Jay as Henry VIII (left) with Pamela Sabella (Anne Boleyn) in Anne of the Thousand Days in July 2006 and as the legendary Orson Welles (right) in the one-man show Lost Eden: The Magnificent Welles in July 2007 with Zemfira Stage.
Reviews
WATCH Nominations
2002 - Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Richard Henry Lee - 1776 - Reston Community Players, VA
2008 - Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Officer Lockstock -
Urinetown - Reston Community Players, VA
Bio and Resume
Photo Gallery
Contact Jay:
performer@jaytilley.net
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Upcoming Performances
Awards
Scrooge (Christmas Present/Tom Jenkins)
Potomac Theatre Company, MD
December 2008

"Jay Tilley, as The Ghost of Christmas Present, did a fine job of bringing the character to life ... he made the character jolly and exuberant."

-- Mike and Laura Clark, ShowBizRadio.net

Richard III
(Buckingham/Monk)
Tapestry Theatre Company, VA
May 20
08

"There are many worthy performances in the cast of 24 (playing 35 roles). These include the work of Jay Tilley, royally mellifluous as the turncoat Duke of Buckingham ..
."

-- Michael Toscano
, The Washington Post

"Jay Tilley, a veteran of Vpstart Crow performances, is good as Buckingham, who, like so many nobles in this story, switches sides when the going gets tough
."

-- Matt Revill
e, The Sun Gazette

Urinetow
n (Officer Lockstock)
Reston Community Players, VA
March 2008

"Tilley anchors the ensemble with powerhouse singing and significant stage presence ..."


-- Michael Toscano
, The Washington Post

"Tilley throws himself into his role as the narrating policeman."


-- Brad Hathaway
, Potomac Stages

"(Jay Tilley as Officer Lockstock and June Schreiner as Little Sally) had a nice rapport, they were very comfortable together. They also broke through that fourth wall when they were talking to the audience. It worked really well in those scenes."


-- Mike Clark
, ShowBizRadio.net

The Homecomi
ng (Clay Spencer)
Prince William Little Theatre, VA
December 2007

"The role of Clay Spencer belongs to Jay Tilley, and he owns it from the moment he steps onto the stage. His presence and confidence are perfect for the man this show orbits around. His sure-footed charisma and booming voice are an ideal balance to the more soft-spoken (Drew) Prendergast (who plays Clay-Boy Spencer). Their scenes together are like a match at Wimbledon, the audience not wanting to miss a word or facial expression volleyed between them."


-- Mary Jordan
, The Manassas Journal Messenger

The Merchant of Veni
ce (Shylock)
Vpstart Crow Productions, VA
October 2007

"Also serving strong doses of skill are Jay Tilley and Carl Brandt Long. Straight-faced and in tune, Tilley is a pro at becoming one with his character in every spoken sentence or silent stare. From vicious to vulnerable, his direction is solid through each step."


-- Kyle Ridley
, The Manassas Journal Messenger

"Shylock was played by Jay Tilley. He had this debonair air about him, but at the same time he was kind of menacing. He was very determined and in charge of his own destiny. He was so pleased when he was able to get the pound of flesh from Antonio. That trial scene worked really well."


-- Mike Clark
, ShowBizRadio.net

Lost Eden: The Magnificent Welle
s (Orson Welles - one-man show)
Zemfira Stage, VA
June/July 2007

"Jay Tilley shows he has the courage, voice range and talent to take on such a tour-de-force role. Through Tilley's facial reactions, we see Welles' anger grow from quiet anger to blistering rage. At the climatic telling, Tilley pulls out all the stops on his resonant voice in a cry from the heart. His masterwork is destroyed. It's a moment for cringing. More good performing moments: Tilley steps into Welles' past by stepping off the platform to make direct audience eye contact. In flashbacks, Tilley, who has a bit of the story teller bug, gives us a riveting close up of a man's melt down, the reality loss of innocence, what became one of Welles' favorite movie themes. Using his resonant, spine-tingling voice to the max, Tilley has a great moment when he impersonates Welles in 1937 as the radio detective, The Shadow ... While Orson wasn't modest about his own unique talents, Tilley as an actor and publicist appears humble. In promoting Zemfira Stage and Vpstart Crow Productions, Tilley quotes the master of theater, Konstantin Stanislavsky: 'Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art.' With that philosophy, who can't help loving an actor who succeeds in convincing us that Orson Welles, in spite of monstrous obstacles, elevated film making to an art?"


