Jay Berkow's Bio : The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

Jay Berkow

Jay Berkow 2013


Jay Berkow has served as a Professor of Theatre and Director of Music Theatre Performance at Western Michigan University since 2004. A frequent director for the Civic, Jay's productions include Side Show, Evita, Into the Woods, The Who's Tommy, How to Succeed in Business, A New Brain, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Jeckyll and Hyde. Recent productions he has directed at WMU include Showboat, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Drood, The Man of LaMancha, Hair, Ragtime, 9 to 5, Hairspray, and Caroline or Change. A much sought after professional director and playwright, he is the co-author and director/choreographer of the Off-Broadway hit Jolson & Co. which ran for two seasons in NY, has been seen in regional theatres across the U.S. including the highly praised production at the Theatre at the Center, as well as a United Kingdom national tour. His biographical musical based on the life of Gene Kelly, What a Glorious Feeling, premiered at the Mason Street Warehouse Theatre and has been produced at the Theatre at the Center (Chicago), Adirondack Theatre Festival, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, the Depot Theatre, the Bristol Riverside Theatre and enjoyed a commercial production in Cape Town, South Africa. In collaboration with composer David Ogrin, Jay is developing a new musical based on the life of Mata Hari. The show has received a Broadway workshop produced by Howard Kagan (On The Town, Porgy and Bess, Pippin). Jay's comedy The Cure for Love was featured at the Barter Theatre as part of their 75th Anniversary season, as well as in the WMU 2012 season. Jay has worked with Terrence McNally, John Kander and Fred Ebb as the director of the Off-Broadway revival of The Rink, and directed the Off-Broadway productions of Red Hot Mama and The Lady in Penthouse B. Jay's regional credits include Florida Studio Theatre, Indiana Repertory, Theatre South Carolina, Playhouse on the Square, Adirondack Theatre Festival, Depot Theatre, Gateway Playhouse, Virginia Repertory, Connecticut Repertory, Coconut Grove Playhouse, American Stage, Florida Repertory Theatre, Theatre Works, the Burt Reynolds Theatre, Riverside Theatre, Circa '21 Playhouse, and many others. For ten years Jay served as Producing Artistic Director for the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre in Iowa. He is represented by Bret Adams, Ltd.