Musical Theatre alumnus returns to Shawnee State to direct spring musical


Staff report



Jonnie Carpathios returned to his alma mater this semester to direct the program’s spring production of “Disaster!”.

Jonnie Carpathios returned to his alma mater this semester to direct the program’s spring production of “Disaster!”.


Submitted photo

PORTSMOUTH — Graduating in 2017 as part of the first class of Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Musical Theatre from Shawnee State University, Jonnie Carpathios returned to his alma mater this semester to direct the program’s spring production of “Disaster!”. Originally from Canton, Ohio, Carpathios studied all four years at SSU, choosing the university at first because his father was a professor in the Department of English & Humanities.

“My father was a professor at SSU at the time I graduated from high school,” he said. “SSU offered a more affordable education than many other schools. There were many valuable programs here, so, it was a no brainer.”

Carpathios chose Musical Theatre as his major after discovering his love for acting. During his time in the program, he quickly realized the passion he had developed for performing on a stage.

“I had a passion for acting and heard that there was a new BFA program for Musical Theatre at SSU,” he said. “I signed up for a couple of classes and fell in love with performing. The music, dance, and performance faculty at SSU are extremely attentive, knowledgeable, and supportive of the creative students coming through the program.”

After graduating with his BFA in 2017, Carpathios went on to The Barn Theatre School in Augusta, Michigan to earn his actor’s union status. He became a resident member for the company where he performed in over fifty productions.

“Some of my favorite roles include Quasimodo in Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame and Jack Kelley in Disney’s Newsies,” he said.

While living in Brooklyn, New York, he was featured live in Cabaret at 54 Below, in commercials, the CBS show Instinct, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Revenge Prank. Recently, Carpathios was contacted by his former academic advisor and professor, John Huston, to return to campus as a guest director for a production. He accepted the opportunity and has had a great experience serving in the role for “Disaster!”.

“John Huston contacted me in the fall about coming back to guest direct,” he said. “I barely needed to think about it. Guest directing here at SSU has been a great privilege. Even after earning my degree, I have been able to work alongside and learn from my mentors from my college years.”

Thinking about his favorite part in his experience directing the production, Carpathios is thankful for the opportunity to return to his former school and inspire current student performers.

“I love the collaborative work I have been able to put in with faculty and students,” he said. “There is an abundance of talent here at SSU. I love sharing our theatre spaces with both the professors and the hungry performers here at the university.”

Looking towards how he has built his career since discovering his passion for the world of Musical Theatre, Carpathios encourages other to explore the many different avenues the field can offer.

“Come to Shawnee and join a class,” he said. “Whether it is dance, theatre, or music – there is a good chance you could fall in love as I did.”

To learn more about the Musical Theatre program at Shawnee State University, visit www.shawnee.edu/musical-theatre.

Jonnie Carpathios returned to his alma mater this semester to direct the program’s spring production of “Disaster!”.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/02/web1_Jonnie-Carpathios.jpgJonnie Carpathios returned to his alma mater this semester to direct the program’s spring production of “Disaster!”. Submitted photo

Staff report