Jake Epstein

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Jake Epstein
Born 1986/1987 (age 31–32)[1]
Occupation Actor, singer
Years active 1999–present

Jake Epstein is a Canadian actor and singer who played Craig Manning, a bipolar musician, on Degrassi: The Next Generation. He also played Will in the First National Tour of American Idiot and created the role of Gerry Goffin in the Broadway production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

Personal life

Epstein was born in Toronto, Ontario. His mother, Kathy Kacer (born September 6, 1954),[2] is a Norma Fleck Award-winning writer of children's stories about the Holocaust, and his father, Ian Epstein (born 1955),[3] is a lawyer.[4][5][6] He has an older sister, Gabi, an actress and jazz singer. Epstein is Jewish and was raised in Conservative Judaism.[7][8] He attended Claude Watson School for the Arts in Toronto and then continued in the Claude Watson program in Earl Haig Secondary School. He attended Camp Gesher in Cloyne, Ontario for a few years.


Epstein was the lead actor in several of his school's plays and musicals, the most notable one being the Emcee in Cabaret. He started acting on screen in 1999, appearing in several made-for-television films and television series, including The Zack Files, Quints, Mom's Got A Date With A Vampire and an episode of Real Kids, Real Adventures.

He became well known after being cast in a lead role as Craig Manning on Degrassi: The Next Generation, joining the cast in 2002, in the second season of the show and continued to star in the show as a regular through seasons 2–5. After being absent from the show for the latter half of season five, he returned in season six in a guest appearance for two episodes and has made guest appearances through seasons 6–8. Jake did not appear in Season 9, but appeared in the "Degrassi Goes Hollywood" movie, that aired after the finale of Season 8.

Epstein made his professional theatrical debut in a Soulpepper Theatre Company production of Our Town. Jake has also appeared in Radio Free Roscoe.

Epstein attended the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal and graduated in 2008. His biggest passion is music, and he has been a member of several bands, such as Mind the Gap, and Funkasaurus Rex, playing many musical instruments, including the guitar and drums. Epstein also starred in The Dream, alongside a bunch of friends for the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2007. Epstein also had a small role in the 2008 movie Charlie Bartlett, with a guest appearance from former Degrassi cast member, Drake.

Epstein starred in a Ross Petty production of Cinderella, at Elgin Theatre (Toronto), from November 28, 2008 until January 4, 2009, the production also starred fellow Degrassi: The Next Generation actress Paula Brancati.

Epstein replaced Kyle Riabko as Melchior Gabor in the First National Tour of Spring Awakening, officially beginning his run on July 7, 2009.[9]

In late 2009, he and fellow Degrassi star Jake Goldsbie guest-starred in an episode of the Canadian series Being Erica.[10]

Also in 2009, Jake starred as Charlie Brown, or "CB", in Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead—alongside fellow Degrassi grads, Paula Brancati as "Van's Sister" (Lucy Van Pelt), Adamo Ruggiero as "Van" (Linus Van Pelt) and Mike Lobel as "Matt" (Pig-Pen).[11][12]

From November 25, 2010 through January 2, 2011, Epstein starred in Ross Petty's Beauty & The Beast: The Savagely Silly Family Musical at the Elgin Theatre (Toronto).[citation needed]

From January 20, 2011 to January 29, 2011, Epstein costarred with his sister, Gabi Epstein in Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond's "Dani Girl" at the Talk is Free Theatre in Barrie, Ontario.

In July 2011, Epstein played Billy's older brother in the Toronto run of Billy Elliot The Musical at the Canon Theatre.

Epstein recently starred as Will in the First National Tour of Green Day's American Idiot (musical).

Epstein made his Broadway debut in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark as the alternate for lead role Peter Parker/Spider-Man. He joined the company on December 4, 2012, and performed Saturday and Sunday matinees, with his first show having taken place on December 8 at the Foxwoods Theatre.[13] He played his final performance on August 12, 2013 to begin rehearsing for a new musical titled Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,[14] which opened on Broadway on January 12, 2014. Epstein played Gerry Goffin, the former husband of Carole King, on whom the musical is based. This marked his second Broadway show in less than a year.[15] Epstein remained with the cast until September 21, 2014.[16]



Year Film Role Notes
2000 Quints Brad TV movie
Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire Duffy TV movie
2004 Crown Heights
2008 Charlie Bartlett Dustin Lauderbach
2009 Degrassi Goes Hollywood Craig Manning TV movie
Year Title Role Notes
1999 Ricky's Room Brad unknown episodes
Real Kids, Real Adventures Chris Gilmore Episode: "Lost & Found: The Richard Prieur Story"
2000–2002 The Zack Files Cam Dunleavy Main Role 52 episodes
2002–2009 Degrassi: The Next Generation Craig Manning 2002–2006, Seasons 2–5 (Series Regular)

2006–2009, Seasons 6–8 (Guest Appearances)

2003 The Eleventh Hour Jacob McGibbon Episode: "Shelter"
Girls v. Boys Contestant Hawaii
2005 Radio Free Roscoe Jackson Torrance Episode: "Musical Influences"
2006 Angela's Eyes Brad Episode: "Undercover Eyes"
2008 Paradise Falls Jim Episodes: "Revelations", "Stardust"
2009 Being Erica Malcolm Abrams Episode: "Battle Royale"
2011 My Babysitter's a Vampire David Stachowski Episode: "Blue Moon"
2015 Remedy Jake Ruben Episodes: "Fight or Flight", "Day One"
2015 Charming Christmas
Year Film Role Notes
2009 Spring Awakening Melchior Gabor Tour
Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead CB
2011 Billy Elliot The Musical Billy's older brother
American Idiot (musical) Will Tour
2012-2013 Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark alternate for lead role Peter Parker/Spider-Man
2014 Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Gerry Goffin


  1. Ouzounian, Richard (December 16, 2011). "The Big Interview: Jake Epstein — from Degrassi to American Idiot". The Star. Toronto.com. Retrieved January 19, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Kathy Kacer dot Com - Children's Author of Historical Fiction and Non-Fiction Stories". Retrieved January 23, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Ian S. Epstein Lawyer Profile on Martindale.com".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Post City Magazines | August 2007, Jake Epstein by Robin Heron
  5. "Our Canadian Girl". Kathy Kacer. Retrieved June 26, 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Kathy Kacer". Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP.org). Retrieved July 30, 2015. With short autobiography.
  7. Miller, Gerri (July–August 2007). "Jake Epstein". JVibe. 3 (4): 12–15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Document2
  9. "'Degrassi' Star Epstein to Succeed Riabko in Spring Awakening National Tour". Adam Hetrick. Retrieved June 2, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. IMDB. "Being Erica Battle Royale (2009)"
  11. "When your Dog Sees God". |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Hetrick, Adam. "Royal's Dog Sees God, starring Jake Epstein, Gets Canadian Premiere March 13". Playbill.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Gioia, Michael. ""Degrassi" Star Jake Epstein Will Make Broadway Debut in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Jake Epstein, Anika Larsen and Jarrod Spector Join 'Beautiful The Carole King Musical' Complete Cast Announced" playbill.com
  15. Hetrick, Adam."Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Starring Jessie Mueller as Music Icon, Opens on Broadway", playbill.com, January 12, 2014
  16. Broadway.com Staff. "Scott J. Campbell & Paul Anthony Stewart Join Cast of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway". Broadway.com. Broadway.com. Retrieved September 23, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links