Jerry Jaffe, Ph.D.

Jerry Jaffe, Theatre

As part of a family with roots in the entertainment industry, Jerry Jaffe's love for theatre runs deep. The Toledo, Ohio native has always loved plays, whether he's in them or simply watching, so his career in the field came about naturally.

Following high school, Jerry earned his B.A. from the University of Toledo, M.A. from Brown University, and Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University, though his interests later led him across the world. He spent four years doing theatre and teaching at Tsukuba University in Japan and another six years in New Zealand doing theatre and teaching at Otago University, ultimately returning stateside to continue his career.

Jerry learned of the opportunity to teach at Lake Erie College while he was working at a large research institution and found himself being drawn to the small, liberal arts community. “I got into teaching to help people, so working someplace where I could be closely connected to the campus, community and students was ideal,” he said.

For Jerry, the best thing about theatre is the ability to engage in personal expression within a community of stimulating collaboration. He enjoys sharing this world with his students as a professor as he prepares them for careers in entertainment, one of the largest industries in the world.

 “I love giving students the chance to work on exciting pieces of performance art in a supportive environment with a high degree of personal mentoring,” he said. “I spend a lot of time with my students, be it in class, in rehearsals or just in general, so there’s always a teaching opportunity.”

At LEC, Jerry teaches courses in acting, comedy, history, Shakespeare, directing and more, though he is best known for running the College’s theatre department. He also co-produces and hosts a podcast called Gold Star Classroom with Associate Professor Steven Gutierrez, which can be found at

Apart from LEC, Jerry is currently working on a book about religious satire and works regularly as a stand-up comedian. He has performed standup comedy all over the country, including gigs in Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta, and describes himself as “the world’s most highly educated stand-up comedian.”

Whether he’s in the classroom, on stage, or behind the scenes, Jerry is a true master of his craft. We look forward to the future productions he will bring to life on the C.K. Rickel Theatre stage.