-- Rosalind Lacy
, DC Theatre Scene

"... a well-paced hour and a half performance ... Tilley makes an imposing Welles. For Tilley, the task was to find a balance of his own: a balance between impersonation and acting; between simply seeming to be Orson Welles and letting the audience feel the pressure Welles must have felt being 6,300 miles from Hollywood ... Tilley does a good job finding the balance and keeping the audience's attention throughout the brief two act piece. He's particularly good at a skill that escapes many actors, that of being able to talk on the telephone and convince the audience that he's actually carrying on a conversation with the person on the other end of the call when we can only hear one side of the discussion. With many actors, this results in awkward pauses or too-lengthy silences. With others, we get a catalogue of facial reactions that feels overblown. Tilley, on the other hand, carries on natural, if emotionally charged conversations as he battles to proect the film he thought he had finished before heading south to do his patriotic bit for the war effort. It is, as bio plays are supposed to be, a chance to get to know both the historical person involved and the highlights of the career that makes the topic interesting. In this case, add the pleasure of watching a young actor rise to the challenge of a real test of his performance skills."


-- Brad Hathaway
, Alexandria Gazette Packet

"(Tilley) bears enough of a phyiscal resemblance to Welles and carries off Welles' over-blown vocal mannerisms with ease. What is more, a solo performance piece needs to be more than mere impersonation, and here Tilley shows he has the skills to make this a character portrait and not simply an imitation of his subject's appearance and mannersims. He manages to embue the character with intelligence, emotion and a massive ego. Goodness knows, Welles had plenty of each!"


-- Brad Hathaway
, Potomac Stages

"... a bravura performance ... Tilley skillfully creates just the proper atmosphere .... Tilley's work succeeds by exploring the man's psyche, working from within. Alternately raging into a telephone from the hotel room and talking directly to the audience in a milder, reflective mood, Tilley helps us understand the complex and mercurial genius in very human terms ... Tilley grabs the audience's attention in the first seconds of the 90-minute play and holds it firmly till the poignant ending. Tilley commands the mostly unadorned lecture/concert space at The Lyceum, precisely the kind of space one might expect to gather to hear Welles speak, and effectively negotiates the awkward segues between anguished phone harangues and thoughtful storytelling. Tilley draws us to him and the captivating, but now lost, world he re-creates."


-- Michael Toscano
, The Washington Post

"Actor Jay Tilley is three quarters of the way there in just the overall appearance of the great actor and director
. Lost Eden: The Magnificent Welles is a riveting hour and a half performance. Tilley and (playwright Marcus) Wolland give us good insight into the genius of Welles."

-- Rich Massabny
, Arlington Weekly News TV, Cable Channel 69

"Jay did an excellent job in this role. He really took on the mannerisms and characteristics of Orson Welles. Jay was a very good story teller."


-- Mike and Laura Clark
, ShowBizRadio.net

"Jay Tilley looked the part of the very portly elder Welles and he showed a wide range of character talent."


-- Bob Anthony
, All Arts Review 4U

MacBird
! (Earl of Warren/Wayne of Morse/Ensemble)
The American Century Theatre, VA
September/October 2006

"Among supporting players, give Jay Tilley a nod for fine work."


-- Matt Reville
, The Sun-Gazette

"Actor Jay Tilley, known especially in the Manassas area, was a hoot in take-offs as Sen. Wayne Morse and Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren."


-- Rich Massabny
, Arlington Weekly News TV, Cable Channel 69

"...references to the Great Northeast Blackout and Wayne Morse may not register with younger audience members (though great job by actor Jay Tilley as a golf club wielding Morse)."


-- David Cannon
, The Prince George's Sentinel

"... a lot of viewers are too young to know the history of the minor characters, amusing though they may be ... (including) U.S. Sen. Wayne Morse, here portrayed by Jay Tilley as a singing, swaggering "warrior for peace" in a kilt.
"

-- Susan Berlin
, Talkin' Broadway

Anne of the Thousand Day
s (Henry VIII)
Vpstart Crow Productions, VA
July 2006

"Tilley and (Pamela) Sabella are physical opposites and play the roles as opposite spirits. He's large, and his Henry VIII is loud and brutish. She's slight and graceful; her Anne (Boleyn) is precise and calm. He's all bluster and fire; she's steel and ice. When they're together, something combustible happens, and their minuet of romance and power inexorably leads to a clutch of death. The scenes in which Tilley and Sabella confront each other, in romance and treachery, are enthralling. Tilley finds enough humanity in Henry that it seems plausible when Anne, who initially resists him, begins to fall in love with him. That makes his rejection of her when she does not bear him a male heir all the more painful. The tension crackles between them."


