Behind the Curtain

Official Blog of International City Theatre

Meet the Cast – Loving Repeating’s Jay Donnell

January 7th, 2011

Jay Donnell is a talented actor who can be seen in our upcoming West Coast premiere musical, Loving Repeating … A Musical of Gertrude Stein, as Man 2. While very busy preparing for the show, Jay took some time out of his schedule to answer some questions for ICT audiences.

What is your educational/training background?

I majored in Music Theatre Performance @ Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

How long have you been an actor?

I have been performing for approximately 13 years.

Favorite roles and/or productions you have been a part of?

I have loved everything I have been a part of, but some of favorites are the National Tour of Miss Saigon, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Side Show, the Hollywood Bowl’s “South Pacific with Reba McEntire and Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

Favorite plays or musicals (preferably ones you have not been in)?

Another difficult question because there are so many incredible ones that I would like to be a part of, but my favorites are Ragtime, A New Brain, In The Heights.

Favorite playwrights/composers/lyricists?

Some of my absolute favorites are Stephen Sondheim, William Finn, Jason Robert Brown, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. I am very excited to be doing a Flaherty and Ahrens show, especially a new one such as Loving Repeating.

Favorite part of being a Los Angeles stage actor?

The best part about being an actor in LA is the close-knit community, and being able to go home each night!

Why do you love theatre?

I love theatre because you have the ability to take audience members on a journey emotional, and allow them to escape from their day-to-day world for a few hours each night.

What is the strangest or funniest thing that has happened to you while on stage performing or in an audition?

I was a replacement in the national tour of Miss Saigon, and had learned the entire show in just 5 days. First night on, I was preparing for the big number, “American Dream.”  As I made my entrance, I wasn’t aware that the fog machine produced condensation on the stage, and I slipped and fell, was lost in the fog, but quickly got up, and tried not to laugh through the entire number. The other actors weren’t so successful at not laughing at “the new guy!”

What would you like to change about theater today?

I would just like theatre to continue to become more mainstream, and reach even bigger masses. Also, I’d make live theatre more accessible to people who can’t afford to see live theatre.

How are you preparing for your role in Loving Repeating?

Loving Repeating preparation is just that, REPETITIVE! The lyrics are very wordy due to Gertrude Stein’s writing, and many times the lyrics will change by adding just one word or removing a word. That makes it very difficult at times! I think I have it down though. I mean, I better.

What do you love most about Loving Repeating?

I love this cast and the creative team.  No one has ever worked on this show before because it is rarely done. Heather, Darryl, and caryn have really made it a comfortable environment to explore new things, and “play.”  It is a great collaboration on all ends.

Upcoming projects?

Nothing in the works yet, but continuing to audition and “pound the pavement.”  I am always on the hunt for the next gig! Ah, the actors life!!  I did, however, shoot a  feature last year called Joshua Tree 1951: A Portrait of James Dean, that will release later this year to film festivals!

See Jay and the rest of the cast of Loving Repeating when it opens January 18. The show will run until February 13. To get your tickets, call the ICT box office at 562.436.4610 or visit

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