actor, chaperone, stage-mom, costumer, choreographer,  closet-cleaner-outter and fill-in director of education). She’s also appeared in numerous roles on stage over the years. Catching up with her, as you can imagine, was a bit like jumping on to an already spinning merry-go-round: tons of fun once you made the leap!
Amy will play Ethel McCormack, Ren’s mom, in Footloose which opens this weekend with performances on Saturday night at 7:30 and Sunday afternoon at 3pm.
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Amy in the 2016 production of Grease (photo by Rob Storrs)

PP:  You’re just coming off of 2 weeks of teaching/directing the Peter Pan, Jr. Production Camp with fifty-some campers! What’s more intense, camp or tech week? 

CAMP! Honestly, our directors and production manager for Footloose are so well-organized and focused, they make the rehearsal process really fun. They set us up for success.
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Amy stealing the scene in You Can’t Take It With You performed at Parkway Playhouse in 2016.

PP:  How does the teaching/directing while rehearsing as a performer feed each task or does it present more of a challenge?

It can delay the character work required. But for me, I study music, lines, choreography as soon as I get my script. Likewise, I plan ahead for camp way ahead of time too. However, general mental processing can get clogged while switching between camp and rehearsal. There are many balls in the air. Ha!
You have to be very committed, organized, and flexible to do both, keep your sense of humor, work well with colleagues/cast members, parents and students, and make healthy nutrition and sleep choices.
Seeing it all come together successfully is the greatest reward. 

You too will want to see how it all comes together! So get your tickets in advance… If Amy can make time in her schedule, so can you.

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

Please note, if you are coming OPENING NIGHT, the Mt. Mitchell Craft Fair will make it difficult to get to the theatre.  Check out these alternate routes to make your life easier.

Actor Spotlight: Ashley Huber as Ariel


Parkway Playhouse is delighted to have Ashley Huber join us this summer! She is a self described military brat who was born in New Bern, NC, but primarily grew up in Yuma, AZ and Emerald Isle, NC. Growing up, Ashley was always singing. She was a part of Arizona Western College’s Community Children’s Choir, and has participated in over 20 talent shows and cabarets. Her first musical was in 3rd grade, but didn’t start regularly performing until her sophomore year at Croatan High School. Ashley played soccer for four years throughout middle school and high school, and ran cross country for two years in high school.  However, decided she wanted to be a professional actress after performing the roles of Judy in White Christmas, Milly in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, and finally Rusty in Footloose during her years at CHS. 

ashley huberSince then Ashley went on study Musical Theatre at Western Carolina University and plans to graduate with her BFA in May.  Before college, Ashley never had a legitimate voice lesson but she now studies with the world’s greatest voice teacher, Kristen Hedberg. Her dance professors range from Tricia Renshaw to Ashlee Wasmund. Ashley has received training in tap, ballet, jazz, and a tad of modern.  Ashley plans to move to Atlanta after graduation where she will immerse herself into the film and theatre community, hopefully book a national tour, and then move to New York City in the not so distant future.

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

Ashley:  My favorite song in the show is “Holding Out for a Hero” because it’s the one moment in the show where Ariel gets to let down her guard and be over dramatic and ridiculous. I don’t quite relate to the song itself because I’m a fairly independent person, but I love the opportunity to be unconventional onstage. It’s just a bunch of strong, needy females belting their faces off on stage–definitely what I would call a good time. ren and ariel web

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

PP:  The energy. The energy of this show pours into the house and plasters smiles on people’s faces. Everyone–no matter what their age–has such young spirits and they are all excited to tell the story and bring it to life. Another important thing about this show is while it is primarily upbeat, it does explore the highs and lows of life and loss and moving on without it being a drama or a tragedy. The audience will get to fall in love with the characters and maybe even strongly dislike them at times. Kristen has done an amazing job of encouraging personal character development in both the principle characters and the ensemble. This show is dynamic in every possible way, which will impact the audience with a range of emotions. I’m very excited to hear feedback and get to know the audience members.