-- Michael Toscano
, The Washington Post

"Tilley is determined and dedicated throughout his energetic portayal. Passionate with every line recited, the devotion to his craft is noticeable in both hard work and talent. The signature sweat of his fervent performances glistens under the bright lights as he memorably makes the character his own. ..
. Anne stands tall on the commanding heels of its cast, most notably (Pamela) Sabella and Tilley. Their drive successfully steers the presentation through compelling roads and a triumphant finish line."

-- Kyle Ridley
, The Manassas Journal Messenger

"Jay did a really good job with his character. The king was someone I didn't really find sympathetic. He wanted you to be sympathetic because he was the king. There was a good scene between Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, after Anne's lover had been killed by King Henry. The negotiation that went on by the two of them I thought was very good. In contrast to Jay Tilley being royal and pompous, Anne was, I wouldn't say meek because I thought she was very shrewd. I thought it was a really powerful dialogue between the two of them. They both had a lot of emotion in that performance. There was another scene later when Elizabeth was born. King Henry comes in all proud about how he's now got a son. He can be a real man now. Finally, Anne tells him, "You have a daughter." The color just drains right out of Jay's face. I don't know how he did that. It was really quite effective."


-- Mike and Laura Clark
, ShowBizRadio.net

The Man Who Came To Dinne
r (Sheridan Whiteside)
Castaways Repertory Theatre, VA
May 2006

"But it does have one of the best area actors in the primary role, which fits him like a glove. Through it all, Tilley remains a strong anchor, showing us a man who wallows in the sound of his own mellifluous voice but has a core of humanity beneath the bluster and a warm twinkle in his eye. His Whiteside may be quite imperious, but he is able to see the worth in others, and that makes him likable, something many actors cannot quite achieve with this tricky role."


-- Michael Toscano
, The Washington Post

"Tilley is an ideal lead, passionately throwing himself into each line recited and every belly laugh belted. Even though limited to an old-time wooden wheelchair, he gives a fully fueled performance, the sweat on his forehead glistening under the spotlight as he takes his glasses off and on to make a point. The callous comments and constant name calling from Whiteside never gets the best of the crowd. Tilley's performance is enjoyable despite the bitterness of his character."


-- Kyle Ridley
, Potomac News

"Mik
e: Jay did a really good job with it. He looked totally unlike himself. He had grayed up his beard and his hair. He was in a wheelchair. He did a really good job of not being able to move around as much as a regular actor can. Laura: I enjoyed Jay's character of Sheridan Whiteside very much. He was very believable."

-- Mike and Laura Clark
, ShowBizRadio.net

"Jay Tilley is the self-centered and cruel Sheridan Whiteside, an important and exhausting part played intensely."


-- Floyd Harriso
n, The Lorton Valley Star

Julius Caesa
r (Brutus)
Vpstart Crow Productions, VA
February / March 2006

"Lead characters Julius Caesar (Ted Taylor), Brutus (Jay Tilley) and Cassius (Terry Spann) are all very good in their performances, along with the rest of the cast. Tilley is impressive, literally putting all of his energy and sweat into the emotional role.
"

-- Kyle Ridley
, The Manassas Journal Messenger

"The central figure is Brutus (Jay Tilley), played less as a tower of idealism and integrity and more as a world-weary realist with a permanent table in the casino. Brutus fills the space wtih kinetic power, in stark contrast to Caesar's sleek and burnished presence. Brutus, in his agony of indecision, fidgets and blusters.
"

-- Michael Toscano
, The Washington Post

"Mik
e: The role of Brutus was played by Jay Tilley. Jay did a good job with it. Laura: Yes, I agree, he did a really good job with it."

-- Mike and Laura Clark
, ShowBizRadio.net

"I loved the show! By the way, the acting was terrific, too, including Jay Tilley as Brutus ...
"

-- Rich Massabny
, Arlington Weekly News TV, Cable Channel 69

"... I must say that (Tilley's) quiet scenes, particularly with Portia, are very effective.
"

-- Tim Treanor
, DC Theatre Reviews

Bell, Book and Candl
e (Nicky)
Vpstart Crow Productions, VA
October 2005

"Tilley, a powerhouse talent as a singer, has been stretching this past season, successfully moving into non-singing roles both dramatic and comedic, and the time for him to move on to bigger and better things cannot be far away. Here, he bursts onto the stage with each entrance, dominating each scene he's in, and displaying a playful comedic talent."


-- Michael Toscano
, The Washington Post

"Jay Tilley as Nicky and Jan Boulet as Queenie are the comic thread that holds the whole yarn together and both give splendid portrayals of their zany characters; in fact, I noticed smiles and grins on the faces of audience members at every stage entrance ... Both Ms. Farrell and Mr. Tilley provide performances that entertain and will certainly bring a smile to your face. Chances are you may be a bit bewitched."


