"Gai Jones is a remarkable artist
whose first love is theatre
education. She skillfully brings
her enthusiasm and talent to
everyone, from children to
seniors. I am continually
inspired by her teaching."

James Thomas Bailey
Artistic Director
National Comedy Theatre
  Gai Jones    

Gai Jones, Founder of CA Youth in Theatre, entered educational theatre by way of a small liberal arts college for women in Oklahoma which offered a specialized degree, BA in Speech and Drama, an equivalent of a BFA. While teaching eighth grade Speech/Drama in Fullerton, CA, she completed an MA in Theatre as the first woman to receive the degree at CA State University, Fullerton in 1968. For her thesis she performed a one- woman show based on the evolution from Elocution to modern Oral Interpretation of Literature. She taught Theatre at El Dorado High School, Placentia, CA, for thirty-four years. Upon retirement, the Black Box Theater was named The Gai Jones Theater. Served on SCETA board, CETA SO and CETA boards as member-at-large, then President; Regional Director of Educational Theatre Association; CA State Thespian Director. Named to Who’s Who in Secondary Education, Young Leaders of Education, Who’s Who in Women Educators; Inductee into the EdTA and CA Thespian Hall of Fames; Recipient of CETA Outstanding Educator; Founder of CA Youth in Theatre, EdTA Presidents Award, EdTA Governing Board Member, Vice President, President and now Past President.

She is included in THE WORLD’S WHO’S WHO OF WOMEN; SECONDARY EDUCATORS OF AMERICA; YOUNG EDUCATORS OF AMERICA; CAAE LEADERS IN THEATRE EDUCATION; STAGE DIRECTIONS, LEADERS IN AMERICA. She has been installed into the following Halls of Fame:  Outstanding Arts Educator for Orange County; CETA Outstanding Educator; CA State Thespians; EdTA Hall of Fame, CA; has been granted a Theatre In Our Schools Award with AATE; PTSA Service Award; she is a member of DAR, Zeta Phi Eta, AATE, EdTA.

Mrs. Jones lives with husband Dr. Wendell Jones in Ojai, CA and is supportive of daughters Marcie Jones, Director Aspire Public Schools LA and Alder GSE teacher residency; Director; Karyn Carney, educator; son-in-law Michael, retired Army Major, and grandson, Laith.

Theatre education consultant around the country;
Trustee of CA State Thespian Board;
DTASC Membership Secretary;
CETA and Thespian VP Membership;
Board of Trustees of CA State Thespians;
LACAE-Legislative Action Board member;
Member of Sr. Theatre League;
Recorder for the Blind;
Volunteer with dog, Buddy, to skilled nursing units as a Pet Assisted Therapist; 
Commercial and Voice Over artist;
Interim Director of Ojai Performing Arts Academy;
Performer for Theater 150, professional Ojai Theater for Off the Page staged readings;
Creator and Teacher of Sage to Stage, six week workshops for senior citizens;
Director for Ojai Art Center Theater;
Secretary of Ojai Art Center Theater Branch;
Teacher, Virtual Theatre for international, Summer Theatre Arts camp, Camp Bravo;
Teacher, Extension classes for Theatre educators through CA State University, East Bay;
Field Supervisor for the first Theatre credential candidates CSUEB 2021;
Performer for Ventura Senior Readers Theatre;
Volunteer at the Ojai Library as a Story Reader;
Story Lady for The Accelerated School;
Workshop Leader for The Oaks Resort;
Funder for the Gai Jones scholarship at El Dorado High School and the S*T*A*R scholarship with CA State Thespians;
Producer of the New Plays Series and Advisory Board member for Theater 150 in Ojai;
Director of Elite Theatre productions;
Guest Editor of AATE national educators’ magazine;
Guest author of EdTA’s Teaching Theatre;
Finalist Ventura Arts Council Individual Award;
Actor in Ojai Rising’s production of Our Town;
Education Director of Ojai Rising;
Recipient of CETA's Life Achievement in October 2004;
Conejo Players Theatre 2019 Legacy Advocate Award;
Disney's Inspiring Brilliance Award 2015;
AACT American Association of Community Theatre Distinguished Merit Award 2018;
City of Ojai Lifetime in the Arts Award 2019;
Ms. Jones is proud to support all Theatre educators and students, ages pre-K through senior citizens. She most recently has presented her Ensemble Experience workshop at the national EdTA, ITS, and AATE conferences along with the following state Thespian conferences: Arkansas, Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado. Her new Theatre resource book, entitled RAISING THE CURTAIN is published  by Perfection Learning and on sale through their website.