Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Rich Smith, The Stranger
Jaysen Wright turned in an equally stellar performance as the Beast's foil, Gaston. His voice was as big as his biceps, he danced well, and he nailed every joke.

Douglas Bursch, Fairly Spiritual
Gaston (Jaysen Wright) is wonderfully arrogant with just the right amount of narcissistic charm to convince us that he could sway an entire town to join him in his nefarious behavior. He also has an amazing voice

The Royale
Celia Wren, The Washington Post
Beautifully orchestrated by Hernandez, the nonliteral staging touches work all the better because they complement richly realized performances. Wright’s ebullient and cocksure Jay, who grabs our interest and sympathy from the start, also reveals emotional depths.

Bob Ashby, DC Metro Theater Arts
Metaphor though Jay may be, Wright’s portrayal is anything but one-dimensional... It’s a non-traditional direction for a character arc, which Wright plays with commendable subtlety, as well as with physicality that makes Jackson fully credible as a professional boxer.

Susan Brall, MD Theatre Guide
Wright as Jay is an impressive actor.  He physically looks the role, and he is able to catch the subtle changes as Jay goes from the braggadocio brawler to the younger brother concerned about his sibling and her family.  We see the doubts the future champion has about his motives and reasons for participating in the fight.

Nelson Pressley, The Washington Post
The acting is warm and intelligent. . . and both Kates and Wright make their characters utterly cogent and difficult to dismiss. 

Beatrice Loayza, DC Metro Theater Arts
Director Johanna Gruenhut’s production of Actually is absolutely compelling theater–suspenseful, easy to be swallowed up by, and helmed by two powerful performers in Kates and Wright. 

Meaghan Hannan Davant, DC Theatre Scene
Wright’s Tom is devilishly cocky, yet never crude, nor cruel. He admirably captures the internal contradictions of Tom’s swaggering confidence, kept in constant check by his nagging fears that he doesn’t belong among the “privileged,” and that his talents will always be outweighed by the color of his skin.

Sons of the Prophet
Nelson Pressley, The Washington Post
Jaysen Wright delivers a splendidly apprehensive performance as the guilty young football hero, whose showdown with Willis’s old-school Uncle Bill briefly looks like the most compelling moral dilemma in the show.

John Stoltenberg, DC Metro Theater Arts
The football player who set the fake deer in the road, Vin, arrives to express his sympathy and remorse to the family. Vin is a hunky lunk, a bit dim but his sincerity runs deep (Jaysen Wright’s tenderly tentative performance in the role is heartbreakingly poignant).

Rebecca Speas, Theatrebloom
Jaysen Wright took a role—Vin, the teenaged football star who set up the offending deer decoy in the road—and gave it such weight and specificity that I wish he had been in more scenes.

Now Comes the Night
Jennifer Minich, MD Theatre Review​
Now Comes the Night at 1st Stage is notable for its terrific performances. Wright’s Brad Flanigan is a convincingly frustrated and concerned friend. As he paces the stage, I can almost feel the wheels in Brad’s head turn as he works diligently to combat Michael’s lies. Myers’s Michael is an agonizingly broken man and his commitment to the physicality and emotional dramatics of the role is commendable and at times jarring. Wright and Myers have a tangible physical chemistry that electrifies the air during moments of tension.

Choir Boy
John Stoltenberg, DC Metro Theater Arts
The athletically built Anthony (Jaysen Wright), is straight but accepting of Pharus, and uncommonly so. The relationship between Pharus and Anthony as it unfolds in their several scenes together was for me the most affecting and arresting of McCraney’s various narratives. At one point Anthony in a roughhousing mood straddles Pharus, kneels astride him as Pharus lies semi-helplessly on his back, and playfully tickles him mock-mercilessly. Pharus, whose sexual attraction to Anthony has been evident, suddenly and involuntarily ejaculates—and the aftermath of shame Pharus feels coupled with the embrace of Anthony’s unfazed friendship is among the show’s most powerful and moving moments.

Celia Wren, The Washington Post
When his roommate, AJ [Jaysen Wright], offers to act as barber, Pharus gratefully agrees. The subsequent grooming sequence is subdued yet achingly poignant, speaking of trust, unexpressed affection and incompatibilities overcome. The haircut scene is one of the most moving in Studio Theatre’s sturdy and often powerful production of “Choir Boy,” directed by Kent Gash….Some of the play’s most eloquent moments are intimate ones: the glimpses of the friendship between the tale’s central character, Pharus (Jelani Alladin), and the more athletic and well-adjusted AJ.

