101 Stories: Jamey Strawn

By The Children's Theatre

Celebrate TCT’s 101st season as it comes to a close as we applaud and appreciate those who contributed to the organization’s magic throughout our century-long journey.  During 10 weeks of recognition, we honor individuals who have been instrumental in the success of TCT, and who have not only helped TCT grow in mission, but also thrive, thanks to their passion.  It is these people and their moments in our history that shaped TCT to become what it is today. We encourage you to consider giving a gift in their honor to ensure the sustainability of TCT’s mission for the next 100+ years. 

On the piano during TCT’s A Charlie Brown Christmas

Jamey is currently a Professor at Northern Kentucky University and the coordinator of the B.F.A. musical theatre program in the School of the Arts. He has composed music for several works at The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, including  Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Dancing Dwarfs, and  The Day Before Christmas alongside fellow collaborators, Christine and Ken Jones.  He is the composer of  A. Lincoln – A Pioneer Tale,  Church Girls, and  Burgertown, as well.  Jamey has also music directed and played piano with live bands during the TCT productions of A Charlie Brown Christmas and Sleeping Beauty

When he is not writing, Jamey is directing, musical directing, performing, and teaching.  He has performed regionally with the Broadway Tour Productions of  Jersey Boys, Wicked,  Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,  Evita,  Flashdance,  Legally Blonde,  Monty Python’s  Spamalot,  A Chorus Line, The Sound of Music, and  West Side Story  in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Louisville, Lexington, Columbus, and Indianapolis. Recent directing credits include  Freaky Friday,  Big Fish,  Songs for a New World,  Tick  Tick  Boom!,  Thoroughly Modern Millie,  Into the Woods,  She Kills Monsters  and  Legally Blonde  at Northern Kentucky University, and  Route 66,  I Love A Piano, and  Forever Plaid  with the Commonwealth Theatre Company.   

He has been the Musical Director for many successful productions, including  Cabaret,  Burgertown, Rock of Ages, Spelling BeeLes Misérables, Sweeney Todd, Monty Python’s  Spamalot, Pippin,  A Chorus Line,  Bye  Bye  Birdie, Titanic: The Musical,  Urinetown  and  Jesus Christ Superstar. 

Mr. Strawn says: “Children’s Theatre is the future. It really is the future of theater. On one level you’re training young people to be professionals. On another, it is one of those entities that creates incredible humans. It is an avenue for young people to explore, discover, and spark creativity. Even if they’re not going to be a performer. It still ignites that creative spirit and provides creative ideas to lead them into their future of who they will become as people and how they work and communicate in society.” 

He continues: “Over the years, there have been so many highlights working with TCT! I’m proud of how Sleeping Beauty culminated. It had a wonderfully empowering message and I loved composing the music to fit that message. I felt honored to be a part of creating work that was so important and help the potential to be so transformational, and TCT is truly a transformational place.”

“I think that the biggest change I’ve seen is TCT is now a national entity. It’s always been great, but now the recognition you get nationally and internationally is incredible and long overdue. There’s always been greatness both in the production teams and with the cast. That hasn’t changed. You take risks on people and projects and that’s just one reason TCT has taken the national stage— your innovation. TCT has always been innovative, but it’s really become a company that is forward-thinking, inclusive, and has become known for out-of-the-box thinking. Shows like Casper and Superman — Sleeping Beauty!  You mold new works and adapt existing material by taking it in a new direction. I think that’s really special and I love, love, love that forward-thinking.” 

“TCT is one of the only avenues left to pure creative and imaginative thinking. If we don’t dream and we don’t create and imagine, as a society we going to become very shortsighted. Theatre is the perfect place to explore new ideas, creative thinking, and show potential to future generations. And I really think TCT is a shining example of just that.” 

Would you honor Jamey Strawn with a gift to recognize the impact made on TCT?

On piano with Sleeping Beauty band members

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