Elk Grove High School graduate and former Elk Grove resident Jill Miller is taking part in the San Jose Stage Company’s presentation of the musical CHICAGO.
Jill currently works for the City of Salinas as a senior planner. In December, she brought forward the largest project in Salinas history for approval by the city council: 4340 homes, 11 parks, 5 schools, over 500,000 square feet of mixed use commercial space. This project is a huge step for Salinas to take in helping to address the housing crisis in California.
We contacted Jill to find out more about her time in Elk Grove and what she is doing now.
How long did you live in the Elk Grove area? Where did you go to school? Were you involved in acting in high school?
Jill: My family moved to Camden Passage in 1990. I attended Ellen Feickert Elementary School, Harriet Eddy Middle School and Elk Grove High School. My folks still live in Elk Grove. I was not involved in theater in high school, however, I did dance on Elk Grove High School’s Rhythmical Madness Dance Company. I took my first ever voice class at Cosumnes River and when I transferred to Chico State, I did my first musical (Gypsy, at Chico Theater Company). Thus began my love for theater.
After you graduated from Elk Grove where did you go to college
Jill: I attended Cosumnes River where I completed my AA and then transferred to California State University, Chico. I studied Environmental Geography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Musical Theater Dance.
How did you get involved in city planning and eventually work for the City of Salinas?
Jill: My family would vacation and visit family in the Monterey area when I was a child. When I graduated college, I focused my job search on GIS jobs in the Sacramento and Monterey areas. In all honesty, I ended up in city planning unintentionally. I went in to the City of Salinas for an interview for a “planning technician” which, after reading the job description, I thought was more of a GIS and technical support position in the Planning Department. It turns out, it was more of an entry level planning job. I was offered and accepted the job in 2007. I worked at the City of Salinas for a few years before departing to pursue other employment opportunities including city planning, choreography and performing. I returned to the City of Salinas in 2014. Today, I am a senior planner in the Advanced Planning division.
Now you’re involved with the musical Chicago with the San Jose Stage Company. How did all that come together
Jill: I have been climbing the city planning career ladder and pursuing a stage career for the last 10 years now. With a full time “day job” I am somewhat restricted as to which theater jobs I can feasibly pursue. As such, I have mostly worked in Salinas, Carmel, Santa Cruz and San Jose. I did my first show with San Jose Stage Company in 2013 (Reefer Madness, Sally), and have been fortunate to have had several opportunities with the company since then. Chicago will be my seventh show with San Jose Stage Company. When The Stage announced their 37th season, I targeted Chicago. Chicago is one of those shows that really draws dancers. It’s a great ensemble show, and Fosse style choreography offers a challenge in precision, turned-in articulation and contracted movement. The cast and production team are very solid; I’m grateful to be a part of the project.
Jill last appeared with San Jose Stage Company as Columbia in The Rocky Horror Show, Rosie in Mamma Mia, The Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd, Stella in Bonnie and Clyde, and Sally in Reefer Madness. She recently appeared on the Pacific Repertory Theater Golden Bough stage as Tanya in Mamma Mia (which she also choreographed), Demeter in Cats, Heather Chandler in Heathers the Musical, and Tina in Sister Act. Other recent performances include The Westerns Stage’s production of Bloody, Bloody AndrewJackson (Bandleader), and Cabrillo Stage’s production of Chicago (Annie).
SAN JOSE, CA (January 6, 2020) – San Jose Stage Company (Randall King, Artistic Director and Cathleen King, Executive Director) is pleased to announce the cast and creative team for the third production of The Stage’s 37th Season, Broadway’s longest-running American musical CHICAGO. Nominated for three 1975 Tony® Awards and the 1997 Tony® Award-winner for “Best Revival Of A Musical,” CHICAGO features a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. CHICAGO is based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, with the script adaptation by David Thompson. The Stage’s production of CHICAGO will be directed by Randall King, choreography by Tracey Freeman-Shaw and music direction by Benjamin Belew. CHICAGO will run from February 5 – March 15, 2020 at San Jose Stage Company (490 South 1st Street, San Jose, CA, 95113). The press opening will take place on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets range from $32 – $60 and can be purchased through the Box Office at (408) 283-7142 or online at www.thestage.org.
