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5th Avenue Theatre Announces New Associate Artistic Director - Artist Engagement


Jay Woods is a director, educator and performer transplanted in Seattle from New York.

The 5th Avenue Theatre has announced that Jay Woods will join its artistic leadership team as Associate Artistic Director - Artist Engagement.

A multifaceted theatre artist, Woods is known internationally for her work as a director, artistic facilitator, educator, and performer who most recently served as Co-Artistic Director for Seattle's Sound Theatre Company, an organization that has become an arts leadership incubator for the Seattle theatre ecosystem. Woods will begin as Associate Artistic Director - Artist Engagement in March of 2022 following her artistic debut at The 5th as director of this season's new production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

"Jay is an amazing artist who is passionate about creating theatre and telling stories that resonate with a contemporary audience," said Bill Berry, The 5th Avenue Theatre's Producing Artistic Director. "She is committed to creating and investing in a culture that centers all artists and everyone who plays a role in creating theatrical experiences. Jay has shown herself to be a leader and advocate in the Seattle theater community and The 5th is extremely blessed to have her join our artistic team."

"We at Sound Theatre Company are absolutely thrilled for Jay and everyone at The 5th and beyond who will benefit from her brilliance," added Teresa Thuman, founder and Co-Artistic Director of Sound Theatre Company. "Jay's immense contribution to Sound Theatre will be felt in many indelible ways, and we are proud to continue to identify and nurture the next generation of artistic leaders. We commend Bill and everyone at The 5th for embracing her unique talents and bold vision for an equitable, human-centered theatre community."

In 2020, Woods's leadership expanded beyond the essential work performed within arts organizations and looked externally: she is the founder of the Seattle Theatre Leadership Collective (STLC), a group that unites artistic leadership across the Pacific Northwest region in pursuit of a healthier arts ecosystem. Her work with SLTC has solidified her as an essential voice to the growth and reshaping of Seattle's theatre community at organizations of all sizes.

As The 5th Avenue Theatre's Associate Artistic Director - Artist Engagement, Woods will create meaningful artistic relationships with the musical theater artistic community through dialogue, programming, and policies, and work in collaboration with Orlando Morales, Associate Artistic Director - Community Engagement and Bill Berry, Producing Artistic Director, to develop long-term vision, goals, strategies, and policies for casting, creative team hiring, commissioning new musicals, and support season planning.

Jay Woods is a director, educator and performer transplanted in Seattle from New York. Newly appointed to Associate Artistic Director - Artist Engagement at The 5th Avenue Theatre, Woods recently finished serving in artistic leadership for Sound Theatre Company. She has worked across the U.S., and internationally for Seattle Rep, Seattle Public Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Earthseed, ArtsWest, Village Theatre, ACT Theatre, Scottish Youth Theatre, Youth Arts Scotland, Seattle University, Duke, Carnegie Mellon, and Yale, among others. As a response to the 2020 pandemic and racial uprising, Jay founded the Seattle Theatre Leadership Collective which unites artistic leadership across the region in pursuit of a healthier arts-ecosystem. Some directing credits include Disney's Beauty and the Beast (The 5th Avenue Theatre), the world premiere of Reparations by Darren Canady (Sound Theatre), Citizen: An American Lyric (Sound Theatre), the U.S. premiere of B (Washington Ensemble Theatre), and Skeleton Crew (ArtsWest). She holds an M.A. in Directing from Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland, a B.A. in Theatre from SUNY Brockport, and studied film in Thailand at Mahidol University. Currently in process: writing the stage and screen adaptations of Natasha Marin's Black Imagination.

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