Introducing PrideArts’ New Artistic Director Jay Españo


Hello All!

I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Jay Españo and I am excited to let you know that I am the new Artistic Director of PrideArts. A little about me: I am originally from Manila, Philippines, I am an actor, writer, director, teacher and producer with an almost 30 year career in the entertainment industry all over the world. Yes, I have been around!

I moved here, to Chicago, in 2009, married a Midwestern hunk and am currently residing in the Southwest suburbs with hopes of starting a family.

While I am incredibly excited to step into the Artistic Director role, I am also terrified. I have those first day jitters. You don’t know half the people and all eyes are on you. You dive in head first and pray that you don’t do or say anything stupid. That’s me right now.

Luckily, I have prepared. I have an understanding of what I’m doing and I have a vision of where I want PrideArts to go this 2021-2022 season. But I can’t do this alone. I will need your help because without you and your support there would be no PrideArts. We could not have made it through 2020 without you and will be forever grateful.

Over the next few weeks the organization and myself will begin to reveal what we have been working on. But for now we will keep you in suspense. Hint: there will be changes and great live performances. That’s all I can say for now, I don’t want to be that Kristen Wiig character who can’t keep a surprise.

Thank you for taking the time to learn a bit about me and I look forward to seeing you at PrideArts as we roll out an exciting 2021-2022 season.

Jay Españo
(He/ Him / His)