Photo by Brenna Merritt
Hi, I'm Ashley Wool. Sometimes people think it's "Wolf," but I'm not a wolf--I'm the sheep's clothing. When I'm not making spectacular puns, baking too many cookies, petting my cats, writing pop/rock songs that I occasionally share, or being overwhelmed by social media, you may find me performing in musical theatre.
Most recently, I had the honor of originating the role of Jessica in the new musical, How to Dance in Ohio, which received its world premiere at Syracuse Stage in 2022. It was awesome getting to originate a canonically autistic character, especially after more than a decade of refusing to acknowledge my own autism diagnosis. It was thrilling to hear giddily enthusiastic responses from the press--but more tellingly, to hear from autistic audience members who felt represented, validated and respected in ways that, historically, we haven't been. (I might have written a few words on that subject before.) It was also profoundly empowering getting to work with an incredibly diverse team of world-class talent, all of whom were deeply invested in the work, and embraced the "hard conversations" with open hearts and a staunch commitment to equity, justice, and compassion.
But when I was one of the company members to contract coronavirus in an outbreak significant enough to cut our run short, and merit a Playbill article--that was when I knew I had truly Made It As An Actor.™
I'm kind of joking, but not really. Because so much of the beauty of live theatre is in its ephemeral nature, and the vulnerability that comes with it. It reminds us of how life itself is ephemeral, but our stories and art have the power to transcend that. if we're not in this business to cultivate work and inspire relationships that help others process and navigate the hardships and joys of their own lives--what's the point, ya know?
Now that I've gotten the pretentious existential pontificating out of the way--the Industry People™ say this is where I'm supposed to describe my brand. At an industry showcase I did a while back,
an anonymous agent wrote on my feedback sheet "can't tell if you're a man-eater or a comedienne." I think that pretty much nails it.