Season: 2013

Introducing Jay Shepherd

Posted on Oct 24th, 2013 in Education Matters

The Education Department has a new Outreach Programs Coordinator!


How long have you been at OSF? Where are you from?  Where did you go to school?

This is my third week at OSF and as an Ashlandian (is that what we call ourselves?). I’m originally from Orlando, Florida but moved to the Pacific Northwest about eight years ago. I graduated from Humboldt State with a degree in education and recently completed my Masters in Arts Management from the University of Oregon. Go Ducks!

What led you to teach and/or act?

As a kid, I was drawn to performance. Whether it was dancing, acting or playing music, I loved being on stage. Also my grandfather was a retired English professor. Teaching Shakespeare was his favorite part of the curriculum, and he instilled in me a love of and enthusiasm for the language from an early age. When I was 14 and an opportunity arose to audition for The Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s Young Company, a summer intensive for high school students, so I leapt at the chance. That summer I played Ophelia in Hamlet, and the experience changed my life. I discovered the transformational power of arts education, particularly Shakespeare education, first hand, and have been on my own path to help facilitate similar experiences for youth since then.

What are your interests outside of teaching?

I love gardening, cooking, and spending time in the sunshine.

What is something that people might be surprised to learn about you?

There was a period of time when I seriously considered becoming a professional wrestler…

What's your favorite dance move?

The lift from Dirty Dancing. Epic.

What inspires you?

Colors and patterns in nature. A sad song. Ice cream. But mostly, other people. There’s an expression that good artists borrow, great artists steal. I love surrounding myself with creative types who are really good at what they do. Rather than stealing, I feed on that creativity and it helps grow my own.

What's your favorite Shakespeare play and/or character?

I have different favorites for different reasons, but Hamlet will always hold a very special place in my heart. I’d love to play the title role some day!