The Hickory Playground was created by Dylan Tashjian, Robert Fuller, and Jordan Makant in 2016 to celebrate theatre and creativity in the Hickory, NC community.

We are a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 (pending) theater and production company that encourages the creation of new art by giving everyone the opportunity to witness it and participate. 

The first annual Hickory Playground took place over a 48-hour period from July 21-23, 2016. More than 250 people came to the SALT Block's Drendel Auditorium to watch eight original one-act plays performed for the very first time. By the end of the night, thanks to our awesome sponsors and audience, we had raised over $6,000, half of which we gave to Hickory High School's Art Department, and the other half to St. Stephen's High School's Art Department.

HHS 2016.jpg
SSHS 2016.jpg

The second annual Hickory Playground took place from July 20-22, 2017. The audience filled more than half of the Drendel Auditorium's seats and watched eight brand new one-act plays. The night of the performance alone (July 22), more than $2,000 was raised in the name of the arts. This enabled us to give $7,000 to arts in the local community, an important increase from our first year. $1,500 was given to the Arts Departments of Bandy's High School, Newton-Conover High School, Grandview Middle School, and Northview Middle School; gifts of $500 were given to the Arts Departments of Hickory High School and St. Stephen's High School. 

On February 15th and 16th, 2018, we had the distinct privilege of giving oversized checks to Bandy's, Newton-Conover, Grandview, and Northview. Each group was incredible, and we had the honor of answering wonderful questions from the students. 

The Hickory Playground's support is the reason we're able to do a musical this year! 
-- Alison Andrews, Drama Teacher at Bandy's High School
 Cofounder & Creative Director Dylan Tashjian poses with an awesome middle schooler!

Cofounder & Creative Director Dylan Tashjian poses with an awesome middle schooler!

The Hickory Playground is so incredibly pleased to say that in our first two years we have impacted countless lives by giving away $13,000 to arts departments in public schools, being directly responsible for the creation of 16 new, original ten-minute-long one-act plays, and exposing more than 500 people to the arts in Catawba County. 

When we look into the future, we see a world in which the Hickory Playground is able to continue to increase its financial support of the arts in the Hickory and North Carolina community. Whether it is theatre, music, visual arts, writing, or anything else, we love creativity and want to see more of it. We are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished, humbled by the support, and overwhelmed by the enthusiasm the community has shown us. 

 Cofounder & Technical Director Jordan Makant stays hydrated during the Second Annual Playground.

Cofounder & Technical Director Jordan Makant stays hydrated during the Second Annual Playground.

We look forward to continuing to build our story together. With your help, we know we can go far. If you are interested and able to contribute in any way to the cause, please feel free to contact us at any time.