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!  
 

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.”

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.”

The Moppets bring “Tartuffe” to Asheville

Bonjour, les amis des Moppets!

Our artistic director has never shied away from challenging our Moppets to bring a little something new to the Asheville theater scene, 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.

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

Who? What? Wherefore?

You may be wondering why The Montford Moppets Youth Shakespeare Company is kicking off the 2022 season with Molière, who is certainly an excellent and well-respected playwright but is not our namesake.*** We wondered the same thing, so we asked our artistic director.

“I feel like our troupe is ready to tackle classics beyond Shakespeare, and ‘Tartuffe’ is a great classic farce,” Ashleigh said. “It’s a great opportunity to work on comedic timing in a genuine ensemble show.”

Considered one of the greatest French writers ever, Molière wrote comedies and satire in the mid-1600s, sometimes under the patronage of Louis XIV. His play “Tartuffe, or the Imposter, or the Hypocrite” is the story of a sanctimonious scoundrel’s machinations in the household of a wealthy Parisian and how the con man is eventually unmasked. It’s a comedy about religious hypocrisy, gullibility and obsession — all themes that are still relevant today!

Fun fact: “Tartuffe” was banned in its first two iterations at the behest of the Catholic Church and was only allowed to be published after Molière changed the ending to flatter the king! (That’s why it has so many names!)

“Tartuffe” is witty, biting and pretty racy. So racy, in fact, that we’ve edited it a bit for content. This is a youth theater, after all.

A Moppets Moment to celebrate

congratulations, helena!

While most of our Moppets live in Western North Carolina, some of them have a longer commute. Helena first joined us for our digital production of “Romeo & Juliet,” and last summer she traveled all the way from Maryland to be in “The Merry Wives of Windsor”! Since then, she’s been hard at work preparing her application for her local arts high school. And she just let us know that she was accepted!

We’re so proud of you, Helena!


Is your Moppet out there achieving great things? We’d love to spread the news! Let us know at TheMontfordMoppets@gmail.com.

Meet Eli, our Moppet of the Month!

High school junior Elias Atwood is our longest-tenured Moppet and our current Moppets intern. Eli first appeared on the Moppets stage as Peter in “Romeo & Juliet.” Last season, Eli was our malformed malevolent titular supervillain in “Richard III” and half of Scrooge in “The Moppets Present: A slightly chaotic Christmas Carol.”


(Yes, we said “half.” You had to be there.)

Eli’s most recent off-Moppets projects include a starring role in director Missy Bell’s film “The Library at the End of the Universe” and working on the tech crew on “Algorithms and Blues” at The Magnetic Theater.

 

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“!

The Moppets have big plans for 2022!

We’re excited to stage our first non-Shakespeare classic theater title when we perform Moliere’s “Tartuffe” this spring, and we’ll be welcoming some familiar faces to “Julius Caesar” in the fall in our inaugural Moppets Alumni show! Our 2022 season will also include Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”and “Henry V” and, of course, our annual forays into classic horror with our digital short film anthology and sort-of traditional holiday cheer when “The Moppets Present: A Christmas Carol.”

The Moppets are also expanding our educational offerings in 2022 with our classroom series. Our students will get hands-on experience in costume design and construction, learn how to create dazzling stage make-up, and level up their on-stage presence with our guest instructors.

We can’t wait to get started. We’ll see you at the theater!

Help wanted!

Are you passionate about the arts?

Do you want to help introduce young adults to classic theater?

Or maybe you’re just looking for something to do on the occasional Saturday afternoon?

Regardless of what brings you to us, we’d love to talk to you about serving on the Moppets board! Please contact us if you’d like to learn more.