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Ashleigh Goff steps down as Moppets artistic director

Parting is such sweet sorrow...

Ashleigh Goff

After more than a decade of bringing Shakespearean stories to life with the WNC students, Moppets founding artistic director Ashleigh Goff has taken her final bow as part of our staff. 

Fueled by a belief in the capabilities of young people to understand and perform Shakespeare’s works without linguistic alterations, Ashleigh helped to officially launch the Moppets in 2013 as an educational outreach program with the Montford Park Players. She ushered the troupe into a new era in 2020, playing a pivotal role in establishing the organization in its current form as a non-profit youth theater company.

“The Moppets exist as a thriving youth theatre company because of Ashleigh’s creativity and dedication,” said Executive Director Rachel Cort. “She never doubted that our students would meet the high bar she set for them, and that assumption remains at the foundation of all of our programs. We will miss Ashleigh, and we send our love and gratitude with her on her exciting new journey.”

Even though Ashleigh will no longer be a part of our day-to-day Moppetry, we haven’t seen the last of her! She’ll be guiding the madness in our Moppets Mayhem fundraiser this summer — stay tuned for more information!

Call for directors

Want to get involved? We're looking for directors for our 2024 season!

The Moppets are looking for creative, dedicated directors who share our enthusiasm for nurturing young talent and bringing classical productions to life in our 2024 season!

We have been making youth theater for more than 10 years, and we are committed to continuing to provide a platform for young theater enthusiasts to learn and grow as performers and humans. Our productions are a testament to the creativity and work ethic of our students, and we take great pride in delivering quality productions to the Asheville community.

The Moppets understand the importance of a great director and mentor, and we believe in paying artists a living wage. Compensation for our directors ranges from $200 for a One Act to $1,250 for a summer production.

If you’re interested in working with the Moppets in 2024, please fill out our interest form to help us get to know you better. Once you’ve completed the form, our staff will review your submission and get in touch to discuss potential opportunities. We’re eager to connect with talented directors who can inspire our students and bring a fresh perspective to our upcoming season.

“Romeo & Juliet: In Memoriam” cast announcement

Actors in "Romeo & Juliet: In Memoriam" pose against a black background

Meet the cast of "Romeo & Juliet: In Memoriam"


Front row, l-r: Henry Worley, Aidan Short, Maeve Cort, Charlie Mae and Niya Hromada.
Back row, l-r: Lucia Hess, Milo Norby, Alex McKay, Phineas Price, and Graham Esmon

The Moppets are thrilled to announce the cast of the upcoming world premiere of “Romeo & Juliet: In Memoriam”! 

  • Henry Worley as Tybalt
  • Maeve Cort at Mercutio
  • Aidan Short as Benvolio
  • Niya Hromada as Nurse
  • Alex McKay as Montague
  • Charlie Mae as Capulet
  • Graham Esmon as Friar Laurence
  • Milo Norby, Phin Price and Lucia Hess as Chorus

Adapted by Elias Hamilton and Ronnie Z. Nielsen, “Romeo & Juliet: In Memoriam” brings a fresh perspective to Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, transporting audiences to the solemn and emotional setting of the star-crossed lovers’ funeral.

See Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy in a fresh light as the Moppets explore themes of love, loss and reconciliation in a new way.

“Romeo and Juliet: In Memoriam” opens Friday, October 13, at Attic Salt Theater.

ROMEO & JULIET: IN MEMORIAM

7pm Friday, October 13

11am and 7pm Saturday, October 14

7pm Friday, October 20

11am and 7pm Saturday, October 21

Help the Moppets plan the 2024 season

Help us plan our 2024 season!

The Moppets staff is working to plan the 2024 season, and we’d like your input!

Our good pal Skyler Goff tells us he’d like to adapt a new show for next season, but he’s having trouble deciding exactly which story he’d like to tell. (Classic Skyler conundrum.) He gave us a list of approximately 11,726 ideas, and we’ve narrowed it down to five.

Use the form below to tell us what you’d like to see next summer! We’ll tally the votes on Monday, August 21, and let Skyler know what to start writing.

(Click here if the form isn’t showing up.)

Reserve your seats for our 2023 One Act Festival

One Act tickets are now available!

The Moppets present six student written and directed short plays June 2 & 3 at Attic Salt Theater. Admission to Moppets productions is free, but a suggested donation of $10 per ticket helps us continue to provide equitable access to programming for young actors and theater techs in Asheville and beyond. 

