A Midsummer Night’s Dream Actor Spotlight – Olivia Morgan as Mustardseed

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESQ: What shows might people have seen you in before?

OM: I have been in Alice in Wonderland, I Never Saw Another Butterfly, and The King & I.

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

OM: I go to Mountain Heritage High School as a freshman. My schedule consists of English, Health and PE, Audition Choir, and French. Next semester I’ll be taking Earth Environmental Science, Math, Theatre Arts, and World History.

Q: Have you met new friends in the cast?

OM: I haven’t really met many new people. I already knew a few people in this show and we do get together sometimes out of school and usually watch movies!

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

OM: I’m pretty sure that I was 12. Now that I’ve become a little more experienced with acting, I know that I want to go to school for it and make a career out of it.

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

OM: A lot of people think that Shakespearian plays are boring and hard to follow but this one is very easy to follow and completely hilarious!!

Q: Do you have a favorite Shakespeare line?

OM: “If music be the food of love, play on.” is my favorite Shakespeare line. It is from Twelfth Night. It speaks to me because I love music and I do believe that music is the food of love. And it most definitely should be played on.

Q:What is your favorite Shakespeare play?

OM: Macbeth is probably my favorite Shakespeare play because it is very interesting and you could modify the setting and the way it is performed in many different ways. The characters are also all very different and I do enjoy that in a play!

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

OM: I really enjoy reading and writing, as well.

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Treasure Island Actor Spotlight – Rob Storrs as Captain Flint/Dr. Livesy

photoQ: Why did you audition for Treasure Island?

RS: I loved reading this story as a child. Doing it as an adult, I recognize myself cutting hawsers to freedom yet uncertainty, riding out waves in unsteerable coracles, tromping through jungles looking for stockades and treasures. Grown-up digital cutlasses and three-piece suit pirates are no less dangerous!

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

RS: This season I’ve acted in Walking Across Egypt and Ghost Riders, and will be in Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

RS: I’m retired from 25 years at the Post Office and 19 years teaching at UNCA, so I garden, hike with my dogs, search for the perfect martini, and struggle with the Braves batting average (hands inside the ball!).

Q: Have you met new friends in the cast?

RS: Yes! Jason, Jered & Elijah are great new shipmates, the Keystone Cop antics of Levi & the Jordans are (mostly) endearing, planning fishing trips with Haven is an extravagant buried treasure, and searching for a beer in Burnsville AFTER a show occupies my time with Andrew and Bruce.

Q: What has been your favorite moment from rehearsals?

RS: I enjoyed the rehearsal when Jason unleashed his Ben Gunn upon us. It was so warped, hyper-agitated, lyrical, and the only thing that calmed him was — CHEESE! (But if he lived with goats, why no cheese? I think RLS needs to rewrite!!)

Q: What is your favorite line from the show?

RS: Trelawney’s “I am extremely irked.” It is said by my son, Will.

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

RS: My dog, Nina, was in “Outlander” with me, so she is a stage partner, but my daughter’s dog, Murphy, would want to vocalize on the “Yo, Ho, Ho’s”!

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

RS: In high school. I participated in my second public kiss on stage as Peter, locking lips with Anne Frank in an attic in Germany. But I drifted toward theatre as a career when I “cut the hawser” from Psychology in college. I wanted to do something REAL, so I chose the arts.

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

RS: If you’re still looking for your father and find him inside of yourself; if you still get excited by planning adventures to unknown climes (even if it’s just to Lickskillet or Bear Wallow!); if you can’t swim but still want to sign on to an ocean voyage; if you ever made a promise to your father or your mother and didn’t think you were good enough to make it come true — “Treasure Island” is for you.

Q: Do you have a favorite pirate slang or joke?

RS: Why can’t a pirate ever get to sea? Because he can’t decide which river to sail up past Pittsburgh!

Why can’t a pirate ever get drunk? Because he keeps dumping his cargo in Molasses Creek on Ocracoke Island!

Q: What is your favorite pirate movie?

RS: “Pirate Radio”, “Captain Blood”, “Ice Pirates”, but I’m waiting for the movie Jimmy Buffet will make: “A Pirate Looks at 60”. Maybe there’ll be a margarita after dark in Burnsville by then!

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

RS: I love photography and am saving up my Green Stamps to get a better camera. Thanks to Parkway for allowing me to photograph this season.

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Treasure Island Actor Spotlight – Kristen Donelle Livengood as Anne Bonny/Jim’s Mother

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photo by Rob Storrs

Q: Why did you audition for Treasure Island?

KDL: Treasure Island is a very different show from any I’ve been involved with before.  I have a knack for comedy, and thought it’d be a great opportunity for me to step out of my comfort zone to do something a little bit darker – and to be honest, this is my favorite project that I’ve ever worked on.

