On stage

Our 2024 season

Welcome to the 11th season of Moppets!

We’re so excited to share our 2024 programming! We have a great slate of classes and shows on the horizon for 2024, and we can’t wait to get started!

We’ll open the season with our One Act Festival, featuring plays written and directed by our own students.

Our first big summer show is The Winter’s Tale, in its debut on the Moppets stage.

The second show will be a return to Much Ado About Nothing.

We’re very apprehensive… uh… excited about this year’s Moppets Mayhem fundraiser. The Moppets will direct grown-ups from the community in A Midsummer Night’s Dream!

In the fall, alum Eli Hamilton returns to direct our senior Moppets in an intimate, experimental Hamlet.

To close the season, we’re returning to Tiny Tim and the gang in A Christmas Carol.

It’s going to be a great year!

Kayla Cody’s “Swords, Lights and Nuts” isn’t your typical “Nutcracker” story

Meet Our One Act playwrights: Kayla Cody's "Swords, Lights and Nuts"

This isn't your typical "Nutcracker" story.

We asked our One Act writers and directors to share a bit about their works with us. Here’s writer/director Kayla Cody on “Swords, Lights and Nuts.”

I’ve always loved telling stories and making my own worlds with a paper and pencil and my voice. I’ve always loved books and the way I could get sucked into the story. When I write plays, hopefully I can make a story the audience will get sucked into using my favorite way of writing: dialogue!

I decided to do a “Nutcracker” story because I always wondered what “The Nutcracker” was supposed to be about. Then my sister had the idea that “Hey, what if the (first) battle with the mice to big of a deal, and Clara gets taken?” That’s what I went off of. I decided a play would be a good way to adapt it because we’re used to seeing the ballet version. This way keeps it on a stage. 

Since I’ve moved a lot, I’ve done theater all over the country, and I’m constantly writing and directing plays and my sisters and I do together. Recently I’ve been in four plays with Asheville Performing Arts Academy, and this summer I directed a performance of my play “A Midsummer’s Doughnut” at a family reunion. “Swords, Lights and Nuts” is my first time directing a show that is open to the public!

I hope to learn about how to direct a group of people in a way that makes everyone feel good and gets amazing things done together.

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Graham Esmon looks to the future in Kurt Vonnegut’s “2BR02B”

Meet Our One Act playwrights: Graham Esmon's take on "2BR02B"

Everything is swell in Vonnegut's "2BR02B." Or is it?

We asked our One Act writers and directors to share a bit about their works with us. Here’s writer/director Graham Esmon on adapting Kurt Vonnegut’s “2BR02B.”

I very much enjoy Kurt Vonnegut’s distinct writing style. My favorite book of his is “Slaughterhouse 5.” I chose to put Vonnegut’s “2BR02B” to stage as it is a simple but extremely effective story that shows how a seeming utopia never functions for the needs or wishes of everyone under it. It also has a small cast, which is good for a One Act.

I have previously adapted and directing a short film version of “August Heat” by WF Harvey for the Moppets 2021 horror/comedy anthology show. I have written narratives for certain classes as well. This is my first play.

Graham Esmon has been a Moppet for five years. They previously directed the short film “August Heat” with the Moppets. Their pastimes include: magnets.

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Hunter Miyan puts a new twist on a class tale in “A Holiday Song”

Meet Our One Act playwrights: Hunter Miyan's "A Holiday Song"

A new twist on a classic holiday tale

We asked our One Act writers and directors to share a bit about their works with us. Here’s writer/director Hunter Miyan on “A Holiday Song.”

I was inspired to adapt “A Christmas Carol” because I’ve always loved watching all the different movie adaptations of it. I figured it would be fun to see what I would do with the story!

I have written other stories before, but this is my first play. I’m glad it came out so well! I love writing because it’s a way that I can express all the ideas and stories in my head and share them with other people.

Hunter Miyan is a new Moppet and a theater veteran! Hunter, 14, has been acting since age 8, including roles in “Peter Pan,” “Aladdin” and “The Emperor’s New Hair.” Our One Act Festival will be Hunter’s directorial debut!

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Exploring the reign of Queen Mary I in Selah Atwood’s “Mary, Mary”​

Meet Our One Act playwrights: Selah Atwood's "Mary, Mary"

Exploring the reign of Queen Mary I in Selah Atwood's "Mary, Mary"

We asked our One Act writers and directors to share a bit about their works with us. Here’s writer/director Selah Atwood on “Mary, Mary.”

I’ve always found Bloody Mary fascinating, even just learning about her in school. One thing that makes her story really interesting is that she devoted her entire ruling to “restoring England.” And when she died from a supposed sickness about five years after ruling, her sister took the throne and immediately reversed all of the changes Mary had made. It just goes to show that something so significant in someone’s life and something that caused so many deaths can become almost pointless in a blink of an eye.

I thought telling Mary’s story alongside a nursery rhyme inspired by her would be a really interesting way to tell some of her story, and I feel that it (hopefully!) will be blunt and straightforward while leaving an air of discomfort behind. History is uncomfortable, and even more so when it’s told through the use of innocent sing-song!

Selah has been a Moppet for about seven years, with some favorite roles including Horatio in “Hamlet,” Goneril in “King Lear,” and Cassius in “Julius Caesar.” 

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“Henry V” starts today

Rehearsals for "Henry V" start today!

Last summer the Moppets took on “Richard III.” So naturally we’re going back in time this year to learn all about “Henry V”!

“Past is prologue,” after all. “The Tempest” taught us that.

In “Henry V,” Shakespeare follows another king’s rise to power as Henry of Monmouth builds England’s military might from the Hundred Years’ War to the Battle of Agincourt.