-- Walter Ruff
, DC Theatre Reviews

"Bel
l offers plenty of laughs, mostly at the hands of Queenie (Jan Boulet), Gillian's aunt, and Nicky (Jay Tilley), her brother, who both have some fun with the audience."

-- Valerie Walker
, The Gainesville Times

"Her brother, Nicky, is a wacky warlock (male witch) who breezes in and our of her apartment and adds immeasurably to the enjoyment of the play. He's played to the hilt by Jay Tilley."


-- Rich Massabny
, Arlington Weekly News TV, Cable Channel 69

"Jay Tilley is devilishly good as brother Nicky ...The three witches -- Farrell, Boulet and Tilley (never call a male witch a warlock) -- are particularly good at singing their magical chants ...
"

-- Celia Sharpe
, All Arts Review 4U

"Bob Lavery performs brilliantly as the tanked-up eccentric author expertly supported by Tilley."


-- James Martin
, The Manassas Journal Messenger

"Jay Tilley plays the witch's warlock brother in a very broad-brushed approach ..."


-- Brad Hathaway
, Potomac Stages

Of Mice and M
en (Lennie)
Vpstart Crow Productions, VA
July 2005

"... Jay Tilley as Lenne is quite captivating in his innocence. His performance convinces the audience that he's about as threatening as Do
ry from Finding Nemo."

-- Valerie Walker
, The Gainesville Times

"Rubenstein and Tilley, on the other hand, match each other's lines and actions perfectly with Tilley improving on his earlier performances for Vpstart Crow
."

-- James E. Martin
, The Manassas Journal Messenger

The Taming of the Shr
ew (Petruchio)
Vpstart Crow Productions, VA
April /
May 2005

"Hortensio (Alexis Buckles) finds their solution in his loud, crotch-grabbing friend Petruchio (played by a crowd-pleasing Jay Tilley). Tilley as her enthusiastic tamer is a scene-stealer and he didn't have to take his shirt off to do it. He's bold and boisterous and his Petruchio is charming even when he's depriving his new wife of food and sleep in order to tame the beast with
in her."

-- Gail Choochan
, The Manassas Journal Messenger

"Enter Petruchio (Jay Tilley), the loud-mouthed, arrogant, obnoxious out-of-towner who has arrived in Padua to find a wife. Tilley is a tremendously talented actor. In his case, tremendous talent comes in an extra-large package. And Tilley stands, pale and shirtless in the spotlight for a long, uncomfortable soliloquy. This is the kind of thing that never happens in Hollywood movies ... The lingering effect of the scene is a little rankling thought about the kinds of statements our clothing, or lack thereof, makes about us and our place in the
world."

-- Valerie Walke
r, The Gainesville Times

Romeo and Juli
et (Friar Laurence)
Vpstart Crow Productions, VA
February / March 2005

"The supporting cast is sold, with actors such as Lucile Hood as Nurse and Jay Tilley as Friar Laurence adding a rich layer of character and personality to the tale
."

-- Michael Toscano
, The Washington Post

"Another highlight is Jay Tilley as Friar Laurence ... Tilley's Friar is sweet-faced and innocent. It's easy to imagine this Friar Laurence as having the lack of foresight necessary to imagine that Juliet's faked death would produce a happy endin
g."

-- Valerie Walker
, The Gainesville Times

A Christmas Car
ol (Jacob Marley, Ghost of Christmas Present)
Vpstart Crow Productions, VA
December 2004

"Jay Tilley is downright scary as the fearsome, grave-dusty ghost of Scrooge's old partner, Jacob Marley, and is also mesmerizing as a somewhat mischievous Ghost of Christmas Present
."

-- Michael Toscano
, The Washington Post

"Three times during his Marley appearance, Tilley screams like a banshee ... It is the kind of specter that is unavoidably haunting ...
"

-- Valerie Walker
, The Gainesville Times

Our To
wn (Stage Manager)
Theatre For The Community (TFC), VA
November 2004

"Tilley shows promise here ... as we spend time with the families of Grover's Corners, sharing their joys and sorrows, Tilley seems to slow down and begin savoring the memories, gradually getting closer to the ideal of an avuncular, philosophical observer bathed in nostalgia and reflection on the natural flow of life and death
."

-- Michael Toscan
o, The Washington Post

Jesus Christ Superst
ar (Herod)
Open Circle Theatre, DC
September / October 2004

"In the relatively small role of Herod, Tilley brings the passion and beautifully soaring voice that imbues all his stage work
."

