Each year, the University of Montevallo’s National Alumni Association (UMNAA) recognizes an alumnus under the age of 35 whose early career and community contributions have reflected positively at the local, state or national level.
Montgomery native Jason Styres is the recipient of the 2017 Nathalie Molton Gibbons Young Achiever’s Award. Styres graduated from UM in 2006 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting/Directing.
While at UM, Styres’ worked in several theatre productions, choreographing the mainstage productions of “Godspell” in 2004 and “Side Show” in 2006.
Styres was also highly active in College Night, leading Purple Side to victory as male leader in 2006.
After graduation, Styres moved to New York City to pursue a career in theater. Through several stints in production offices and an internship with Bernard Telsey Casting Agency, Styres landed a staff position at Jay Binder Casting in 2011.
Styres steadily worked his way up to a full casting director with credits in the Tony Award winning “Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” the HBO documentary “Six by Sondheim” and the popular TV show “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Most recently, Styres began work as the casting director of “Puffs,” an off-Broadway production spoofing Harry Potter.
Apart from his impressive career accolades in the city that never sleeps, Styres remains an active proponent of UM Theatre. According to Department of Theatre Chair, Dr. David Callaghan, Styres often volunteers his time during the annual Amy Murphy Studio workshop attended by UM musical theatre majors. Each year, Styres serves on one of the workshop’s auditioning panels to provide written feedback to burgeoning student performers.
As co-chapter president of the NYC Area Club of UM’s National Alumni Association, Styres often lends a helping hand in organizing UM alumni events.
The Montevallo alumnus also volunteers his abilities as a supporter and consultant for the galas and benefits of the Cancer Support Community, which offers emotional and social assistance to cancer patients.
“Jason’s work ethic, caring nature, loyalty and commitment to nurturing the next generation of artists and audiences represents the best qualities of what we try to teach our theatre students at UM, as well as the values of our larger University community,” said Callaghan.