Jay has made his career as an actor, singer, dancer, director, choreographer and educator. He has performed on Broadway (Les Miserables), international and national tours (Les Miserables, Evita European Company as featured dancer, Singing in the Rain as Don, Anything Goes as Billy), regional stages, television and spent 3 years as the Genie in Disneyland’s stage musical Aladdin.  While at Disney, he served as a clinician teaching workshops in music history, music theory and improvisation.  He has also performed as a principal with the acclaimed Kansas City Lyric Opera in their production of Turandot.  In 2013, the MUNY Theatre of St. Louis hired Jay as dance captain to aid in staging their production of Les Miserables and perform in Shrek the Musical working with Broadway stars John Tartaglia, Julia Murney, Norm Lewis, Hugh Panaro and the producer Mike Isaacson, 2015 Tony Award Winner for the musical FunHome.  He has served as director/choreographer for the world premiere of Madagascar: A Musical Adventure and A Year with Frog and Toad at the Coterie Theatre named one of the countries top five children’s theaters by Time magazine, the regional premiere of Everyday Rapture working with original star Sherie Renee Scott and librettist Dick Scanlan, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Les Miserables for the Merry Go Round Theater in New York, Aladdin and Peter Cottontail III for Kansas City Starlight Theatre at the Kauffman Performing Art Center and received two Ovation Nominations in Vancouver, BC for his production of The Marvelous Wonderettes.  Jay performed as the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz for Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, as Gomez in The Addams Family for The New Theatre and as John Wilkes Booth in Assassins for Spinning Tree Theatre.  Most recently, Jerry Jay was selected Best Director of a Professional Musical by Broadway World Kansas City for his production of Newsies and he directed and choreographed Starlight Theatre’s production of Hairspray selected as Kansas City’s Best Professional Musical Production.  He was also selected by the Omaha Arts and Entertainment Council as Best Director of a Musical for his production of Newsies which also won Best Musical.  Jay is currently an Associate Professor at Kansas State University. Jay has been a proud member of Actors Equity for nearly 30 years but none of the above credits compare to the joy of being a husband and father to two beautiful daughters.

SHOW NOTES

KEY QUOTES

  • “I spent about 16 years living in hotel rooms.”
  • “My life, my career, my focus was on me and doing my work in theatre and traveling. Then there came a point where I was tired of that.” 
  • “Sometimes those hard decisions lead you to something great–and that for us was having our two children.”
  • “It helps to know every aspect [of theatre]–it just makes you a stronger collaborator, because it helps you understand everyone’s point of view.”
  • “Before I started teaching, I hadn’t done anything else but perform, choreograph, and direct.” 
  • “I always managed to find survival jobs that were tied to theatre–teaching with summer camps, working with high schools teaching choreography or directing.” 
  • “Be kind and do good work.”
  • “Risk is part of the gig.”

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