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

KDL:  Earlier this season I was a wife and dancer (Small House of Uncle Thomas Ballet) in The King & I and I also directed Forever Plaid.

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

KDL: No day of mine is typical.  I do spend a lot of time working in Parkway Playhouse’s administrative office and then attend various rehearsals.  Once Treasure Island opens, I’ll be in rehearsals for Parkway Playhouse Junior’s productions of Guys & Dolls, Jr. as the stage manager and Magic Treehouse: Dinosaurs Before Dark, KIDS as the music director.  When not at Parkway Playhouse, I’m off on various adventures.

Q: Have you met new friends in the cast?

KDL: I have met quite a few people in the cast.  I’ve also had the joy of spending more time with people I already knew, and we have become better friends through this process.

Q: What has been your favorite moment from rehearsals?

KDL: Rehearsals are so much fun that it’s hard to pick a favorite moment.  I really enjoy the moments when other actors are trying new things and I have to figure out how my character would react – one of my favorite hobbies is improv, so I get really excited about thinking on my feet.

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

KDL:  In high school I always performed in our spring musical, but it wasn’t until I was an undeclared Sophomore in college that I knew I had a passion for it.  I was taking a random drama class for an arts credit and we were required to see shows on campus.  I saw a production of The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek and was so blown away by the entire experience that I was immediately addicted.

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

KDL: Not only do I believe that people should come see it to support the local economy, but also because this show is something special.  It’s a live-action adventure with a great story and lots of sword fights!

Q: What is your favorite pirate movie?

KDL: The Goonies! After I saw this movie when I was a kid, I went into my attic in search of treasure or a map and found a sack full of silver dollars – I totally freaked out.

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Treasure Island Actor Spotlight – Tom Surber as Calico Jack/Bailiff

meQ: Why did you audition for Treasure Island?

TS: I’m a fan of classic literature and I knew this would be enjoyable.

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

TS: Benjamin ben Hadad in Miracles of Jesus, Young Siward in Macbeth, Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet and Preacher/Ensemble in Big River.

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

TS: I teach and coach at Mountain Heritage High School.

Q: Have you met new friends in the cast?

TS: I’ve had the good fortune to meet many new people as well as reaquaint with others.  This is an excellent cast and I have really enjoyed working with them.

Q: What has been your favorite moment from rehearsals?

TS: I enjoy the fact that the performers take such great pride and ownership of their roles.  This show simply overflows with talent.

Q: What is your favorite line from the show?

TS: A band of pirates are about to storm the Benbow Inn looking to slay the pirate Billy Bones.  Jim and his mother are expecting to be intruded upon at any moment.  The first pirate to reach the door tries to open it and surprisingly declares, “It’s locked!”  It’s amusing because who wouldn’t lock their door when they are expecting a band of bloodthirsty pirates to invade?

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

TS: As an Army veteran and athletic coach, many people are surprised to learn that I ruin the rough tough stereotype because I enjoy the fine arts.

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

TS: My junior year in high school I had a very good English teacher that stimulated my interest in literature and theatre.

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

TS: This adaptation closely resembles the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson and offers a refreshing alternative to modern cinema.

Q: What is your favorite pirate movie?

TS: I actually have only seen Pirates of the Caribbean so that wins by default.  I especially enjoyed a theatrical production of The Pirates of Penzance and a novel by Rudyard Kipling call “Captain’s Courageous.”

Anything else you’d like people to know about you?

TS: Supporting actors like receiving flowers and Reese Cups too! (hint)

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Artistic Director Andrew Gall Reveals Why He Chose Treasure Island for Parkway Playhouse Season

Gall_photoIts hard to not find pirates exciting.  Their adventurous lifestyle has been romanticized for generations and continues to this day.  We all know Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Hook. ‘Talk like a pirate day’ is a Hallmark card away from being a legit holiday; and we all know what a pirate looks and sounds like – the eye-patch, cutlass, long hair, beard stubble, and the obligatory parrot…

My fascination with pirates is no different than anyone else’s.  I remember the Pirates of the Caribbean ride from family excursions to Disney, Captain Blood – a great Errol Flynn film, and a much loved dog-eared copy of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island that I found in a box of books my mother found at a yard sale.  I was likely about 10 years old and was on summer break and that book was the first book that I read that made me feel like a grown-up. Largely because of the age of the actual book I was reading.

I was hooked, like Jim Hawkins, the boy-hero of the story, I had a thirst for adventure that would take me around the world, reward me with wealth beyond my imagination, and allow for my untested heroic mettle to be unleashed… I read the book several times. I have seen many film adaptations, and when the opportunity came up to bring this show to life on Parkway’s stage, I was ready.