“I am thrilled to begin 2020 at The Stage with CHICAGO, a true masterwork that fuses the legendary style and spirit of Bob Fosse with the brilliance of Kander and Ebb,” said Director Randall King. “Choreographer Tracey Freeman-Shaw builds on Fosse’s most iconic dance moves and provocative steps. In today’s charged atmosphere, CHICAGO has even more potency and we are proud to stage this revolutionary work at this moment in history.”
The principal cast of CHICAGO includes Allison F. Rich* as “Velma Kelly,” Monique Hafen Adams* as “Roxie Hart,” Keith Pinto* as “Billy Flynn,” Branden Noel Thomas* as “Matron ‘Mama’ Morton,” Kyle Bielfield* as “Mary Sunshine” and Sean Doughty as “Amos Hart.” The CHICAGO ensemble includes Tracey Freeman-Shaw*, Matthew Kropschot, Zoey Lytle, Jill Miller, Monica Moe, Jacqueline Neeley, Vinh Nguyen, Nick Rodrigues and Tony Wooldridge.
In addition to Mr. King, Ms. Freeman-Shaw and Mr. Belew, the creative team includes Robert Pickering (Scenic Design), Michael Palumbo + (Lighting Design), Ashley Garlick (Costume Design), Steve Schoenbeck (Sound Design), Caitlin Elizabeth (Props Coordinator) and Michael Truman Cavanaugh* (Production Stage Manager).
“Wildly entertaining…[with a] dazzling score.” - New York Daily News
NOMINEE! 1975 Tony® Awards: Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score WINNER! 1997 Tony® Award, Best Revival of a MusicalViscerally modern, CHICAGO — the longest-running American musical on Broadway — explodes with energy. In roaring twenties Chicago, Roxie Hart lands on murderers’ row along with famed nightclub star Velma Kelly. Chicago’s slickest lawyer, Billy Flynn, is set to defend them and soon turns their stories into a media circus filled with flair to gain the public’s sympathy. As a timely satire on American justice and sensationalized journalism, CHICAGO relies on “fake news” to reconstruct public reality. This sharp-edged musical mixes the immortal style of Bob Fosse with infamous songs like “The Cell Block Tango”, “Mr. Cellophane”, & “All That Jazz” into a powder keg of a show.
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers. +Member of United Scenic Artists.
CHICAGO runs approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission.
San Jose Stage Company’s 37th season will continue with the Tony® Awards and Pulitzer Prize-winning AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (April 8 – May 3, 2020) and one more show to be announced (June 3 – 28, 2020). Tickets and subscriptions may be purchased through the Box Office at (408) 283-7142 or online at www.thestage.org.
About San Jose Stage Company
Now in its 37th season, San Jose Stage Company is recognized as the South Bay’s leading professional theatre company, having earned a reputation for artistic excellence through imaginative and edgy theatrical experiences that spark ideas and dialogue with the audience. The Stage is devoted to new, cutting-edge work and re-envisioned American literature and world classics using innovative stagecraft, multi-media that propels the narrative, and accomplished, local actors in true repertory style. With the farthest seat in the house no more than 15 feet from the three-quarter thrust stage, the connection between actor and audience is profoundly visceral.
Attracting more than 30,000 patrons to downtown and employing more than 150 local artists annually, San Jose Stage Company continues to be a vital force in the region’s economic and creative landscape. As a strong community partner, The Stage has been the creative home for more than 500 performance groups including San Jose Jazz and Notre Dame High School – working together to engage, provoke, and inspire current and future theatre participants and arts advocates.
The Stage is a multi-award-winning theatre company having received numerous accolades including the 2018 Paine Knickerbocker Award for continued contributions to Bay Area theatre from the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle. The Stage has produced over 165 productions, including 16 world premieres and 47 new works and is ranked as the 2nd largest professional theatre and 8th largest performance arts organization in Silicon Valley (Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal).
WHAT: San Jose Stage Company production of CHICAGO
WHEN: February 5 – March 15, 2020 (press opening on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.).
WHERE: San Jose Stage Company, 490 South 1st Street, San Jose, CA, 95113.
RUNNING TIME: CHICAGO runs approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission.
TICKETS: $32 – $60 and can be purchased through the Box Office at (408) 283-7142 or online at www.thestage.org.