News
 
Gravatar
Pin on Pinterest
The Bishop Arts Theatre in Oak Cliff is happy to have Jason Schulman as the Summer Camp Theatre Teacher. He works during the school year at DISD's Greiner Middle School.

Jason Schulman is a director, producer, playwright, actor and instructor.

He’s also a killer of plants. "I’m down to one Orchid at home," he admitshe’s so busy with his life outside his home he barely has time to water his plantsmake that, plant.

He is the Theatre Director at The Greiner Arts Academy, the owner of Ann Seen Productions, and this summer is teaching Monday through Thursdays at the summer camp at the Bishop Arts Theatre on Tyler Street, where he was previously involved with productions including The Face of Emmitt Till and Down For The #Count.

Additionally, Jason has been active at The Latino Cultural Center, The Dallas Children's Theatre, The African American Museum, and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

A native of Chicago, Illinois, he has worked at The Goodman Theatre, The Chicago Theatre, and the Shubert Theatre. He attended the renowned School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, Ohio, and graduated from The University of North Texas and is also a proud UCLA Bruin.

Now he’s inspiring children from the young age of five years old through 18 to reach for their dreams on the stage, as he did.

The School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati where Jason attended had an intensive application process which included auditioning in three different disciplines. "I wanted to be an actor, but also had to come up with two other areas of performance for my audition to try to be accepted into the school," he says, remembering the rigorous application process. Fortunately, he played the saxophone and piano, but he was also interested in other avenues so, to show his well-rounded skills, he auditioned in dance, art and creative writing. Typically, students would go home and wait two or three months to hear if they’d been accepted. The day after his audition, "I came down the stairs from my bedroom to the kitchen and there on the refrigerator door was my acceptancemy mom put it there for me to see as soon as I got up." A very rare occurrence, he was one of two students accepted immediatelyand the other became his best friend when the two began school that fall.

"My parents were 100 % behind me," he remembers gratefully, so he and his mother moved from their home in Chicago to live in Cincinnati while he attended the prestigious high school, with his father staying behind to work.

Both his parents had unusual careers: "My father was an executive of Oscar de la Renta and also worked for Yves St. Laurant and Bonnie Doon, while my mom was Georgio Armani’s right hand person."

His parents, Olga and Michael Schulman, met at a dance at Lackland Air Force base. His father had been training to become a medical doctor in the Air Force and was visiting the base and saw his mother across the room. She was convinced he was over confident, so ignored him when he walked over to her tableand asked her sister, sitting beside her, to dance instead.

"It was his way of getting my mother’s attention, and it sure worked!" The two have been married for over five decades and are now retired in Florida.

Jason feels fortunate that he has the father he’s been blessed with, especially since he’s healthy now after two bouts with Cancer. The first came with Jason was off to college at the University of Miami. Jason dropped out after a year to move back to Cincinnati when his father was diagnosed with Lymphoma. When he got better Jason returned to college, but his father soon had a relapse. 

"It was more serious this time and we thought we were going to lose him," Jason recalls, so he left school to be with his parents. He survived by doing voice-over work, waiting tables, "Just trying to get back into the industry I loved." When his father got better and moved to Florida, Jason started his own business, Mosaic, which was a success. He sold the company and left to pursue his managerial career on the west coast, working in San Diego and Las Vegas. One day he realized he should go back to school and finish his degree.

He applied and was accepted at a number of universities, and was down to UT in Austin and The University of Arizona. Just as he was about to make a deposit at UT he learned that the cap for out of state students had been reached, and he would have to wait to attend college there. Not wanting to wait another year or two, he concluded Arizona would be his final destination, when and aunt and uncle in Texas suggested he look into the University of North Texas, a school he’d never heard of. "They told me the school had a great Jazz program, which sounded cool to me." He applied, was accepted, and a few years later had a political science and pre-law degree and was ready to apply to law school to become a lawyer.

"But my mentor at North Texas told me ‘You’re talented beyond what you are doing.’ He said I needed to use my theater skills, and teach others." An opening at Greiner Middle School seemed the perfect fit. He was accepted to teach but the theatre position was filled, so he taught History. He won "Teacher of the year," his first year at the school, and was thrilled when he was transferred into the Theater department the following fall.

He’s been there six years now and feels the school has made some "Really great strides in the department." He teaches several courses, up to 120 students a year, classes such as Production, Film, Theater Management, Theater History and Theater Tech. With 1,700 students on campus, he has a lot of students ready to fill his classes. Many go on to pursue theater at, Booker T. Washington, Talented and Gifted (TAG) and Townview DISD schools. "Greiner is The Pearl of DISD," he states proudly. "There’s a lot of incredible kids there. I love what I do!"

Three years ago he got a call from Teresa Wash, looking for some help on a production. The two became fast friends and now he’s teaching theater all year-round, teaching at Greiner during the school year, teaching at the Bishop Arts Summer Camp program, and working at various productions throughout the Dallas area in the evenings. He’s involved behind the scenes with "Pinkalicious" at the Dallas Children’s theater this summer. And in his rare spare time, he writes screenplays.

He’s also set to work on a Haunted House at the Bishop Art’s Theatre this fall, and feels "extremely humbled at the opportunity to work with Teresa Coleman Wash, the wonderful staff here at The Bishop Arts Theatre, and the plethora of so many great people throughout the years."

His days and nights are full. "I’m happy in my life right now," he says. His many students and co-workers are too.

Just don’t buy him a plant.

 

To learn about the upcoming programs at the Bishop Arts Theatre or to see Jason's summer theater students perform check the theatre’s website: www.bishopartstheatre.org

To contact Jason Schulman, Theatre Director, e-mail him at: jschulman@dallasisd.org

Recognize 3905 Views