I think what is exciting about this story are its characters. We will never meet a pirate, per se, but the prospect remains enchanting and evokes a time, at least for me, where the world I lived in was an unexplored place that was filled with possibility as well as potential danger. This story evokes a moment in my life when I was young enough to possess the whimsy and magical thinking of a child but old enough that I was anticipating, all too eagerly, the day that I would be viewed as a grown man; much like Jim Hawkins.

When we planned this production, I was really excited, and I put together a great cast that included all of the people you see on stage.  Including Elijah Briggs, who at 14, shares much with his onstage character; including the courage and indefatigable energy of one who has just begun to realize his potential.

That said, as our rehearsal period drew near, the actor I had cast as Long John Silver, the literary pirate that all pirates (and a fast-food chain) are modeled on had to back out due to some unexpected obligations associated with finishing his masters degree. The Playhouse staff and I did a search, which was fruitless. Long story short, I ended up taking on this role myself and I was terrified. I really didn’t see myself in this role at all at first, but we really had no choice. So, Jenny Martin, a long time collaborator, joined the creative team for Treasure Island as a co-director, so that I would be unencumbered from having to direct myself, and off we went.

Now, as we are about to open, I and my cast-mates, are having a rip-roaring time with this huge yarn.  I am no longer terrified of Long John, and finding this character was like putting on comfortable, well worn old leather boots. Re-discovering this story has been like finding a buried treasure from my past.

I hope you will join us for a great evening of entertainment as we bring old Long John, Billy Bones, Black Dog, Smollet, Trelawney, and the nightmarish devil, Blind Pew to life on stage.

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Treasure Island Actor Spotlight – Carole Lynn McKinney as Widow Drews/Mutineer

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photo by Rob Storrs

Q: What has been your favorite moment from rehearsals?

CLM: That would have to be Elijah repeatedly mis-pronouncing “pint” with a short “I” (think “pinto pony”). I don’t think any of us will ever let him live that down!

Q: What is your favorite line from the show?

CLM: When Long John Silver tells the pirates “that lad’s smarter than all the rest of you mixed together in a thin broth.” I love his way with words, and I admire the way he’s self-confident enough not to hesitate to tell a bloodthirsty mob who are as dumb as a box of rocks just exactly where they stand.  I took that line as a partial inspiration for my pirate character, who is quite the knuckle-dragging mouth-breather.

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

CLM: There are still a few.  I think they will be surprised by the astronomical levels of stupidity displayed by my pirate character, who is a “Bear of Very Little Brain” and also apparently has absolutely no survival instinct whatsoever…

Q: Do you have a favorite pirate joke?

CLM: What has 8 legs, 8 arms, and 8 eyes? 8 pirates.

Q: What is your favorite pirate movie?

CLM: The first “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie is by far my favorite pirate film.  In on notable quote, Jack Sparrow says “I think we’ve all arrived at a very special place: spiritually, ecumenically, grammatically.” This is a very apt observation; throughout the movie there is a great deal of word-play and subtle humor based on fine semantic distinctions.  As a teacher of literature and grammar, I was charmed by this layer of the movie; it’s very unusual to find that kind of sophistication in an action movie – or in a pirate; your eloquent pirates are few and far between.  I’d love to see a war of words and wits between Jack Sparrow and Long John Silver; at last both of them would have found an opponent worthy of the other in both treachery and subtlety!

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Treasure Island Actor Spotlight – Logan Bryant as Justice Death

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Q: Why did you audition for Treasure Island?

LB: Because Pirates are awesome! And it’s a classic novel.

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

LB: Mulan Jr., A Christmas Carol, Willy Wonka Jr., Ghost Riders and The King & I.

Q: Do you have a favorite Pirate Joke?

LB: I have two:

Person A – What’s a Pirate’s favorite letter.
Person B – Arrr
Person A – Nay it ’til the Sea!

A Pirate was sitting on a dock.  He had a peg leg, a hook hand and an eye patch.  A man walked up and said, “Wow!  How’d you get that peg leg?”
“Well, I was swimming in the ocean, and a shark swam up and bit the thing off!”
“Whoa!  Well how’d you get the hook?”
“I was swimming in the ocean, and a Barracuda came out of no where and bit off me hand!”
“Amazing!  How about the eyepatch?”
“Well I was up in the crows nest and looked straight up.  That’s when a bird crapped in me eye!”
“What? Was it toxic?”
“No, it was me first day with the hook.”

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

LB: 17, about a month before I turned 18.

Q: What is your favorite Pirate Movie?

LB: Pirates of the Caribbean.  I know it’s the obvious choice, but it’s REALLY good!

What has been your favorite moments from rehearsals?

LB: Either hanging out with awesome people, or watching Levi (Bradford) die again and again. Ooh! The swords are pretty awesome too.

 

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