Performances

  • 7pm Friday, June 2, at Attic Salt Theater
  • 7pm Saturday, June 3, at Attic salt Theater

The Shows

  • Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘2BR02B,’ ” adapted by Graham Esmon. Everything was perfectly swell. Or was it?
  • The After School Superhero,” by Isabella LaRose. A small town where nothing happened and a hero no one asked for.
  • A Holiday Song,” by Hunter Miyan. A grumpy businessman is warned to change his ways. Sound familiar? Prepare to be surprised. 
  • Mary, Mary,” by Selah Atwood. A bloody history explored through the lens of a nursery rhyme.
  • Salome,” by Urzüly C. Pineda. A humorously re-told act in one tragedy.
  • Swords, Lights and Nuts,” by Kayla Cody. This is not your typical Nutcracker story.

The Moppets are producing six student-written One Act plays!

The Moppets are producing six student-written One Act plays!

We put out the call for One Act submissions from young playwrights, and oh my did you deliver! Our judging panel had a lot of great entries to read, and they had a rather difficult time narrowing it down. It was a really hard decision!
 
We are thrilled to announce that the Moppets have the privilege of bringing the following six shows to life:
 
  • Kurt Vonnegut’s 2 B R 0 2 B,” adapted by Graham Esmon.
  • The After School Superhero,” by Isabella LaRose
  • A Holiday Song,” an adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” by Hunter Miyan.
  • Mary, Mary,” by Selah Atwood
  • Salome: A Humorously Re-told Act in One Tragedy,” by Urzuly C. Pineada
  • Swords, Lights and Nuts,” an atypical Nutcracker tale by Kayla Cody.

Auditions for our One Act plays are March 18 — sign up today!

Summer theater program for tweens and teens in Asheville NC

Fill your calendar with moppets fun

Sign up for our spring and summer theater programs today!

We’re so excited about this year’s shows that we just couldn’t wait to open registration! 

Starting today, you can sign up for:

We can’t wait to build these amazing productions with you!

An open call for submissions from young playwrights

The Montford Moppets Youth Shakespeare Company is seeking submissions for our inaugural One Act Festival!
A selection of 3 to 5 finalists will be chosen for production by our judging panel and Artistic Director Ashleigh Goff. Productions will be student-directed, under the supervision of Moppets staff.

GUIDELINES

We are seeking works by playwrights between the ages of 10 and 18.

One Acts must be original works or adaptations of works in the public domain.

All submissions must be written in English.

Running time should be no more than 20 minutes (roughly 20 pages)

Works should require a cast of 7 or fewer actors with minimal staging.

Submissions must be PG-13 or milder.

Contact information should be on the cover page of the script. The author’s name should not appear anywhere else on the script.

IMPORTANT DATES

Submission deadline: February 14
Decision notification: February 21
Rehearsals: March 20 – May 11
Performances: May 12-13

Asheville Area Arts Council funding helps support Moppets after-school program

Asheville Area Arts Council logoWe are delighted to announce that Moppets has been awarded a $1,500 Arts Build Community Grant from the Asheville Area Arts Council in support of our new after-school programming at the Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center!

Taught by Artistic Director Ashleigh Goff and veteran Moppet Eli Hamilton, the class is our first-ever partnership with the City of Asheville. Students in the after-school program are learning basic theater skills and building their self-confidence in a fun and welcoming environment. The program will culminate in a showcase performance for the students’ peers and families.

“One of our overarching goals is to introduce more kids to classical theater, wherever they are,” Moppets Executive Director Rachel Cort said. “This funding helps us to take a big step toward that goal. We are incredibly grateful to the Asheville Area Arts Council for supporting the Moppets and aspiring young actors in our community.”

A new season and a new playwright

Our artistic director has never shied away from challenging our Moppets to try new things, and our Moppets have never blinked an eye at what she’s thrown their way (time-traveling Scrooges, 10-minute “Richard III”s and flip-flops included). So we were not at all surprised when Ashleigh came to our season planning meeting armed with a heavily-highlighted copy of Molière’s “Tartuffe.”

OK, maybe we were a little bit surprised.

Once we got past our initial shock, though (a non-Shakespeare title? How now, Ashleigh!) we realized that this 17th Century French satire would be perfect for our first show of the 2022 season. “Tartuffe” has everything the Moppets love: a little romance, a little laughter, and a good bit of back-stabbing.

Not actual stabbing, though, to our Moppets’ dismay. It’s a youth theater company. The kids love a good stabbing.

(spoiler alert) 

But they’ll just have to wait for “Julius Caesar” for that.

Adding an extra layer of excitement for “Tartuffe” is our costuming class. Moppets enrolled in Costumes for the Stage will learn how to design and craft costumes, and their work will be featured in our production of “Tartuffe” in April!

Registration for our costuming class and for “Tartuffe” ends on Friday, February 18, so be sure to sign up today! You’ll be a part of Moppets history, and you’ll have a great time doing it!

Registration is now open for The Montford Moppets' Asheville youth theater production of "Tartuffe."
Registration is now open for our production of “Tartuffe“!