(Cofounder & Creative Director)
Dylan Tashjian is a producer and actor based in New York City. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from New York University with a BFA in Drama from Tisch Schools of the Arts as well as a minor in Business, Entertainment, Media, and Technology from Stern School of Business. In 2018, Dylan produced multiple original projects on New York stages including Anecdoche, a theatrical circus at The Box, The Last Tape at 13th Street Repertory Theater, and Waiting for Dave Franco: The Urban Outfitters Musical at the Hudson Guild Theater. In addition to his producing work, he has worked as an administrative assistant for Clubbed Thumb Theater Company and Long Island City Artists. In January 2018, Dylan traveled to Accra, Ghana to study wealth disparity in a global context in an effort to develop strategies to make art more readily available in under-served American communities.
Dylan is a 2015 graduate of Hickory High School where he received his IB diploma and was involved in various projects around Catawba County, including achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. During his time in Hickory, he served as president of the choir, captain of the show choir, and varsity statistician for the men’s and women’s state championship basketball teams. He also played an instrumental role in bringing back drama to Hickory High by choreographing and participating in the school’s musicals. Dylan is a 2018 Innovative Artists Grant Recipient from the United Arts Council of Catawba County.
(Cofounder, Interim Director of development)
Jordan Makant is a North Carolina-based writer and activist. He has lived in various places in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin, but he claims Hickory as his home. He graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne University in December 2017 (Magna Cum Laude) with a BA in History; during his time there, he was Vice-President of Playmakers, President of the Lineberger Fellows program, a retreat leader for the Broyhill Institute for Leadership, an Honor's Mentor for the Honors Academy, and a member of Mortar Board, Arktos Chapter.
Jordan works as a community organizer and facilitator, freelance writer, brand developer, web designer and manager, stage technician and production assistant, occasional actor, and as a general jack-of-all-trades. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Wizards in Space Literary Magazine, Rat's Ass Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Kakalak 2017, Poetry in Plain Sight, and others. His first chapbook of poetry, Impossible Angles, was published in September 2017. His acting credits include but are not limited to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Adam Long), The Good Doctor (Ivan & Young Anton), Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Elvis), The Princess Bride (Wesley), and The Hobbit (Bilbo Baggins), as well as the first-ever stage-adaptation of Cynthia Lord's children's novel, Rules. Jordan has provided technical assistance, direction, and management for hundreds of clients and events in venues that seat up to 1,400 people.
(Director of Advertisement & Marketing)
Destre is a Hickory born-and-raised writer and actress. Graduating from Hickory High School’s IB program in 2018, she is now pursuing a BFA in Acting for Film, Television, Voiceover, and Commercials with a minor in Writing at Pace University in New York City. Her involvement in theatre spans more than 10 years including New York original cast readings and workshops in addition to her regional and local theatre credits. Some of her favorites are Hairspray (Tracy), Into the Woods (Witch), and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Logainne), as well as her directing and writing credits: Little Shop of Horrors (Director), Twelve Teen Jurors (Adaptation co-writer), and her current show: Untitled (Writer, Director). She is ecstatic to be working with the Hickory Playground, as the arts in her home town have shaped her as an artist and person.
Hickory Playground's Board of Directors
Ed Tashjian - President
Cynthia Honeycutt - Vice President
Steve Copulsky - Treasurer
Bess Fuller - Secretary
Charlotte Williams - Member At Large
Robert Fuller - Member At Large