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

Please note, if you are coming OPENING NIGHT, the Mt. Mitchell Craft Fair will make it difficult to get to the theatre.  Check out these alternate routes to make your life easier.




Actor Spotlight: Hunter Taylor

Mark August 5 on your calendars.  It’s a big day for Hunter Taylor–with a FREE performance on the Town Square at 1:15pm of A Year with Frog and Toad and the opening night of Footloose, in which he plays Willard. (It’s your last chance to see him in A Year with Frog and Toad, too!)


PP: So, people will already recognize you if they’ve seen Bonnie & Clyde or the Reading is Alive performances of A Year with Frog and Toad… But tell us a little about yourself since this is your first summer here at Parkway…

Hunter:  I am a rising senior at Western Carolina University pursuing my BFA in Musical Theatre.  I’m originally from a very small town called Coats, outside of Raleigh NC. I have lived there all my life, so I’m used to the small town feel that Burnsville has to offer.
I’ve been acting since I was 8 years old, and am a certified musical theatre fanatic! I have been a MASSIVE fan of Bonnie & Clyde since it premiered in 2011, so to be able to be in the production is a dream come true. I am currently in rehearsals for  Footloose where I will be playing Willard.


PP:  Three musicals back to back to back! How has your voice been holding up through all of them?

Hunter:  Funny you ask that! Vocal health is always at the forefront of my mind, no matter what I’m doing. Right now, I’m feeling good, and I haven’t had any issues, knock on wood. Doing any of these shows by themselves wouldn’t be particularly taxing on the voice, but doing all three back to back, and sometimes in one day, can be stressful. For a while, I would be performing Frog and Toad certain days, rehearsing Footloose in the evenings, and then performing Bonnie & Clyde on the weekends. I had one day where I had a four hour Footloose rehearsal, then a rehearsal for “Frog and Toad”, followed by a performance of Bonnie & Clyde. I was very cautious about how I sang that day, and really tried to use everything I’ve learned from my voice teachers to ensure that I still had enough of a voice to sing Bonnie & Clyde. I would consider that show the hardest vocally. You just have to remember to sing correctly, and go on vocal rest whenever possible.
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PP:  The choreography in Footloose is a bit more intense than Bonnie & Clyde… How has that gone for you?

Hunter:  I have actually been taking dance lessons since I was nine years old, so I actually enjoy the choreography in Footloose! My character, Willard, has an entire arc where he can’t dance, and eventually learns how, so it has been fun acting like simple steps are difficultly, and intentionally screwing things up. It’s kind of a relief that it everything I do onstage has to be perfect. When I finally do show off my dancing, I really have a good time with it! I’ve always been someone who is motivated by the acting/story of the piece, and I am 100 times better when I am dancing as a character, so to have that motivation as Willard really amps up my energy and my presence onstage.

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PP:  What do you like about acting at Parkway Playhouse?

I have been here since May 15th, and I have enjoyed every second of working here! I started out rehearsing and performing A Year With Frog and Toad, and have been met with nothing but support and kindness from everyone involved with the playhouse. Everyone is so kind, and even though I am an “out-of-towner,” I feel like I have known my castmates for years! I also love that I get to perform alongside of some of my best friends from school. Annelise and Briar, who play Bonnie and Clyde, go to school with me, so it’s been great to see them flourish onstage. Ashley, who plays Ariel in Footloose, also goes to Western, and I am so excited to perform in that show with her!

PP:  What is your favorite rehearsal moment from the summer?

Hunter: My favorite rehearsal moment would have to be when we were rehearsing “Raise a Little Hell (Reprise)”. The song was going really well, and I nailed my solo section, and then I came in for a very high note at the end of the song, and cracked MISERABLY. I have never really cracked in public, so I was mortified, but I laughed it off, along with everyone else in the room, and proceeded to kill the rest of the song! I’m someone who records everything during rehearsal, so I can listen and practice/correct mistakes, so I have that moment saved forever!


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

Please note, if you are coming OPENING NIGHT, the Mt. Mitchell Craft Fair will make it difficult to get to the theatre.  Check out these alternate routes to make your life easier.