UW News

January 19, 2000

Jon Jory joins faculty at UW School of Drama

News and Information

Jon Jory, producing director at the acclaimed Actors Theatre of Louisville, has been appointed to the faculty of the nationally renowned University of Washington School of Drama, pending final approval by the Board of Regents on January 21. Mr. Jory will assume the position of professor, teaching acting and directing, in the fall of 2000.

“Jon Jory is an extraordinary addition to the highly respected faculty of the UW School of Drama,” said Sarah Nash Gates, executive director of the School. “After working with us as an invited guest artist, conversations began between Mr. Jory and the school, with an interest in establishing a full-time professional relationship.”

Richard McCormick, University of Washington president said, ” The University of Washington is thrilled to have Mr. Jory join our faculty. He will bring further distinction to an already prestigious school. His arrival is a testament to the stature of the UW School of Drama throughout the theatre and higher education communities in this nation.”

“I have looked for a place where I can work with the highest-caliber, like-minded people to pass on what I’ve learned to the next generation. I have found it here, at the University of Washington School of Drama,” said Mr. Jory, “In the years to come, I hope to help prepare a new generation of directors and actors with first-rate skills, a working knowledge of the profession, and a sense that the theatre expands the heart and mind of those who do and those who see.”

Mr. Jory is best known for Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New American Plays. He has been the producer and artistic director of the festival since he founded it in 1979. He has been responsible for the production of 267 new works, directing 31 world premieres in full production himself, including Getting Out by Marsha Norman, Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley, and Talking With and Keely and Du by Jane Martin.
Mr. Jory’s book, Tips: Ideas for Actors, published by Smith & Kraus, is to be released in March 2000. His second, Tips: Ideas for Directors, is expected to be published in April 2001.

Mr. Jory, his wife, Marsha Dixey Jory, a noted costume designer and dramaturg, and their daughter Miranda, will reside in Ravenna. Their older daughter, Jessica, is a junior at the University of Washington, where she studies theatre. His son, Victor, is a film student at New York UniversityJon Jory has been producing director at Actors Theatre since 1969, during which time he has directed more than 90 plays and produced more than 1,000. He was the founding artistic director of the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut. His most recent directing credits include Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls from the 23rd Humana Festival, Hamlet, Heartbreak House, Peter Pan, Othello and Hair. Mr. Jory has devoted his energy to the rebirth of the regional repertory and excellence in all facets of production, but especially to the encouragement of new writers and the production of new American plays. Mr. Jory has been responsible for developing the internationally lauded Humana Festival of New American Plays, the SHORTS Festival and the Brown-Forman Classics in Context Festival. Mr. Jory, through his work at Actors Theatre, has brought new plays to festivals all over the world including the Perth, Sydney and Adelaide Festivals; BITEF Festival in Belgrade, Yugoslavia; The Toronto Festival; the Dublin International Festival and the Hong Kong Festival. Plays from Actors Theatre directed by Mr. Jory have been seen on and Off-Broadway and on national television. Mr. Jory has directed productions at 15 regional theatres including Washington’s Arena Stage, San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre, Hartford Stage, the McCarter in Princeton and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Mr. Jory has received the National Theatre Conference Award and ATA Distinguished Career Award. For his commitment to new plays, he has received the Margo Jones Award twice, the Shubert Foundation’s James N. Vaughn Memorial Award for Exceptional Achievement and Contribution to the Development of Professional Theatre, Carnegie Mellon’s Commitment to Playwriting Award and, with Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Special Tony Award for Achievement in Regional Theatre.

The University of Washington School of Drama, established in 1941, is ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. The School’s Professional Actor Training Program (PATP) was one of the original 10 programs supported by the Rockefeller Foundation as the League of Professional Theatre Training Programs.

The UW School of Drama has played a seminal role in establishing Seattle’s vibrant professional theatre community. Founders and artistic directors of many of Seattle’s leading theatres were first students or faculty at the School. Gregory Falls, founder of the School’s Professional Actor Training Program (PATP), also founded A Contemporary Theatre. Duncan Ross, the first to head PATP, served as artistic director at Seattle Repertory Theatre for ten years. Former faculty member, Arne Zaslove led the Bathhouse Theatre. Alumni changed the face of Seattle theatre; M. Burke Walker founded The Empty Space Theatre; Linda Hartzell is the artistic director of Seattle Children’s Theatre; the late Ruben Sierra founded the Group Theatre. Alumnus Angus Bowmer founded the enormously successful Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Alumni of the School’s PATP include Patrick Duffy (Dallas, Step by Step), Jean Smart (Designing Women), Kyle McLachlan (Dune, Twin Peaks), Richard Karn (Home Improvement), Harry Groener (multiple Tony Nominee, Cats, Crazy for You), Hugh O’Gorman (Remember WENN), Pamela Reed (The Right Stuff, Kindergarten Cop), Gregg Henry (Star Trek Insurrection, Payback), John Aylward (ER and local stages), Lori Larsen (local stages) and Michael Christensen, (founder of The Big Apple Circus and the Clown Care Unit.)

Other alumni of the University of Washington School of Drama include Tim Bond, Associate Artistic Director, Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Michael Miller, Head of Design at Rutgers University; Bruce Halverson, Dean, Florida State University/Theatre School; Christine Sumption, Dramaturg, Seattle Repertory Theatre; C.B. Davis, teaching fellow at Stanford University; and Lue Douthit, literary manager, Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

For more information, contact:

Prior to March 1: Karen L. Bystrom, 206-321-0823, kbystrom@msn.com

After March 1: Kris Bain, 206-685-0600, krisb@u.washington.edu