(Cofounder & Creative Director)
Dylan Tashjian is a producer and actor based in North Carolina and New York. 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 large-scale, 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. This January, 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, technical & co-marketing Director)
Jordan Makant is a North Carolina-based poet, writer, and entrepreneur. He has lived in various places in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Ohio, but he claims Hickory as his home. He graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne University in December 2017 (Magna Cum Laude) with a BA in History and a minor in Creative Writing. During his time at LRU, 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 Honor's Academy, and a member of Mortar Board, Arktos Chapter.
Jordan works as a poet, freelance copywriter/copyeditor, web designer and manager, stage technician and production assistant, actor, and as a general jack-of-all-trades. His poetry has appeared in Rat's Ass Review, The Ekphrastic Review, The Main Street Rag, Kakalak 2017, Poetry in Plain Sight, and Miscellany (forthcoming), and his first chapbook, 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.
(cofounder, development & co-marketing director)
Robert Fuller is a North Carolina-based production assistant and filmmaker working for Plan A Films, an independent production company in Asheville. He was born and raised in Hickory and is an Eagle Scout as well as an alumnus of Hickory Public Schools. After graduating from Asheville School in 2015, he spent a year at Boston University's College of Arts and Sciences, studying film and television, before leaving to focus on developing his craft. At Plan A, Robert provides assistance with research, pre-production, equipment management, gaffing, shooting, grip work, clerical work, and making certain that clients' needs are met.
When not traveling across the country for work, Robert splits his time between Hickory and Asheville. He has a background in theatre, and his acting credits include but are not limited to Fiddler on the Roof (Tevye), Twelfth Night (Orsino, Duke of Illyria), Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Pablo Picasso), The Princess Bride (Inigo Montoya), and The Hobbit (Gollum). His short films, including Acceptance, can be found here.
Megan Clark (Stage manager)
Megan Clark has been involved in theatre for most of her life and enjoys all aspects of it. Her on-stage credits include but are not limited to Bang Bang You're Dead (Emily) and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Lucy). She has been stage managing for several years and has worked on numerous productions, including A Christmas Carol, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, and A Midsummer Nights Roller Disco with Foothills Performing Arts, and Once Upon a Mattress with the Lincoln Theatre Guild. Megan has also worked professionally at The CoMMA in Morganton, North Carolina, on various national tours, and as the Assistant Stage Manager for Liberty Mountain: The Revolutionary Drama in Kings Mountain, NC. Megan was the first stage manager hired by the Hickory Playground, beginning with the Second Annual festival.
Destre Tashjian (brand ambassador)
Destre is a Hickory born-and-raised writer and actress. Graduating from Hickory High School’s International Baccalaureate program in 2018, she is now pursuing a BFA in Acting for Film, Television, Voiceover, and Commercials with 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 team, 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