-- Michael Toscano
, The Washington Post

A Funny Thing Happend On The Way To The For
um (Miles Gloriosus)
C.A.S.T. in McLean, VA
July 2004

"It is left to cast members in secondary parts to steal the show, particularly Tilley, whose robust voice soars in 'Bring Me My Bride' as he wallows ridiculously in the character's vanity. Tilley also dominates the melodramatic anthem 'Funeral Sequence' with a charismatic and powerful performance
."

-- Michael Toscano
, The Washington Post

"Jay Tilley sings with an exciting voice and shows a strong presence as Miles Gloriosus. Too bad there were no more Sondheim lyrics for him to deliver
."

-- Michael Birchenall
, The McLean Times

"Jay Tilley is a hoot, make that a hoot and a half, as Miles Gloriosus ..
."

-- Matt Reville
, The Sun-Gazette

Ride The Win
ds (Tokusan)
Laurel Mill Playhouse, MD
May / June 2004

"It also offers a strong central performance by Jay Tilley ..
."

-- Brad Hathaway
, Potomac Stages

"The magnificantly voiced Jay Tilley dominates the production as Tokusan .
.."

-- Michael Toscano
, The Washington Post

"Jay Tilley also gives a standout performance as the jolly monastery elder who is part sage and part Orson Welles in Fu Manchu whisker
s."

-- John Harding
, The Laurel Leader

"... with Jay Tilley, who adroitly plays Tokusan
."

-- Guy Leonard
, The Gazette

Worki
ng (Al Calinda, Frank Decker, Tom Patrick)
Reston Community Players, VA
March 2004

"Jay Tilley unleashes his beautifully powerful voice as interstate trucker Frank Decker ... He also settles down for an introspective monologue looking at the life of fireman Tom Patrick
."

-- Michael Toscan
o, The Washington Post

"And it takes sharp performances to allow (Stud Terkel's) work to capture the spirit, as happened with Jay Tilley's sterling interpretation of Al Calinda, the parking lot attendant, in 'Lovin' Al.' Tilley's voice swirled about the parking garage that we could all imagine, and his superb melodic phrasing brought the character to a bigger than life presence
."

-- Michael Birchenall
, The Reston Times

Children of Ed
en (Father)
Prince William Little Theatre, VA
January 2004

"Little Theatre newcomer Jay Tilley, as Father, possesses 'the voice of God,' a rich and full instrument that can make his a commanding presence whenever he wishes. Tilley sets the tone right in the beginning, as he leads the company in the stiring 'Let There Be.' Tilley and the Crawfords join their voices almost seemlessly in 'A World Without You' ..
."

-- Michael Toscano
, The Washington Post

"Thoughout the acts, Tilley gives an omnipotent performance as Father. His voice is deep and strong and when he casts Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden in Act I, the audience cowers along with the couple
."

-- Emily Brown
, The Manassas Journal Messenger

Betty's Summer Vacati
on (Mr. Vanislaw, Voice #3)
Laurel Mill Playhouse, MD
May / June 2003

"Jay Tilley's Mr. Vanislaw was quite amusing, creepy and full of energy ... the voices were effective
."

-- Shaun Harders
, Online Theatre Critic

Assassi
ns (Leon Czolgosz)
Laurel Mill Playhouse, MD
April / May 2003

"As Czolgosz, Tilley inhabits his grim and bitter character completely, offering a compelling performance in 'Gun Song / The Ballad of Czolgosz' ..
. "

-- Michael Toscano
, The Washington Post

"Other standout male performances are turned in by ... Jay Tilley as Leon Czolgosz ..
."

-- John Harding
, The Laurel Leader

17
76 (Richard Henry Lee)
Reston Community Players, VA
October / November 2002

"The show stopping musical moment occurs in the first act with a brilliantly conceived, acted and sung scene featuring Jay Tilley as Richard Henry Lee in 'The Lees of Old Virginia.' Tilley seizes his musical opportunity with dynamic, entertaining hillarity. He sets the standard by which all other musical numbers will be compared this theater season. It's a terrific scene
."

-- Michael Birchenall
, The Reston Times

Jekyll & Hy
de (Bishop of Basingstoke)
Tantallon Community Players, MD
October / November 2001

"Jay Tilley was overall quite good as the pompous and perverted Bishop of Basingstoke .
.."

-- Intermissi
on

The Enchantment of Beauty and the Bea
st (The Beast)
Riverside Dinner Theatre, VA
April - June 2001

"Jay Tilley is scary, playing the Beast with a loud and boisterous voice .
.."

-- Fredericksburg Free Lance-St
ar