Dinosaurs Before Dark, KIDS Actor Spotlight – Elsa Hall as Tree/Ankylosaurus

imageQ: What has been your favorite moment during rehearsals of The Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark, KIDS Production Class so far?

EH: Doing the paper mâché head pieces was a lot of fun!

Q: Who is your favorite character in the show?

EH: I enjoy the baby dinosaurs because of their cute songs.

Q: What’s your favorite song from the show?

EH: “How Far Can You See,” because it’s pretty and fun to sing.

Q: Is this your first time appearing in a play?

EH: No I have been in several.  I acted in The Monkey and the Crocodile, The Sultan and His Wife, and A Students Christmas Carol.

Q: What are some similarities and differences between you and your character(s)?

EH: We like to sing.  There are many differences.

Q: What do you think your parents will say when they see you onstage in this show?

EH: They will tell me I did great and good job.

Q: Have you made any new friends during this production?

EH: Yes I have.

Q: Why do you think people should come see Parkway Playhouse Junior’s The Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark, KIDS performance?

EH: Because we have worked really hard on it and it will be fun to see.

Q: Do you have anything else you’d like folks to know?

EH: I have read most of The Magic Treehouse books and am happy to have worked on this musical. Plays are fun.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream Actor Spotlight – Dominic Aquilino as Oberon

555695_474607209217208_239450864_nQ: Why did you audition for A Midsummer Night’s Dream?

DA: I have always loved this story and when I was younger I was Puck in the play, done excerpts in the Ballet and sang the role of Starveling in Britten’s Opera version!

Q: What shows might people have seen you in before?

DA: Oklahoma, Dracula, Carousel, I Do! I Do!, The Fantasticks, La Boheme, Pride and Prejudice, Ring of Fire are some of my favorites!

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

DA: I teach voice and theater and may be at Eastern Tennessee State University, Parkway Playhouse or in my private studio.

Q: Have you met new friends in the cast?

DA: I have to say that some of most admired actors and friends since I moved to NC are involved in this fun show!

Q: What is your favorite moment from rehearsals?

DA: Watching the fights between the lovers is quite amusing…

Q: What is your favorite line from the show?

DA: “Of thy misprision must perforce ensue, some true-love turned and not a false turned True!”

Q: At what age did you first know you wanted to act?

DA: Age 8

Q: What’s the #1 reason someone should see this show?

DA: The text of Shakespeare is pure poetic genius. He tickles your brain with possibility.

Q: Do you have a favorite Shakespeare line?

DA: “I never writ, nor no one ever loved.”

Q: What is your favorite Shakespeare play?

DA: Othello. I love Iago!

Q: Anything else that you’d like people to know about you?

DA: My character is loosely based on my Siberian Husky, Zola when she wants to take a walk!

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream Actor Spotlight – Steve Elderbrock as Francis Flute/Thisbe

photoQ: Why did you audition for A Midsummer Night’s Dream?

SE: I was in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in college and I remember how much fun it was then (I played Starveling/Moonshine) and so I figured I’d try out for this production and see if it was as much fun 25 years later.

Q: What shoes might people have seen you in before?

SE: Earlier this summer I was in Walking Across Egypt, and last year I was in A Christmas Carol and Peter Pan.

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

SE: I am the pastor at First Presbyterian Church here in Burnsville, and as a pastor I am never entirely sure what any day will bring – every day is an adventure. No “normal” or “typical” day, which I enjoy.

Q: Have you met new friends in the cast?

SE: I have really enjoyed getting to know some people whose performances I have enjoyed in other plays, such as Dwight Chiles and Michael Lilly and Trinity Smith. Unfortunately, by the time we finish rehearsals, we are all pretty much ready to go home (unless they are just telling me that and then all going out without me).

Q: What has been your favorite moment from rehearsals?

SE: The mechanicals figuring out amongst themselves where the intermission(s) should be placed.

Q: What is your favorite line from the show?

SE: It involves lips and stones.

Q: At what age did you first know you wanted to act?

