Wanless to join American Mountain Theater

The American Mountain Theater is excited to announce that Jesse Leigh Wanless will be joining their cast for the 2013 season.

Jesse is a 14-year professional entertainer, who was born right here in Elkins. She has been performing since she was just a babe, but began her professional career in Branson, Miss., performing alongside many icons in country and gospel music, including steel guitar legend Tom Brumley, country great Barbra Fairchild, and many more.

In addition to her phenomenal vocals, she has pursued dance and acting, as well as songwriting. She has also completed Glenville State’s Bluegrass Certificate Program. Her roots are deep in gospel music, and her influences span a wide range of musical styles.

“I’m thrilled to be back onstage, and most excited about performing again with my family,” said Wanless. She is the oldest child of Denny Franks and Susie Heckel. Both Denny and Susie are members of the AMT cast, along with Jesse’s brothers Joel and Jeremiah Franks.

AMT owner Kenny Sexton said, “Jesse brings something unique to audiences that is heartfelt and powerful. We are very excited to be adding her to our already outstanding cast.”

Wanless resides in Elkins with her husband Jeremy, and three sons, Willie, Jake and Levi.

Wanless can be seen on the AMT stage beginning in April. More details are available on the website,, or by calling the box office at 1-800-943-3670.