Our play’s namesake is a much more sympathetic character this time around. The contrast between Shakespeare’s portrayal of the two ambitious men is very interesting … but we’ll save that discussion for our thesis project.

“Henry V” features one of our personal favorite speeches by Shakespeare: “This day is called the feast of St. Crispin’s…” We can’t wait to see which Moppet will be delivering those rousing lines! No pressure, kids, but we’re ready to be inspired.

July 29 - August 7 in Asheville NC

The Moppets present “The Tempest”

The Moppets bring "pure joy" to the stage with their 2022 production of "The Tempest"

Our young actors put on three fun, family-friendly performances for the crowds at Hazel Robinson Amphitheater last weekend as they opened our 2022 summer season with “The Tempest”!

(Thanks for helping us dodge those thunderstorms, Prospero! Sometimes it’s really helpful to have a wizard with weather-manipulating powers on hand.)

The Moppets “bring ‘The Tempest’ to life in a fun and original production that highlights both the comedy of the work as well as its magic and meaning,” said one Moppets fan. “The dedication of these young people, as well as a love of what they are doing, is apparent in every moment. It is pure joy to watch!”

“The Moppets have impressed me again with their talent and their ability to capture the audience,” another audience member said. “The performers have great comedic timing. ‘The Tempest’ is a show not to be missed!”

Didn’t make it to opening weekend? Don’t worry: You still have three more chances to see the show! 

We’ll be back on the stage at Hazel Robinson Amphitheater on Friday at 5pm and Saturday at 11am and 5pm. (That’s right! It’s a Moppets double-header!) 

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Watching our Moppets on Other Stages

Watching our Moppets on other stages

Two Princes!

Eli Hamilton and Kai Strange star in Montford Park Players production of "The Little Prince"

We were thrilled to learn that Moppets alum Kai Strange and senior Moppet Eli Hamilton have been cast as The Little Prince in The Montford Park Players’ upcoming production of “The Little Prince.”

Eli and Kai will each play the title role at different performances, so you should probably plan to go a few times so you can see them both. That’s what we’ll be doing!

Congratulations, guys! We are so proud of you, and we can’t wait to see the show!

“The Little Prince” is a classic French tale of loneliness, love, loss and interplanetary travel. It opens Friday at Hazel Robinson Amphitheater. 

Of Moppets and "Monsters"

Fresh off his titular role in our “Tartuffe,” Aidan Short is now appearing as Pup in the Different Strokes production of Christian St. Croix’s “Monsters of the American Cinema.”

“This fast-paced, and engaging two-hander about a unique father/son relationship challenges the idea of family, and the responsibility of being in a relationship, of any kind, with other people” director Stephanie Hickling Beckman told the New Play Exchange. “It brings up human nature and its ever-present need for connection and acceptance in a world that neither understands us or makes room for our differences.” 

“Monsters” opens June 16 at Tina McGuire Theater in Asheville.

"Practically perfect" in Brevard

Gabe Rood (right) stars in Brevard High School's "Mary Poppins."

Gabe Rood took the stage last month as Robertson Aye in Brevard High School’s production of “Mary Poppins.” In addition to a performance described by one audience member as “My favorite part of the show,” Gabe helped design the very impressive set.

Great job, Gabe!

Join the Moppets on stage this summer!

Join the Moppets for "The Tempest" and "Henry V" this summer!

The Montford Moppets Youth Shakespeare Company brings comedy and history to the stage this summer with “The Tempest” and “Henry V”! 

Want to be a Moppet? Registration is open for both sessions!

Just want to see the shows? Mark your calendars! 

“The Tempest” opens July 1, with more shows on July 2, 3, 8 and 9. “Henry V” opens July 29, with additional shows on July 30 and 31 and August 5-7. 

About the shows

We are such stuff as dreams are made on...

The Tempest” was probably written around 1610, and it’s thought to be one of the last plays Shakespeare wrote on his own. It tells the story of Prospero, a duke who was deposed in a coup by his brother.

Prospero also happens to be a sorcerer, and he conjures a storm that causes his brother and the crew of his ship to be stranded on the island where he’s been exiled with his daughter and some servants.

Chaos and mayhem ensue!

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers!

Henry V” was written about a decade before “The Tempest.” It focuses on the life of Henry V of England around the Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years’ War. After Henry is insulted by the French Dauphin, he and his soldiers set out to conquer France. This one’s full of intrigue, action and top-notch dialogue!  
 

Introducing our Tartuffe

We are thrilled to announce that the titular character in the Montford Moppets production of “Tartuffe” will be played by Aidan Short! 

Aidan became a Moppet in 2019, when he played Bob Crachit and Mr. Fezziwig in our production of “A Christmas Carol.” He’s been on stage for much longer than that, though. His first stage appearance was as Tiny Tim in The Montford Park Players’ “A Christmas Carol” in 2012!

Aidan tells us that his favorite Moppets moment was playing “everyone but Scrooge” in 2021’s “The Moppets Present: A (slightly chaotic) Christmas Carol,” with his role as the Fool in “King Lear” coming in a close second. He’d like to play Mercutio in a future Moppets production of “Romeo & Juliet,” and as we do occasionally cast Aidan in non-Dickens roles that could very well happen.

Aidan is a high school freshman and a founding member of the Moppets musical duo Brick and A Stick, which seems natural for a guy whose off-stage hobbies include collecting “cool-looking sticks” and having fun with his friends.

You can catch Aidan on stage March 24-26 in Asheville High School’s “Quixotica” and on April 15 and 16 in the Moppets’ “Tartuffe.”