SE: I played Peter Rabbit in a class play in kindergarten, and have been hooked ever since.

Q: What’s the #1 reason someone should see this show?

SE: The author.

Q: Do you have a favorite Shakespeare line?

SE: “To thine own self be true.”

Q: What is your favorite Shakespeare play?

SE: Asking me to pick a favorite Shakespeare play is like asking me to pick my favorite kind of pie.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream Actor Spotlight – Haven Jenkins as Puck

me as puck
photo by Rob Storrs

Q: Why did you audition for A Midsummer Night’s Dream?

HJ: I auditioned for A Midsummer Night’s Dream because I absolutely love Shakespeare plays. The text is so beautifully written, yet, extremely tricky to perform. Half of the fun for me is evaluating the text and deciding how to deliver the complex structure and vocabulary with clarity and intent. It is immensely challenging by very exhilarating!

Q: What shows and roles might people have seen you in before?

HJ: Since 2010, I have been acting in several Parkway Playhouse productions. Some of the roles that you might remember me playing are Mrs. Cractchit in A Christmas Carol, Ursula in The Little Mermaid Jr., Mrs. Hudson in Sherlock Holmes Returns, and Peter in Romeo and Juliet.

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

HJ: A typical day for me usually consists of both school and work. I am a student at Mayland Community College in Spruce Pine, NC where I am currently earning my Associate of Arts degree. As for employment, I am currently the Properties Master for Parkway Playhouse. I love my job as a Properties Master because I get to constantly use both my imagination and glitter… and lets just face it, life is a lot more fun when there is glitter involved!

Q: Have you met new friends in the cast?

HJ: I have worked with many of the cast members in different shows prior to this production. However, a lovely woman named Alison Young is an exception to this. I met Alison during this show’s first read-thru and we became friends right away! It has been such a pleasure to get to know her and to get to see some of my old friends again! As far as hanging out, I and the other cast members hang out together all the time. One of our very favorite things to do is gather together for a movie night. The next thing that we are watching together is Henry V.

Q: What has been your favorite moment from rehearsal?

HJ: Gosh, we have had so many wonderful moments together that it seems almost impossible to choose. However, if I had to pick one, I think that it would be the time that Steve Elderbrock had to model his costume dress for the costumer and cast during a designer costume parade. It was so funny! Even Steve couldn’t help but laugh when he came onstage wearing this long, bright yellow dress. Needless to say, he rocked the costume!

Q: What is your favorite line from the show?

HJ: Basically every single word that comes out of the mechanicals mouths. Those guys are just too funny!

Q: Why should people see this show?

HJ: People should see the show because it is hilarious! When I think of Shakespeare, “funny” is not always the first word that pops into my mind. However, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is truly an exception to this thought. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is perhaps one of the most humorous and light-hearted literary works ever created. No matter if you are 12 or 112, there is something funny and heartwarming in it for everyone.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream Actor Spotlight – Rob Storrs as Robin Starveling/Moonshine

photoQ: Why did you auditions for A Midsummer Night’s Dream?

RS: It is Shakespeare! I’ve played Theseus once, and Lysander three times, but never a Mechanical. Lucky me!

Q: What shows might people have seen you in before?

RS: The Giver at TheatreUNCA; Limonade Tous Les Jeurs at 35 Below; Walking Across Egypt and Romeo and Juliet at Parkway Playhouse; and The Nutcracker at High Country Ballet.

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

RS: I recently told Jason, my dishwasher repair man, that I was retired from 2 jobs, but still had to go to work at night for my third one (Parkway). He commiserated about my having to work the late shift. Typically I work on rejuvenating my house with my bride: painting, woodworking, updating appliances, and yes, doing the dishes (thanks, Jason!).

Q: Have you met new friends in the cast?

RS: I believe this is the 10th time I’ve met my son on stage. Outside of rehearsals I meet him on a regular basis at the auto shop to help him repair flat tires.

Q: What has been your favorite moment from rehearsals?

RS: Listening to Andrea Bailey “slow jam” a faerie rondel for Titania.

