WESU Archives: Billy Johnstone

Host profile: Billy Johnstone

A native of New Britain CT, he received his training at the prestigious Boston Conservatory. Billy made his professional stage debut in the International Touring Company of A Chorus Line in the role of Paul and a few years later joined the US National Tour of Cats as Mungojerrie. Soon after in 1997 he made his Broadway debut in Cats at the Winter Garden Theatre performing the role of Coricopat, becoming a member of both the record breaking (1997) and final (2000) companies of the show. His longtime affiliation with the show continues as he has directed numerous productions of Cats around the country including the US high school premeire of the show at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts (2005).

Professional performance credits include roles in West Side Story, Cabaret, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and A Grand Night For Singing (CT Critics Circle Award). Directing and Choreography credits include productions of Gypsy, Once On This Island, Bat Boy the Musical, John Sebastian DeNicola's Megillah and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (CT Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Musical). Most recently he directed the South American premiere of Fame the Musical in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Billy has been a guest artist in the Musical Theatre Departments at New York University, Marymount Manhattan College, Wagner College, University of Michigan, University of California Irvine, and has been a longtime faculty member at The American Musical & Dramatic Academy in NYC. His students have gone on to perform on Broadway as well as on T.V. and in film.

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