Take Me Out​​
Celia Wren, The Washington Post
As portrayed by actor Jaysen Wright... the gay baseball star named Darren Lemming is economical with movement when off the diamond. Whether he’s holding a news conference or parrying tension-fraught raillery in the clubhouse or gazing at an adversary with a mixture of tamped-down sadness and anger, Wright’s Darren anchors his surroundings with dramatic poise. This hotshot center fielder doesn’t need to fidget. He has earned his cool, seductive arrogance. Wright convincingly maintains this less-is-more physicality, and air of attentive listening, even as the story line pitches the character into a sea of conflict and betrayal.

Amanda N. Gunther, Theatrebloom
Baseball is a game of three. Kippy (Sun King Davis) Darren (Jaysen Wright) and Mason (Adam Downs.) The triple crown of performance, character, and experience; all developed to flawless perfection in these three actors. It is impossible to eloquate with precision how truly exceptional these three performances are given their dynamic nature and the myriad of emotions that go along with their portrayals... As for Jaysen Wright as the main baseball superstar, he commands respect from center stage with little effort. The most impressive thing about Wright’s performance is the unshakeable front he puts forth; tough guy attitude with skin thicker than a god’s. When shocking events crack a fissure in his exterior and the raw intensity of his repressed emotions begin to seep through the experience is astonishing. There is a congeniality to Wright’s portrayal despite the character’s guarded nature; a humanity that is reachable and relatable to all watching. It is in his moments with Mason that he is most vulnerable and exposed; a remarkable progression from their initial encounter to the end of the show.

Michael Poandl, DC Metro Theatre Arts
Wright is impeccable as the low key and blaringly narcissistic Darren, who sardonically contends with the whole gamut of reactions from his jock peers, from awkward references to the Ancient Greeks to all-out homophobia.



Jaysen Wright

Actor & Teacher

Washington Post: How Actor Jaysen Wright Would Spend the Perfect Day in D.C.
Jaysen Wright believes in theater as "a force for social change." So in a year defined by a pandemic, the social justice movement and a presidential election, the D.C.-based actor longed for the opportunity to artistically engage with current events onstage... read more.

Washington Life Magazine: The Young and the Guest List
This year Wright has enjoyed challenging himself and “testing his range,” as he calls it, taking on versatile roles that run the gamut from Shakespeare to farcical comedy and musicals. Regardless of the casting, Wright acknowledges that each come with its own set of “physical, intellectual and emotional demands,” which he is constantly trying to balance with his personal wellbeing... read more

Magic Time!: On Being Seen as “Angry Black Man”
​I remember thinking after I first saw Lydia R. Diamond’s Smart People at Arena that the character Jaysen Wright plays, Jackson Moore, has an important and particular role in how whole the play plays, especially as Wright interpreted him. Despite being a very funny comedy, Smart People is built on a serious subject: how human brains are wired to perceive patterns of racial identity in ways that shape discriminatory attitudes and behavior. Wright’s role as an African American medical student puts him in the crosshairs of exactly the stereotyping that the play is about: In the storyline his character is viewed and disparaged as an “angry black man.” And Wright’s challenge on stage includes the fact some in the audience may view his character that way too... read more.

The Washington Blade: Queery Interview
​The Theater J folks seem to know murky family dramas play well over the holidays. One thinks of last year’s Tony Kushner play “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures.” This year, the company is offering “Sons of the Prophet,” a 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist and dark comedy by Stephen Karam in which two gay brothers in Pennsylvania experience a terrible year in which their father dies in a freak accident with a plastic deer decoy... Actor Jaysen Wright is in the cast. The D.C. native returned to the region in 2012 after stints in Iowa for college and Indiana for graduate school... read more.

theatreWashington​: Take Ten Interview 
1. What was the first show you ever saw, and what impact did it have? 
When I was 10 or 11, my godmother took me to see The Tempest at the Shakespeare Theatre Company here in DC. It was beautiful, strange, hilarious, and completely engrossing. I got lost in it. I think I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since. Even though I didn’t understand everything that was happening, it completely wrapped me up in the moment... read more.