Q: What is your favorite line from the show?

RS: “I am amazed and know not what to say,” Hermia’s response to co-ed camping in the woods.

Q: Are there people in your life who have never seen you on stage?

RS: Recently a colleague from graduate school and her husband happened by Parkway looking for tickets and were dumbfounded to find out that I still trod the boards. I hope they remember a slimmer me, and perhaps note that time has been kind to my craft.

Q: At what age did you first know you wanted to act?

RS: I attended an all-male Episcopal church school from Primer Form through high school. I entertained the notion of becoming a preacher and having a captive audience for one hour a week. I’m glad I now attend the church of storytelling and “preach” to a ticket-buying audience-of-choice for over two hours a night!

Q: What’s the #1 reason someone should see this show?

RS: No matter whether you are a Faerie, an Athenian, or a Rude Mechanical, hypocrisy and pedantry are mocked, and man’s foibles are held up to true reason’s sunlight – but forgiven in true love’s moonlight.

Q: Do you have a favorite Shakespeare line?

RS: Theseus’s speech in Act V: “The best in this kind are but shadows, and the worst are no worse if imagination amend them.”

Q: What is your favorite Shakespeare play?

RS: As I progress through the Seven Ages of Man, the NEXT play is my favorite.

Q: Anything else that you’d like people to know about you?

RS: My mother, now 94, has always supported me in my choice of a life in the theatre. As she approaches Act V in those Ages of Womankind, I hope she has many more juicy speeches to deliver.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream Actor Spotlight – Alison Young as Hermia

photoQ: Why did you audition for A Midsummer Night’s Dream?

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.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream Actor Spotlight – Will Storrs as Lysander

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Haven Jenkins as Puck & Will Storrs as Lysander. Photo by Rob Storrs.

Q: Why did you audition for A Midsummer Night’s Dream?

WS: Midsummer is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.  I’ve very drawn to the humor and sometimes otherworldly qualities it has.

Q: What shows might people have seen you in before?

WS: I’ve done a few shows in Asheville with Montford Park Players such as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and Man and Superman. With Parkway I have done sever more like 1776, Music Man, and Sherlock Holmes: Curse of the Bloody Heart.

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

WS: Right now I am currently employed at the Burnsville Town Center as an Assistant Events Manager. I set up for various events and concerts that come through the town. Otherwise I just write scripts or read Game of Thrones…

Q: Have you met new friends in the cast?

WS: I am quite familiar with most of the cast actually. I’ve done a few things outside of the rehearsal process with them, but it mostly involves more theatre…

Q: What has been your favorite moment from rehearsals?

WS: Mostly the shenanigans that we come up with and the comedic bits we do. It’s a clever and hilarious bunch of people.

Q: What is your favorite line from the show?

WS: “…reason and love keep little company together now-a-days.” – Bottom

I love his line simply because it is hilarious. For me, it perfectly describes the play in its entirety.

Q: Are there people in your life who have never seen you on stage?

WS: Several I think. Mostly distant friends or relatives. I’m not sure what will surprise them, hopefully how witty, hilarious, funny, and humble I am.

Q: At what age did you first know you wanted to act?

WS: I knew early on I wanted to be an actor or somehow involved in the theatre or film. It’s what I grew up with. I’ve been to camps, classes, you name it, and it’s just fueled the desire to act.

Q: What’s the #1 reason someone should see this show?

WS: Definitely for the hilarious people in this show. It is well cast and it will certainly not leave a want for laughs. It’s fun and you’re guaranteed to have a great time.

Q: Do you have a favorite Shakespeare line?

WS: “Oh for a muse of fire to ascend the brightest heaven of invention…” Henry V

It is a great line. The poetry and sheer elegance of what it inspires is amazing. It is definitely one that inspires me.

Q: What is your favorite Shakespeare play?

WS: Macbeth. It is a fascinating play about power and lust. The supernatural is a great draw for me and this play is full of it.

Q: Anything else that you’d like people to know about you?

WS:  The quickest way to a person’s heart… is through the rib cage.

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