Actor, Director, Choreographer, Playwright
Photograph by Matthew Hamon
Photo: Jaime Vedres Photography
Jay Whitehead grew up in Calgary and Edmonton Alberta. He is an actor, performer, drag personality, choreographer, director, writer and teacher, with a diverse performance and training background, who currently resides and works in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Whitehead has worked across Canada with companies including Leave it to Jane Theatre, Nobody's Business Theatre, Theatre Aquarius, ACT Productions, Third Street Theatre, Frank Theatre, The Saint John Theatre Company, Buddies in Bad Times and New West Theatre and has helped create new theatre companies and performance collectives including The Plain Janes, Boylesque TO, and, most recently Theatre Outré, a company, with a queer mandate which, among other projects, produces Lethbridge's annual queer theatre cabaret event: Quaint, Quirky & QUEER and operates the queer space Didi's Playhaus. Whitehead is the co-founder and current artistic director of Theatre Outré. Whitehead's work has been seen in cities including Calgary, Halifax, Winnipeg, Toronto, Hamilton, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Dublin, Vancouver, Saint John and Lethbridge.
Whitehead holds a Diploma in Musical Theatre from MacEwan Univervisty, a BFA from the University of Lethbridge and an MFA in Acting from York University. He has studied under theatre practitioners including Timothy Ryan, David Rotenberg, Denise Clarke, David Smukler, Larry Silverberg and Steve Jurand and currently teaches courses in acting and performance in the Department of Drama at the University of Lethbridge and received his certification to teach the Meisner method of acting through Larry Silverberg and the True Acting Institute.
Directing and choreographic work includes Montparnasse, Tab & Landon, A Thought in Three Parts and The Birth of Casper G. Schmidt for Theatre Outré, several musical comedy revue shows for New West Theatre, including Barndance, Twist and Shout, Razzle Dazzle and Bandstand as well as Festen, Spring Awakening, The Rocky Horror Show Ubu Roi and Carrie the Musical for the University of Lethbridge. Whitehead also performs frequently in drag and his drag persona is named Didi d'Edada.
As a playwright Jay has had his play "CRABS" produced by Theatre Outré; "Tab & Landon" presented by DaPoPo Theatre in Halifax and "UNSEX'd" which he co-wrote with Daniel Judes has toured across Canada and to Europe and the U.S. Jay also co-created an original Electro-Drag-Opera: "Castrati" with Aaron Collier, Richie Wilcox and Kathy Zaborsky which has toured to Dublin and Halifax.