Jim White - Canadian Choreographer > Director > Performer

 

 

TIME STEP... a biography

STOMP - HOP - LEAP...

Movement based, at the tender age of four, Jimmy joined the Dorothy Hurst School of Dance in his native Hamilton Ontario. While enrolled, the art of tap, jazz, ballet, and the intricacies of competitive baton twirling were among the many accomplishments. (Canadian National Champion Twirler both in the duet and solo divisions.)  Not to be outdone The Royal Conservatory of Music (Canadian National Champion for Contemporary Music), numerous Kiwanis Festival Awards, and Young Artist of the Year presented by The Hamilton Arts Council were a few of the awards presented to this young lad as he began to master the art of learning art.

The doors swung open, and the child was captured by the world of Musical Theatre after appearing as “Little Lois” in The King and I for Hamilton Theatre Inc.  It was there that a life long relationship was established. Tommy in Music Man, Henrick in A Little Night Music, Jesus In Godspell, Snoopy in Charlie Brown, Gilbert in Anne of Green Gables, Barnaby in Hello Dolly...the list goes on.

These accomplishments lead to an introduction to Peter Mandia - then the Artistic Director of “Theatre Aquarius”- who not only offered Jimmy employment in his season but administered the paper work for him to become a full fledged member of our Canadian Actors Equity Association.

SHUFFLE - STEP - SHUFFLE - STEP... 

His first audition for Mr Alan Lund  -  Mr. Fen Watkin  -  Mr Gordon Pincent - of “The Charlottetown Festival”, was successful and Jim joined the historical ranks of our countries greatest musical theatre entertainers. As a Festival Member he appeared in numerous productions... Anne of Green Gables, A Summers Night, The Legend of The Dumbells, Love in the Back Seat, Les Feux Follets, Windsor, and Ye Gods. Now armed with professional experience, Jimmy was cast by Mr. Leon Major - Canada Stage - to play Barnaby in The Matchmaker.  Noticed by Mr. Richard Ouzounian (M.T.C), he was then invited to play Doody in first National Tour of Grease.  Mr. John Wood - Artitsic Director of The National Arts Centre - recognized Jim’s desire to discover the craft of acting and invited him into his Acting Ensemble, performing in The Torchbearers  and Richard 111.  Then out west to The Citadel - Comedy of Errors - directed by Mr.Jean Gascon and Pieces of Eight by the legendary Julie Styne and Joey Layton.

STOMP - HOP - LEAP...

Next “The Stratford Festival of Canada” made it’s entrance...grand old dame.

For a total of eight seasons, Jimmy, now Mr. White - appeared in all of the Gilbert and Sullivan productions directed and choreographed by Canada’s leading man - Mr. Brian MacDonald. Two Canadian National Tours, twice through the United States  (Boston, Washington, Seattle, Detroit, Milwaukee, San Francisco),  culminating with the re-opening of The Old Vic Theatre in London England (Mirvish Productions), and appearing at the Virginia Theatre on Broadway in N.Y.C. One of very few musical company members, Jim also played his  part In Hamlet, Much Ado, Julius Ceaser, Carousel, and Guys and Dolls on the Main Stage.

SHUFFLE - STEP - SHUFFLE - STEP...

What Next?

After a year of working as Mr. Industrial and Mr. Dinner Theatre (7-Up, General Motors, Molson, Dominion), a slew of Variety shows (The Juno Awards,  C.B.C. Anniversary Special, The Rivals, Come By The Hills, Tommy Hunter Variety Special), and two complete seasons playing Junior in “Crazy For You” at the Royal Alex Theatre in Toronto, it was time to nest. My beautiful black lab Roxie and I found our living space in Newmarket, Ontario. Finally a home.

STOMP - HOP - LEAP... 

After twenty years of professional accomplishment, what do you do with that experience but share it with people who want to learn?  It was then that my relationship with The University of Windsor, Sheridan College, The High School Project with Susan Ferley of  The Grand Theatre in London, and The Charlottetown Festival Young Company - Les Feux Follets - was nurtured. No teacher I, only a guide... but a damn good one!

SHUFFLE - STEP - SHUFFLE - STEP...

That throughout this thirty-five year process I have continued to direct and choreograph in our country (Directorial/Choreographic Resume)  As I continue to develop these talents it is evident that my instructors, masters, mentors, and guides, influence me and I see their work in mine on-stage. Lucky am I, to have been blessed with the opportunities availed me by my associates.

SHUFFLE HOP and FLAP BALL CHANGE

Our culture, our art, our Canadian Heritage is generously passed on by our elders. Now as a mature man I realize the gifts that have been so lovingly given. It is to these - my guides and instructors -  that I give praise and thanks as I continue to work with integrity, passion, humour, and with a touch of the “Irish Devil” within me.

CHAPTER TWO - SHUFFLE OFF TO BUFFALO...

 

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