"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 ED TA and CA Thespian Hall of Fames; Recipient of CETA Outstanding Educator; Founder of CA Youth in Theatre, EdTA Presidents Award.

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 and is supportive of daughters Marcie Swan, elementary educator in south LA; Karyn Carney, educator; son-in-law Michael, who recently returned from service in Iraq, 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;
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.

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.