J.R. Stuart has been the resident character actor at the Derby Dinner Playhouse in Clarksville, Indiana since July, 1990. He resides in his shotgun home in New Albany, Indiana with his ten-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, Sweeney.
He has performed across the United States and Canada in the national tours of BRIGADOON (Beaton), CHICAGO (Amos "Mr. Cellophane" Hart), and GIGI (as Honore "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" Lachailles) for 3DII International.
A graduate of Ball State University (BS Theatre Performance, 1987), J.R. enjoys the study of film comedy, particularly Laurel & Hardy, Bert Lahr, Buster Keaton, W.C. Fields, and the Marx Brothers.
His favorite music includes the gamut of anything Gershwin, Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim to Billie Holiday, the Weavers, Judy Garland, the Beatles, Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wainwright -plus all Broadway tunes from all eras, naturally.
His favorite authors include Twain, Maupin, Leavitt, Beckett, Kaufman and Hart, Capote, Forster, Chabon, Proulx, and John Lahr.
J.R. is an actor, director, and playwright with over 200 productions to his credit.
Favorite portrayals include Tevye in FIDDLER, Pseudolus and Senex in FORUM, Elwood P. Dowd in HARVEY, Bela Zangler in CRAZY FOR YOU, Ben Franklin in 1776, Moonface Martin in ANYTHING GOES, Frank in OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS, Willie Clark in THE SUNSHINE BOYS, Sancho in MAN OF LA MANCHA, Whiteside in THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER, Grandpa Vanderhof in YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, Estragon in WAITING FOR GODOT, Clem in THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, Froggy in THE FOREIGNER, Cocky in THE ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT, THE SMELL OF THE CROWD, Father Tim in MASS APPEAL, Weller in THE GIN GAME, President Truman in GIVE 'EM HELL HARRY! and Twain in his own one-man THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARK.
Favorite directing projects include RUN FOR YOUR WIFE, DAVID AND BATHSHEBA -A Biblical Soap Opera, BENT, THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON, GREATER TUNA and THE GIN GAME.
J.R. recently co-authored two musicals, PEACE IN THE VALLEY and PEACE LIKE A RIVER, with Jim Hesselman. PEACE IN THE VALLEY had a very successful eight-week run at the Playhouse and has been performed in seven other venues throughout the country. Its sequel,PEACE LIKE A RIVER recently debuted at THE BARN DINNER THEATRE in North Carolina, and enjoyed a seven-week run at Derby Dinner in the Fall of 2006. It is also available for production.
J.R. is very grateful for his Derby Dinner Playhouse and Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre friends, family, and audiences for their warmth and support. He hopes you enjoy browsing this site! Peace!
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A special thank you to Robert Canterbury for scanning all the 100+ images you'll find on this site!
New Albany, Indiana