Jan Downing

The most fun I’ve ever had has been directing senior performers.

Jan arrived in Senior Theatre via an eclectic showbiz career. As a performer, she appeared Off-Broadway at the Westside Theatre, with The Light Opera of Manhattan, Lamplighters Music Theatre in San Francisco, Idaho Repertory Theatre, and on ABC’s All My Children. She then stepped behind the camera as a talent agent at Stars, The Agency in SF, and later as a ‘real people’ scout for TV commercials. Her favorite was discovering an 85-year-old bowler for Little Caesar’s Pizza. Youth theatre was next—directing, teaching, and coaching.

And then one day, she called the San Carlos Senior Center and asked, “Would you be interested in offering a musical theatre class?” Two months later, she was touring nearby senior centers with a small troupe of enthusiastic performers—paid gigs, no less.

She then segued into all-girl theatre, directing The Little Prince at A Company of Girls in Portland, ME. She taught musical theatre at The Girls’ Middle School in CA and founded the Remarkable Girls theatre program.

But eventually, it was back to Senior Theatre—and more fun. She taught and directed a performance-based musical theatre class at the San Bruno Senior Center for two years. Some class members were newbies, while others were stage veterans. All pulled together to put on great shows.

Jan is currently working one-on-one with seniors, coaching acting and singing online. Beginners, as well as seasoned pros, can get vocal tips, learn how to approach cold script readings, work on monologues, and more.

She remains ready for her next Senior Theatre assignment. For more information, visit her website.

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