Levi Bradford is on summer break from his studies as a theatre major at ETSU.
But for him, a break from school has not meant a break from the theater. In fact, since he left campus on May 4, Bradford has been in a theater every single day, with the exception of two days off (and one of those was spent in the Bud Frank Theatre for this interview).
Bradford is spending the summer as technical director at Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville, North Carolina, which is also his hometown. A typical day starts at 9 a.m. where he performs duties like hanging and adjusting lights and working on sound cues. He finishes at 5 p.m., heads home for dinner, and is back at 6:30 p.m. for rehearsals, which usually wrap up around 9:30 p.m.
“And I repeat all that the next day,” Bradford said. The weekend schedule often involves matinees and evening performances.
Parkway Playhouse is a familiar stage for Bradford, who began volunteering there in 2013 before his sophomore year in high school. “My cousin was in a show there and I was really interested in getting involved,” he said. “I contacted a staff member and was selected for an apprenticeship, which I did for three years, doing everything from being on the crew, running the boards and hanging lights.” Last year, he worked as a college intern and was given additional responsibilities.
Already this year, Bradford has been the technical guru for several well-known shows, including “Bonnie and Clyde,” “The 39 Steps” and “Peter Pan, Jr.” He will also appear on stage as Cowboy Bob in the hit musical “Footloose,” which opens in August.
In addition to actor and technical guru, Bradford has also added the title of director to his resume. Earlier this summer, he directed “A Year with Frog,” which is part of Parkway’s “Reading is Alive” program. The show is currently touring at libraries and parks across the Western North Carolina region.
During his first year at ETSU as a Fine and Performing Arts Scholar, Bradford was part of the “Othello” cast where he appeared as Cassio, the title character’s loyal lieutenant. “That show was so much fun and I learned a great deal about stage combat.”
Bradford says he is looking forward to returning to campus this fall and is especially
excited about the Department of Theatre and Dance’s upcoming 2017-18 season.