Jay Whitehead is an artist, a scholar, and an educator. He has put Lethbridge on the map with his ground-breaking and prolific work as an Artistic Director of Theatre Outré. With his artistic work and published essays on the company as well as broadly on Queer Canadian theatre, Jay is a true and fierce advocate for cultural diversity and equality on stage. Last year, Jay won the Joan Waterfield Memorial Award from Lethbridge’s Allied Arts Council, to acknowledge his outstanding contributions to the new theatre culture in Lethbridge. Founded ten years ago, the mandate of Theatre Outré is to support and promote alternative queer theatre in Alberta, which is also manifested in its influential Quaint, Quirky & QUEER Cabaret & Festival. At Didi's Playhouse (formerly Club Didi and Bordello), Jay has assembled a dynamic team of local artists and volunteers to carry out his vision and he remains the driving force behind the company. Over its ten years span, Theatre Outré has staged numerous productions and became a recipient of several awards, including Best Actor (Dublin Gay Theatre Festival for My Funny Valentine), Best Actress and best direction (Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, Montparnasse), Best original writing (Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, UNSEX’d), Best production values (Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, UNSEX’d and Castrati - An Electro Drag Opera), Best of Fest (Atlantic Fringe Festival, UNSEX’d), and the Lethbridge Pride Arts and Culture Award (2013 and 2016). It is our greatest pleasure to celebrate Jay and Theatre Outre’s work today.
Image: Didi, Photo credit Jaime Vedres