World renowned Master Storyteller, Jay O’Callahan, takes a bare stage and single-handedly transforms it into a dynamic and sensitive world filled with compelling characters.
His solo performances at Abbey Theatre in Dublin, National Theatre Complex in London, the Olympics, Lincoln Center, Boston Symphony Orchestra and other theaters throughout the world have been applauded by the media, including The Boston Globe, The Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly. The Associated Press trumpeted him as “a theater troupe inside one body.” Time Magazine dubbed Jay “a genius.”
Jay writes the plays he performs. The hallmark of his talent is the passion he brings to big and small dramas of ordinary life. He slips into the souls of his characters and captures the wonder and sparkling sense of life welled up inside them, creating a magical world of hope, courage and dignity.
With the sweep of a hand, the flex of a muscle or the hushed click of a word, Jay gives voice to the small town spinster librarian in Village Heroes, the puzzled son coming to terms with his father in The Dance, or the young woman growing up in Nova Scotia during World War II in The Herring Shed.
Pouring the Sun, was commissioned by Lehigh University. It is the story of an immigrant woman, Ludvika Moskal, who like the molten metal in a blast furnace is transformed into steel. For Ludvika the fires are many; immigration at 18, raising a family in the poverty of a steel-making city, fear of reprisal for standing up to injustice. Ludvika, her family, the whole steel making community of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, built the great cities of this land.
Jay has just completed creating Forged in the Stars, a story that was commissioned by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) for their fiftieth anniversary. He is currently performing it at NASA locations around the country.
The National Endowment of the Arts awarded him a fellowship for solo performance excellence.
Jay has received awards for his performances, books, audiotapes and videos from the National Education Film Festival, Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals, Parents’ Choice, New England Theater Conference and UNESCO, to name a few. He also is a regular contributor to National Public Radio and leads creativity workshops for corporations and other interested groups.