Jamie Kalama Wood is the new director of Living Legends. She graduated from BYU in 2002 with a bachelor’s in music dance theatre and from San Diego State University in 2006 with a master’s in musical theatre.
One of Wood’s childhood teachers introduced Wood to music dance theatre. “I had an amazing theatre teacher in middle school,” says Wood. “Theatre was one of the many electives that I tried, and it stuck.”
Since then, Wood has inspired students she has taught across the United States and in India. In addition, she has taught professional workshops and created original licensing material and curriculum based on world cultures and the arts.
Wood’s talent and skill has allowed her to perform in Europe, in Hawaii, and throughout North America. “I love having the opportunity to perform and create empathy for people so different from myself either in their circumstances or their priorities,” says Wood. “If I don’t love them, I can’t portray them.”
Most recently, Wood taught and performed in New York City. She worked for Disney Theatrical Group, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and Roundabout Theatre Company. She has worked as an actress, choreographer, soloist, and director for a variety of plays, musicals, commercials, and movies.
“As a director and choreographer, I love seeing the whole picture and molding the experience in order to tell the story,” says Wood.
Because of Wood’s mixed ancestral heritage, she has fostered a love for world cultures and language. “I know that I’ll have Polynesian, Latin, and Native family members watching our shows, so that puts on pressure,” says Wood. “I want to make sure we acknowledge our historical roots and are transparent in where our dances begin. At the same time, I feel an immense pressure to create a show that speaks to the rising generation, because they’re my nieces, nephews, and children.”