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J. R. Simons Complete Bio

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Who is J. R. Simons And Why Does He Have A Website?
If you are at this site, you are probably a friend or family member or someone whom I have directed here to view my resume and/or portfolio of work.

If you have stumbled upon this site by accident, I hope you stick around for a little while and allow me to share my own little corner of the internet with you.

Site Updates

Site updated 8/9/11.

NEWSFLASH: Well, folks, it has been a LONG TIME since I updated this site.  Now is as good a time as any to start back to making regular updates.  During the summer of 2011, I designed and built the set and lighting for Sandstone Summer Theatre's (Amherst, Ohio) production of All Shook Up and I am really glad that I did because it was a really good production all the way around.  It has been a thrill to be a part of this organizations' summer season since 2005 and I am looking forward to many more summers of fun in the coming years.  In the fall, I will continue to design and build sets for the Avon High School drama club.  The Avon students have been a real blessing to me since 1999 and I am thrilled to continue giving of myself to them and to the drama club.

In 2009, I completed my MFA in Creative Writing at Ashland University.  I highly recommend the program for anyone interested in writing and in improving their own writing.  Since completing that degree, I have been teaching English Composition, Theatre, and Dramatic Literature courses for Lorain County Community College and Lakeland Community College and in just about a week, I will start teaching English Composition for Indiana Wesleyan University's Cleveland campus in Independence, Ohio as well.  The life of a part-time adjunct instructor is not easy, but it is rewarding, and despite the current economic coniditions, I have found a niche that I am really enjoying filling.

The biggest news for me, however, is the release of my first chapbook of poetry, Streetlight Sonata, by my company, The Jovialities Entertainment Co., Ltd.  In 2004, we began making our murder mystery scripts available online at www.lulu.com/jovialities.  In 2010, we released three of my short plays as Nook books for the Barnes and Noble Nook reader at www.barnesandnoble.com.  This year, we added this new chapbook of my poetry gleaned from the pages of my MFA thesis in multiple digital formats through Smashwords.com at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/72045 and in print format at www.lulu.com/jovialities.  Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Lulu have all done a great job in helping me and Jovialities put together high quality print and digital formats for these pieces.  They are all professional and polished and I am pleased to be affiliated with them.  Please take a moment and check out the work that we have put together at these sites and purchase yourself a copy.

Well, that's just about it. Hope to see you in the audience for an upcoming show or poetry reading! The next performances at Avon High School will be November 18, 19, and 20.  As soon as my partner in crime tells me what the fall show is going to be, I will let you know as well.  My next poetry reading will be at Bur Oak Park in Elyria, Ohio on Saturday, Septebmer 24 sometime between 10AM and 6PM in conjunction with the 100,000 Poets for Change project.  I'm looking forward to presenting my chapbook at that event.  Hope to see you there.

J. R. Simons - Headshot for Vincent Lighting Systems Website

Email List
If you would like to receive email updates about any of the things I am involved in (Avon High School Drama, Jovialities Murder Mysteries, my freelance work as a director, designer or writer) send an email with UPDATES in the subject line and I'll put you on all the mailing lists.
J. R. Simons

Brief Bio
J. R. Simons has been an instructor of English Composition, Theatre, and Dramatic Literature for Lorain County Community College and Lakeland Community College since 2009 and was the Technical Director for the Theatre Department at Ashland University from 2006-2009 where he taught Introduction to Technical Theatre and oversaw all technical aspects of 4 productions in 2 theatres.  In his spare time, J. R. served as Treasurer/Interim President of the Lorain County Childrens Pioneer Theatre (until 2010) and owns and operates an acting company that performs murder mysteries, comedy weddings and Renaissance feastes called The Jovialities Entertainment Company, Ltd., and now publishes those mystery and wedding scripts along with other scripts and collections of poetry.

J. R. received his BFA and MA in Theatre from Kent State University where he specialized in acting, directing and theatre history, theory and criticism. J. R. received his MFA in Creative Writing from Ashland University in 2009.  Prior to taking on his current positions, J. R. worked as an inside sales representative and sales department manager for Vincent Lighting Systems, a photo retail store manager, a substitute high school teacher and the drama club director for both Elyria (Ohio) High School and Marion L. Steele (Amherst, Ohio) High School.

J. R. has directed for Elyria High School, Amherst Steele High School, Elyria Summer Theatre Association, Jovialities Entertainment, Huntington Playhouse, Sandstone Summer Theatre, Aurora Community Theatre and Lorain County Community College. His set and lighting designs have been seen at many of the above venues as well as at Avon High School where he has been scenographer/technical director since 1999.

J. R. has been married to his wonderful wife, Kim, since 1990. They met while J. R. was directing a production of Grease in 1987 and have been together ever since. They are the proud parents of three children: Kelsey, Will and Hayley and the proud owners of several pets: Sadie, the dog, Elly, the hamster, and Cabella and Pinky, the rats.

J. R. loves to play golf and would love nothing better than to hone his game to such a point that he can retire at age 50 and join the Senior PGA Tour. He has a few years yet to make this dream come true. In the meantime, J. R. expects to write, publish, produce and direct for quite a while longer.

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