Growing up in San Francisco, Rodney Jackson knew that he wanted to dedicate his life to his passion and love for theatre.
As a child, he could usually be found at the San Francisco Arts Education Project. He says it was his foundation. He attended San Francisco School of the Arts before being accepted into Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania.
“It’s important to educate our ethnic youth through the arts. How I learned to interact with other people was through the arts,” Jackson said. “Without theatre, I would not be the person I am today and who I’m striving to be.”
Now at the age of 23, he is reaching for the stars. Upon graduating from Carnegie Mellon with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama, he was cast in the Broadway production of “The Book of Mormon”.
He says he feels honored to have a role in “Motown: The Musical,” which is his second production.
“It’s amazing to be part of history,” said Jackson. “We sing over 65 authentic Motown songs [from] The Miracles, Commodores, Michael Jackson. There’s something for everyone.”
When auditioning for the production, he had to perform in front of the legendary Barry Gordy. Jackson says it was about more than just meeting Gordy; it was about getting his approval.
When Gordy told him he sound good, Jackson says he knew he was doing something right.
Jackson will sing as David Ruffin of The Temptations when performing “My Girl” and as Jermaine Jackson when singing Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There.”
Because of his roles in back-to-back shows, Jackson has not been home in over seven months. But he is excited about being able to come to his hometown and perform for Bay Area audiences.
“Motown: The Musical” will run at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theatre from Aug.15 to Sept. 28. Ticket prices start at $40.
For more information, visit www.motownthemusical.com or to purchase tickets visit www.shnsf.com