Jo – Director

Jo Payne

Director and Founder of Star Project

In her words…

“I wanted to create a place that would remain in the hearts of our students for the rest of their lives.
I think we did that!”

Jo is the Founder and Company Director of The Star Project. A Theatre Maker by trade, Jo has dedicated her entire adult life to The Star Project. Opening it’s doors when she was only 19 years old. For the first decade Jo taught at all projects as she developed the programme. Jo trained her team to a high standard of how to deliver our incredible Star Project Experience.

Originally from Worcestershire Jo now oversees the management of all schools worldwide remotely from her Canadian home. Jo is in touch with all our families through the wonderful virtual world and supports with all elements of their experience at The Star Project! Jo returns once a year to produce our Main Stage Term and bring the magic together in the summer. Jo adores her time immersed in the final rehearsals and seeing how the students have grown in their confidence, skills and often height over the past year!
Alongside Jo’s commitment to children’s theatre Jo is also a theatre writer and currently working on her show DELAYED The Musical. Jo has two young daughters Madeline, 4 and Annabelle, 2.

Jo’s passion for dance and performance began at the age of two as a ballet student at the Maxine Grant School of Dance in the village of Barnt Green. She continued her training, eventually landing a scholarship at the age of sixteen to further her Musical Theatre studies. Jo then trained at the Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama in Nottingham, England for 3 years where she graduated from the Musical Theatre Program with Distinction, while also earning I.D.T A Associate Teaching credentials. After her Graduate Showcase at the Bloombury Theatre in West End, London, Jo went on to build a career as an Actor, Writer, Choreographer, Director, TV Presenter and Arts Educator alongside her constant passionate work building a Theatre family at The Star Project.

Her favourite credits include: Wendy, Alice and Parade Performer at Disneyland Paris, Columbia in The Rocky Horror Tour, Staxx Sister in Blues Brothers and Sorelli Sister in The Rat Pack at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Ronette in Little Shop Of Horrors and lead TV Presenter for programmes on Fame and Legal TV on Sky.

Jo has built a successful and dynamic Theatre company and is continuously committed to ensuring The Star Project delivers the most wonderful life changing experiences for every students that steps through our doors.

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