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Skylight Music Theatre Artistic Director Ray Jivoff Named Milwaukee City Arts Board Artist of the Year

Milwaukee, Wis. (June 6, 2019) – The City of Milwaukee Arts Board announced that veteran actor, educator, and Skylight Music Theatre Artistic Director Ray Jivoff has been named a 2019 Artist of the Year, along with visual artist Rosemary Ollison.

They will be honored by the Milwaukee Arts Board and the local arts community Monday, June 10, at a 4:30 p.m. reception at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, followed by an awards program and celebration at 5 p.m. Representatives of 36 city-based arts organizations that received MAB project grants will also be recognized. The Milwaukee City Arts Board press release is available here:

The press release said in part: Ray Jivoff has been part of Milwaukee’s theater scene for thirty years. He spent the majority of his career with Skylight Music Theater. He was first engaged as a performer in 1990, and then joined the staff as the Skylight’s first Education Director in 1999. He became Associate Artistic Director in 2009, Interim Artistic Director in 2016, and Artistic Director in 2017. He will retire from the Skylight in June 2019.

He performed in more than 25 productions at the Skylight and directed several productions including Kiss Me Kate, Urinetown, Hair, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, and Sing Me a Story.

As education director he created the Enlighten program, which includes an in-depth partner school program in eight MPS schools. He also created two touring shows, (The Standard Songbook and KidsWrites), in-school workshops and residencies, the annual High School Musical Celebration (which features hundreds of area high school students performing on the Cabot Theatre stage), and the Next Actors Summer Theatre for Youth (a developmental music theater project for high school students at Next Act Theatre). He also coordinated Skylight’s cabaret series and initiated its pre-show talk series Insights as well as the in-depth audience guides.

He has also been active in the theater community at large as an actor, teacher, and director. He was the theatre director at Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha for 12 years, directing more than 20 productions. He has directed at many schools and colleges in the area including UW-Milwaukee, Carroll College, Marquette University, and Milwaukee High School of the Arts. He has also worked as an actor and director at numerous other area theaters including First Stage Children’s Theater and the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

Skylight Music Theatre will host “CelebRAYtion” honoring Jivoff on Thursday, June 13, beginning at 5 p.m. in the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. The event is a fundraiser for Skylight Music Theatre.