Jerry Prell

Biography

Jerry is originally from Newton, Massachusetts.  He got into showbiz early, performing his first magic show at age 6.  He continued performing magic, and acting in school productions through high school. During his freshman year at Ohio State University, Jerry decided to pursue his dream of an acting career and entered the OSU BFA acting program. He later transferred to Carnegie Mellon University’s renowned theater department.
 

Upon graduation from CMU, with a BFA degree in Acting/Drama, he moved to the Washington, D.C. area to work with a children’s theater company. He stayed with the company for one season,  then joined with fellow company member, Robert Lawson, to form Illusions of Fantasy. Illusions of Fantasy was a mime duo that pushed the envelope of traditional mime using music, vocal sounds/spoken words, props and edgy counter culture themes.  Illusions of Fantasy performed on the streets of Georgetown, at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, at theaters in D.C.  They were the opening act for musicians, Muddy Waters, Tom Paxton, Jonathan Richmond, Robert Gordon & Link Wray, Kinky Friedman & The Texas Jew Boys, Stéphane Grappelli, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, and others at the Cellar Door and Childe Harold night clubs.  Illusions of Fantasy also performed at the Kennedy Center, Vassar College, Bowdoin College, Hood College, among others.  During this time Jerry also worked with New Playwrights’ Theater on Church Street. He taught movement and mime with the resident company, and acted in productions and readings.

 

After fruitful years in the greater D.C., Jerry headed to Los Angeles.  He acted in television - daytime, episodic, and MOWs - films, theater, commercials, and voice overs.  (See resume)  During this period he traveled to Denmark, performed and taught for The Mermaid Theater in Copehagen.  In Hollywood, Jerry studied comedy with Harvey Lembeck and acting with George Shdanoff.  He became one of Mr. Shdanoff’s assistants.

 

Jerry, then moved back east to Connecticut.  There he founded, artistically directed and managed New England Actors’ Theatre/Academy of Theatre (NEAT) – a non-profit producing theater company and performing arts school.  NEAT provided a nurturing venue for professionals and aspiring professionals in all areas of the theater, actors, directors, playwrights, stand-up comedians, designers, etc…  NEAT’s outreach programs touched the lives of seniors, and at risk middle and high school students. For his work with NEAT and the arts community Jerry received a Greater New Haven Arts Council Award for his “Trail Blazing” ways, and a State of Connecticut Distinguished Advocate for the Arts Award -- presented to Jerry by the Governor.  During this time Jerry also conducted personal development and team building workshops for regional corporations, worked as a freelance actor and voice over artist, and consulted with regional arts and non-profit organizations.  In 2003 Jerry fulfilled his goal of working in higher education when he became the Dean of Musical Theater for the Hartford Conservatory.  As Dean, Jerry drafted a new curricular structure, facilitated the department mission and outcome statement, and successfully increased student enrollment and retention.  He also worked as a student advisor, instructor, and stage director.

 

In the winter of 2009, nest empty, and seeking new challenges, Jerry returned to Los Angeles in pursuit of his first passion, acting and his second love, teaching.  In spring 2012 he received his MFA in Theatre at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Since returning to Southern California, Jerry has acted on daytime TV, film projects, web-series and on-stage with CalRep Theatre Company in Long Beach.  He recently directed "The Boys From Syracuse" at Cerritos College. He is an adjunct professor, teaching theatre and performing arts related classes at CSULB, Loyola Marymount University, El Camino College, Los Angeles City College, Cerritos College and New York Film Academy (Burbank).   

Contact Jerry regarding acting, teaching, directing, consulting, or curricular development at jerry@jerryprell.com

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