Jay Ben’s first acting role was as Judah Maccabee in a first-grade Chanukah pageant. After an eight-year hiatus (during which he determined, successively, that he would become a cartographer, a professional skier, a fantasy novelist, an architect, and an award-winning poet), he rediscovered acting as the lead in his high school’s production of The Gramercy Ghost. He hasn’t stopped acting since, going on to co-found a college Shakespeare collective, obtain his MFA in Acting (Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House, GPA 3.83), and appear in productions at major regional theaters in Massachusetts and Ohio. In high school, Jay Ben claimed that he wanted to become a “professional dilettante,” and has found that theater rewards his extremely varied interests.

After graduating from Dartmouth College (BA Theater/Poetry, GPA 3.82, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), Jay Ben began his tutoring career as a test prep teacher in Boston. At the same time, he was helping build an enthusiastically-received summer camp program at MaineStage Shakespeare, the nonprofit summer theater of which he is Associate Artistic Director. For the past five years, he has split his teaching efforts between the extremely technical and the highly creative, a dichotomy for which he is well-suited thanks to his bona fides in both left-brain (SAT 2310, National Merit Scholar, scores of 5 on six AP tests) and right-brain (90 sonnets written, appearances in fifteen titles by Shakespeare, willingness to employ funny voices).

Jay Ben has met Alex Trebek twice. At 12, he was the Massachusetts representative at the National Geographic Geography Bee; eleven years later, he appeared on an episode of Jeopardy!  He assumes eleven years is his standard refractory period for brushes with Canadian celebrity, and is already preparing to encounter Mr. Trebek again at 34.

Education & Qualifications
  • Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House, MFA in Acting
  • Dartmouth College, BA in Theater and Creative Writing (Phi Beta Kappa)
  • Creative Writing
  • English
  • Expository Writing
  • Admissions Coaching (College)
  • SAT
  • ACT
  • Testimonial Citation: 
    "Jay is everything you could hope for in a tutor and more! Not only is his subject matter experience extensive, he is so clear in his teaching style. What makes him remarkable though is his ability to relate to my son. He is warm, and kind but also supports my son in stretching himself academically and emotionally. I honestly could not recommend him more! Nikolai has improved his school performance all around."
    Testimonial Source: 
    (Susye, Parent)