Jeffrey Gates '82
Jeffrey Gates, a member of the Rush-Henrietta Class of 1982, was not satisfied until his desire to expand community theater programs in his adopted hometown was fulfilled.
Mr. Gates, who moved to London, Ohio, in 1995, always has demonstrated a passion for the theatre - starting with his days on the Sperry stage. He was pleased to find that a community theater program existed in London, but identified several ways it could be improved. Mr. Gates believed the program could be expanded to the benefit of everyone who lived within the borders of his county, and that such a program should afford children with opportunities to become involved with their families.
His ideas weren’t embraced at first, but Mr. Gates persisted, aligning himself with enthusiastic people who shared his vision for expanded theater programs for all ages. With their help, he founded the Madison County Arts Council in 1997, where he has directed and produced county-wide theatrical productions and written original scripts for musical revues. Mr. Gates served as the organization’s founding president and remains active on and off the theatrical stage.
To demonstrate the Arts Council’s commitment to youth, the council’s first program in 1997 was the Young Artist Showcase, an opportunity for instrumental and vocal students to perform in a professional format. As proof of its popularity within the community, the fourteenth consecutive installment of the Young Artist Showcase was held in 2010. He is also lead singer for the CD-producing barbershop quartet, The Music Men of London.
Mr. Gates, who works for the Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities, is also an accomplished journalist. While writing for The Madison Press, he has won 10 writing awards from the Associated Press Society of Ohio. He credits Rush-Henrietta teachers, Paul Cimicata, Richard Guido, and Bob Sagan in helping him achieve in music, journalism, and theatre to such a high level.
Mr. Gates and his wife, Maggie, have two sons, Aaron and Reid.