Welcome to the first installment in our blog series, “Meet the Team”. In this series, you will get the opportunity to meet the people behind Holiday Inc.-the cast, creative team, and crew who have spent so many hours bringing our show to life.
This week, we bring you Jonathan Van Dyke, writer and director of Holiday Inc and the actor behind Elfton John, the workshop’s “head elf.”
Jonathan is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. He got his start in the entertainment business at Walt Disney World, playing “fur” characters in parades and shows, a “dancing scarecrow” and more. He has acted in over 50 theatrical productions over the years, traveling to all 50 states in the process! Some of his favorite regional and touring roles include: Albert in the national tour of Bye Bye Birdie, Jamie in The Last Five Years, Jerry in The Full Monty, Billy Earle in No No Nanette, Phil Davis in White Christmas, and Harold Hill in The Music Man. He also appeared with Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo) in The Wizard of Oz and toured in Oh, Calcutta! with Gennifer Flowers. He has also starred in the films Prime Of Your Life and The Glass Window.
In 2000, Jonathan embarked on the second phase of his entertainment career when he began writing his debut musical, Totally Electric. Set in the 1980s, the show is loosely based on his experiences at East Lake High School in Tarpon Springs, FL. With a soundtrack filled with ’80s pop favorites and an endearing cast of characters, Totally Electric follows a misfit choral group, the Syncopated Sensations, as they struggle to be recognized among their peers in the last days of high school. The show premiered at the Duplex in Greenwich Village in 2007 and played to sold-out audiences during its run. He was then asked to re-mount the show in Tampa several months later, and Totally Electric became the first show to open in Ybor City’s Ritz Theater after its renovation. Again playing to sold-out crowds during its Tampa run in summer 2007, the show then had subsequent runs in New Orleans, Louisiana; Sarasota and Riverview, FL; and Denver, Colorado, and an encore cabaret performance in New York.
Dorene Collier, president and founder of Event Show Productions, approached Jonathan in 2009 about penning a new kind of holiday musical. Thus, Holiday Inc. was born. Taking his inspiration from both classic musicals and popular music, he created the show with a broad audience in mind, while maintaining the humor and poignancy that became his trademark in Totally Electric.
Jonathan has also written numerous scripts for events and galas, as well as two other full-length productions: The Class of RIP: The Final Prom, a tribute to 1950s and 1960s-era B- horror movies and girl-group music that premiered in Tampa in 2009; and Spring at the Willowbrook Inn, a dramatic play which will have its premiere in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this winter. Jonathan has been a member of the Dramatists Guild since 2008.
In addition to his own creative work, Jonathan has directed youth productions of Seussical, The Wiz, and West Side Story, and has taught master classes in acting and musical theatre from Tampa to New Orleans. He is currently directing I Love a Piano for Broward Stage Door Theater, and is the Associate Director of Boeing-Boeing at the Straz Center next spring.
Jonathan wishes to thank Dorene for this amazing opportunity, as well as his cast and creative team, his family, and friends for their support.
Each week we will be bringing you a new installment in this series. Be sure to subscribe to our feed!