College of Visual and Performing Arts Stories

CVPA All-Star Series: J Travis Cooper

J Travis Cooper

By Jen Kulju (M'04)

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree for J Travis Cooper, who grew up in a theatre family in Norfolk, Virginia. Cooper’s mother is a dancer, choreographer and actor; his father is a puppeteer, director, playwright, scenic designer and actor. Cooper became exposed to the theatre by watching and traveling with his parents, and by participating in plays and musicals in school—both from an acting and directing standpoint. Cooper joined the Hurrah Players, a local theatre group, where he acted in musicals and took dance classes. He landed his first paid gig in The Little Mermaid with Virginia Musical Theatre in Virginia Beach.

When it came time for college, Cooper moved from majoring in English to studying musical theatre. He added JMU to his list after hearing how much a friend from home “loved” the school and its musical theatre program. During his audition at JMU, Cooper got to meet with faculty and students and see them work in the rehearsal space—and was sold. Cooper is now a sophomore musical theatre major with three minors: music, dance, and honors interdisciplinary studies. He has been featured in the Forbes Center productions of Children of Eden (Ensemble, dancer); Guys and Dolls (Liver Lips Louie, dancer); Equus (Horse); and Parade (Riley, Ensemble); and has worked on the Studio Theatre productions of Director’s Fest (2017, 2016) and I and You (movement director). With “a real hunger for directing and cultivating the voice of others, especially through movement,” Cooper is currently an assistant director of the Studio Theatre production of Scab, which runs April 5-10, 2018 at the Forbes Center.

March 20, 2018

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Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Last Updated: Thursday, January 23, 2020

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