NEW Talk (Ep 6): Jay Pastucha: Theater During COVID-19

Jay Pastucha is the Executive Director at Oil Lamp Theater in Glenview, Illinois, a professional nonprofit theater dedicated to presenting traditional theater in a unique venue and creating a sense of and providing a service to the community. Like many theaters worldwide, Oil Lamp Theater closed its doors in March 2020 due to coronavirus, but that didn’t stop Oil Lamp. By May, they were presenting virtual programing, drive-in theater last summer. Today, they are finishing up a six-show virtual series and preparing for an in-person season this summer outdoors.


Previously, Jay served as Managing Artistic Director at The Hampstead Stage Company (HSC) from 2015-2020. During his tenure, he directed nine productions and produced 33 in total, which over 300,000 people watched nationwide. Additionally, he expanded programming by developing two new branches of the company and completely redesigned their touring model. Jay was also a co-founder of Second Glance Theatre (SGT), a nonprofit theatre that worked with emerging artists to create new plays and help them find their voice. SGT was the breeding ground for staged readings, concert performances, a fringe festival smash-hit, and programming for those with limited access to the arts. As a playwright, Jay has had several of his scripts performed by HSC as well as performed at the Tampa Bay Theater Festival.


Nicole and Jay discuss how Oil Lamp adapted during the pandemic and making plans for performances in person.


You can click here to give a gift to Oil Lamp's Together Again campaign, which will help Oil Lamp produce Season Under The Stars, an outdoor season that will feature two productions, and give people the chance to heal from the pandemic together through the magic of theater.