Versatile performer: Geist area resident Wolf returns to acting roots in a major way

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Ashton Wolf has nabbed a role in the most high-profile movie of his career.

Only trouble is, Wolf can’t say too much about it until more information about the film becomes public.

The Geist-area actor has a speaking role in “The Wise Guys,” which stars Robert De Niro playing the two roles of real-life Mafia bosses Frank Costello and Vito Genovese. Debra Messing, who played Grace in “Will and Grace,” also is in the film, directed by Barry Levinson.

Wolf, who can’t reveal his character’s name, went to Cincinnati to film his role. Cincinnati was transformed into New York in the 1950s.

“One of the cool things is the fact I can audition from home and send these auditions to New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, and I’m getting cast,” said Wolf, who received the audition through Helen Wells Agency Indy.

Wolf graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.

“I then taught myself to play piano, and for the last 15-plus years I’ve been making my living,” he said. “In 2020, it’s really kind of amazing to be circling back to acting. My focus is booking in more feature films (lower budget films) and major motion pictures. I just auditioned for two feature films.”

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Wolf on site with filming his TV show. (Photo courtesy of Ashton Wolf)

In 2020, he launched his own television show, “Indy — On the Town!” on WHMB-TV40. It ran for six episodes.

“I’d love to bring it back but it’s a complicated effort getting the show on TV,” he said.

In 2021, he played the role of a hot-shot Beverly Hills attorney in “Mayberry Man.” The executive producer was Andy Griffith’s daughter, Dixie Griffith.

“That was the first feature film I had done in quite a while,” he said. “I did one feature film (‘Dead Silence’) in Hollywood (in 1991), but I pretty much threw myself into live performances after teaching myself how to play piano.”

Last year, Wolf played the role of Dr. Lantman in “Puppet Man: Doktor Death,” which is part of “Puppet Man” movie series. He spent eight days filming in Cleveland.

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Ashton Wolf owns the Dueling Piano Co.

Wolf performs in dinner theaters across the U.S. He owns the Dueling Piano Co., which works with a few partners in different areas.

In 2020, Wolf was commissioned by Brown County Playhouse’s Lisa Hall to write a musical called “2020 — The Musical,” and it debuted in November 2021. He recently reached a new publishing deal with Glory Girl Productions. Hall is the president of Glory Girl Productions.

Wolf also recently signed a publishing deal with Summer Wind Productions called “Ten Pin Alli.” His wife, Sandy Thorne, works in the health care industry and previously performed.

“I wrote ‘Ten Pin Alli’ for her,” Wolf said of his wife. “It’s a takeoff on the phrase ‘Tin Pan Alley.’ It’s about a girl who is an amazing bowler. It’s been performed three times.”

For more, visit ashtonwolf.com and awdueling.com.

Processing the pandemic

Ashton Wolf connected with Lisa Hall through Amy Pauszek, who creates the “Where’s Amy?” photo column in Current newspapers. Pauszek was an executive producer on “The Addict’s Wake,” a documentary about the opioid epidemic in Brown County.

Hall, a former Fishers resident who now lives in Brown County, is a producer and executive producer of the documentary. Hall is on the board of directors for Brown County Playhouse. Wolf did a segment on filming “The Addict’s Wake” for his TV show in 2020.

“I half-jokingly said, ‘Well, if you need any musicals, let me know,’” Wolf said. “Three days later, she wrote that she would like to take a look at what I’ve got. She said these look terrific but, ‘I have a better idea. How about we commission you to write a musical just for us?’ I wrote the musical ‘2020’ about the emotional fallout people were feeling during the course of the pandemic.”

Hall was thrilled by “2020 — The Musical,” about life during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, showing at Brown County Playhouse.

“I think Ashton is a musical genius, I really do,” Hall said. “It’s an incredible body of work. There’s like 21 different songs with all types of musical genres. We launched it during the Delta variant (of COVID-19), which hurt us a little bit with attendance. We had more than 100 people for each of the six performances. It ended with a standing ovation every night. I knew people were going to need to process the pandemic and, where do we need to be better as communities. I knew there were all kinds of changes going on with people, because they were going on with me. I knew I wasn’t alone. Music and theater have always been tools to process current social culture.”

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