Jay Españo in fourth "The King and I" production

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Jay Españo in fourth "The King and I" production

Jay Españo
In 2011, Filipino actor Jay Españo portrayed the lead role of King Mongkut in three different productions of "The King and I" in USA and Canada (read about it here.)

This year, he reprises the same role in his fourth production for John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts in Eugene, Oregon, a performing arts company that presents a year-long array of culturally diverse festivals, concert series, and educational programs that focus on, but are not limited to, American music in all of its forms and variations

Shirley Andress
Asked if he ever gets tired of the role, Españo replies, "There is always something new to discover in this production and it's not a touring company so I get to meet and work with a new cast every time."

Director/Choreographer Richard Jessup was impressed with Espano's video audition and cast him in the role of King Mongkut, "Because he has worked and performed in Thailand, there is an essence of authenticity to his King character." Espano conducted dialect and movement workshops for the cast for consistency of the Siamese culture.

Playing opposite Españo is Shirley Andress as Anna Leonowens.

"The King and I" is part of The Shedd Institute's annual Oregon Festival of American Music. The show runs Aug. 4-11, 2012 at the Silva Concert Hall, Hult Center for the Performing Arts. Contact (541) 682-5000.

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