Jasper McGruder is a New York based performer who was offered work and a place to stay by Ellen Stewart in 1975. He performed in Zainomah at LaMama in his New York City debut. Notable productions at LaMama include Cotton Club Gala directed by Ellen Stewart Conjur Woman directed by George Ferencz, musical direction by Ellen Stewart. and The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Jasper was hired as a dancer in the Opera Lily directed by Tom O’ Horgan based on Saul Bellow’s Henderson the Rain King by The New York City Opera at Lincoln Center.
In the 1980’s he was drawn to educational theatre and worked for The Young Playwrights Festival, Affiliate Artists, Theatre For The Forgotten, and The American Folk Theatre as a project director for International exchanges to London as guests of the Albany Empire in 1984 and Glasgow as guests of the Scottish Youth Theatre in 1986. High Rise Snaps was performed at Albany Empire with workshops at The Old Vic and The Royal Court. Laughing Matters was performed at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Glasgow, and Sterling Castle. He also taught improvisation workshops for the Scottish Youth Theatre summer Institute in Glasgow in 1989.
In the 1990’s Jasper did extensive work in both Off Broadway and Regional Theatres as a performer and director. International performances included Einstein On The Beach world tour of 1992 as well as a release of the recording where he is featured as the Judge and Bus Driver. From 2001 he has worked at the Barter Theatre as an actor and director. He will reprise his role of Hoke in Driving Miss Daisy in the spring of 2020.