Jared Lee Didn't Even Expect to Get Cast in His High School Musical, Now He Works on Broadway | Playbill

Special Features Jared Lee Didn't Even Expect to Get Cast in His High School Musical, Now He Works on Broadway

Lee is spending his Black Theatre Coalition Fellowship working in musical direction on the upcoming Back to the Future.

As a part of Playbill's Juneteenth series, in partnership with Black Theatre Coalition, we're celebrating BIPOC theatre-makers you need to know! Today's spotlight is on Jarred Lee, who is currently doing a musical direction fellowship with Broadway's upcoming Back to the Future: The Musical through BTC. According to Lee, his experience has been so much more than just a work opportunity: "The networking and education I’ve received thus far have been priceless," he says.

The Black Theatre Coalition was founded by T. Oliver Reid, Warren Adams, and Reggie Van Lee in 2019. It works to dismantle the systemically racist and biased ideology in the theatrical job space. As part of its mission, BTC has launched the Black Theatre Coalition Fellowship, which immerses young talent in various areas of theatrical production, including producing, general management, directing, choreography, and other important jobs offstage. The fellowships immerse the fellows in the industry, allowing them to work alongside current professionals.

Learn more about Lee's journey to Broadway below.

Where did you grow up?
Jarred Lee: Bloomfield, NJ.

What was your first experience/memory with theatre?
I auditioned for a production of Oliver at my high school when I was a freshman because of a dare. I was not expecting to be cast, and it was a total shock for me. Being in that environment eventually led to me following a musical direction career path.

What was your first Broadway show?

Tell us more about your work/Fellowship, it can be a typical day-in-the-life or a specific great memory or project you worked on.
One of my favorite things about doing new theatre is that no day is ever the same. I spend time working with the music team on making this show's music aspect run as smoothly as possible…Making adjustments to the score, communicating with different parts of the music team that aren’t typically in rehearsal every day, printing and distributing new sheet music to the cast and production team as it becomes available, checking the score and script for any discrepancies.

Jared Lee with the creative team of Back to the Future.

How have you found navigating Broadway as a BTC Fellow?
It’s been a great learning experience so far.

What are some of your career goals & aspirations?
I hope to have a lively career on Broadway as a music director/conductor, as well as a music supervisor.

How do you feel BTC is helping you reach those goals?
BTC has done a huge part of the job by simply opening the door for someone like me into a space that I don’t know that I would have been invited into otherwise. Between the regular check-ins and encouraging email blasts, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

As a BTC Fellow do you think your voice is heard in rooms that don’t predominantly look like you?
I think maybe it would to an extent…but in my current role, I don’t know that I would ever be in a position where my opinion would seriously be considered. Out of respect to the supervisor and music director, I would keep any artist's opinions to myself unless I’ve been asked.

As a BTC Fellow, do you feel like you’re making a difference behind the scenes on Broadway and in what’s represented on stage?
I am not sure yet!

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would that be?
I would love a Broadway theatre environment that is inclusive to people who may not be your typical theatre person.

How are you celebrating Juneteenth this year?
I will be spending time with my family back home.

The Black Theatre Coalition (BTC) is a 501(c)3 organization with the mission to remove the illusion of inclusion in the American Theatre, by building a sustainable, ethical roadmap that will increase employment opportunities for emerging, mid-career, and career-changing Black theater professionals. Through paid Fellowship and Apprenticeship opportunities, BTC opens doors for aspiring artists and creative leaders to have entry into the field, on-the-job-training, mentorship and potential career advancement. BTC's vision is to reshape the working ecosystem for those who have historically been marginalized from these spaces, and provide a pathway to true diversity in the arts.

To celebrate Juneteenth, BTC is aiming to raise $19,000 in support of the organization and future BTC fellows. Visit their Donation Page to help support.

Today’s Most Popular News:

Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting playbill.com with your ad blocker.
Thank you!