Besides directing Muskegon Civic Theatre’s latest production, Jason Bertoia is settling in to what he considers his dream job.
Bertoia, a Muskegon native and 1997 Muskegon Catholic Central graduate, recently joined MCT full time as its newest managing director, overseeing the operations and business end of the organization.
Twenty years ago, while still in high school, Bertoia job shadowed Muskegon Civic Theatre’s then-managing director for a look at what the job entailed. He said he grew up with the organization, attending Saturday youth educational classes, and later acting in and directing several productions.
“It really is a dream job,” he said. “I’m just really excited to be in this position. I think the organization is at a place where great things are going to happen. I’m excited to be at the front of that and share my energy with them.”
Bertoia spent 17 years working at Every Woman’s Place, starting with the runaway youth and homeless programs at Webster House Youth Services. In 2012, he became a community health worker for Mercy Health Muskegon.
He founded the theater program at Western Michigan Christian High School and continues to serve as the director. He also previously served as theater director for Muskegon Catholic Central, and has directed for the Summer Theatre Festival at Howmet Playhouse in Whitehall.
Last spring, he directed MCT’s Mary Poppins and may continue to do some directing, depending on his schedule.
“There’s no definitive yes or no,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes. So far, so good. I usually balance a full-time job and a show. I see my house very little during plays.”
Bertoia believes MCT is integral to the cultural and entertainment diversity offered in the community, as well as bringing people together to share the human story, inspire intellectual curiosity, and ultimately escape to another world for awhile.