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J. R. Simons Complete Bio

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Who is J. R. Simons?

If you are at this site, you are most likely 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. I hope this leads you to become a friend in the future.


Site Updates

Site updated 3/12/17.

NEWSFLASH: Well, folks, it has been a REALLY 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 2015, I took on a new full-time position as Performing Arts Center Manager with Elyria City Schools.  It has been a thrill to rejoin this organization; I was the school's Drama Club Advisor from 1989-1995, and I am looking forward to many more years of fun and fabulous performances in the future.  That same summer, I gave up designing and building sets for the Avon High School drama club.  The Avon students have been a real blessing to me since 1999, and I was saddened to have to leave off 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 taught English Composition, Theatre, and Dramatic Literature courses for Lorain County Community College and Lakeland Community College, Indiana Wesleyan University's Cleveland campus in Independence, Ohio, and Terra State Community College.  The life of a part-time adjunct instructor was not easy, but it was rewarding, and now I'm happy to have fallen into a wonderful spot that utilizes my theatre training and talents, and for which I wake up refreshed and happy to go to work every day.

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.  You can also find all of these items at my author page on Amazon. Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Amazon Kindle, 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!

J. R. Simons - Author/Actor/Director/Designer/Educator

Email List

If you would like to receive email updates about any of the things I am involved in (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. You can aso follow me on Twitter at @JRSimonsAuthor or for Jovialities Entertainment Co. murder mystery news at @Jovialities1. On Facebook, you can follow my Author Page at @jsrimonsauthor or Murder Mysteries by Jovialities Entertainment at @jovialities.

J. R. Simons

Brief Bio

J. R. Simons is currently the Performing Arts Center Manager for Elyria City Schools, and has been an instructor of English Composition, Theatre, and Dramatic Literature for Lorain County Community College, Lakeland Community College, Indiana Wesleyan University, and Terra State Community College 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 Elyria (Ohio) High School, Marion L. Steele (Amherst, Ohio) High School, and Avon (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, Avon High School, 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 was scenographer/technical director from 1999-2015.

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: Murphy, the dog and Taco, the cat.

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. Well, that never happened (LOL). In the meantime, J. R. expects to write, publish, produce, and direct for quite a while longer.

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