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Artists in Residence Songs Dealing With These Times: Jay Armstrong Johnson

Artists in Residence Songs Dealing With These Times: Jay Armstrong Johnson

Jay Armstrong Johnson starred on Broadway as Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera, joining the record-breaking phenomenon for its 30th anniversary year. Immediately following, Jay originated the role of lovable loner (and stoner) Banko in Roundabout Theatre Company’s world premiere of Scotland, PA. Jay received critical acclaim and nominations from both the Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical. Jay was the recipient of a 2020 Outer Critics Circle Award Honor for his performance. Jay has appeared in five Broadway shows, making his debut in the original company of the Tony Award-winning revival of Hair, in which he understudied the leading role of Claude. Catch Me if You Can, Hands on a Hardbody, and the celebrated revival of On the Town. For his star turn as Chip Jay was nominations for the Astaire & Clive Barnes Award. Jay is the recipient of a Drama Desk Award.

Known to audiences worldwide as eccentric genius hacker Will Olsen on ABC’s Quantico. He appeared opposite Priyanka Chopra in all three seasons of the show’s run.

Jay has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, New York City Center, the Kennedy Center, and the Hollywood Bowl. At Lincoln Center, he starred opposite Emma Thompson, Bryn Terfel, and Audra McDonald in Sweeney Todd, directed by Lonny Price. The New York Philharmonic production was recorded for Live from Lincoln Center on PBS. Jay starred as the title role in New York City Opera’s Candide, under the direction of the legendary Hal Prince.

Jay’s debut album, Jay Armstrong Johnson — LIVE at Feinstein’s / 54 Below, is available on Spotify, iTunes, and

For Artists In Residence, a collection of brand-new songs written and performed by members of the theatre community (all from their homes) Jay interpreted not one but two songs. On “Rooftop Girl” written by the album’s conceiver Andrew Gerle, Jay brings a joyous moment in the midst of Covid. Ryan Scott Oliver’s “What a Thought” not only appears on Artists In Residence, but also Oliver’s new album Future Demons.

Amanda Williams Ware, Jay Armstrong Johnson, and Allison Robinson Roberto Araujo

Speaking of demons Jay is reviving I Put A Spell On You: The Return of the Sanderson Sisters this Halloween.  The free stream, set for October 29, will rally for donations to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Video by Magda Katz


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

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