School of the Arts Theatre Program Appoints Peter Jay Fernandez to Faculty

April 16, 2019

Columbia University School of the Arts is proud to announce that Peter Jay Fernandez has been appointed Assistant Professor of Theatre.


Professor Fernandez comes to Columbia from the graduate acting program in Drama in the College of Performing Arts at The New School, where he has taught since 2011, and served as co-head of Acting since 2017. He has also taught at Sarah Lawrence College, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and the Black Arts Institute, and led master classes at Yale School of Drama and The Brown University/Trinity Repertory MFA Program, and the Berklee College of Music. He is a highly respected teacher and mentor of established actors and of acting faculty from graduate and undergraduate programs across the country who participate in the Actors’ Center Teaching Development Program in New York City.


Peter Jay Fernandez headshot

Peter Jay Fernandez


“We are thrilled to welcome Peter Jay Fernandez to the Theatre Program,” said Theatre Chair Christian Parker ’98. “Peter’s decades of experience across forms and media as an actor, coupled with his long and dedicated history as a teacher, position him to have a profound and lasting impact on our Acting students and the future of the Acting concentration. Columbia’s MFA concentration in Acting has undergone tremendous growth and change in the past few years, to best position it to be a leader nationally and internationally in training the most astute and gifted actors. The addition of Peter Jay Fernandez to the faculty and leadership team only accelerates and deepens this process.”

Professor Fernandez brings a remarkably diverse creative profile as an actor on and off-Broadway, in regional theater, and in film and television. He was most recently featured on Broadway in All The Way portraying Roy Wilkins, Shoeshiner, and Aaron Henry. He originated the role of Caesar in August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean at the Goodman Theater, the role of Curtis Lowe in the premiere of Ben Bettenbender's Bliss at the Rattlestick Theatre Company, and the role of ‘the Oldest Old Man’ in Father Comes Home from the Wars, by Suzan Lori Parks, at the Public Theater. Other work in New York includes: Thunder Knocking On the Door at the Minetta Lane (Audelco Award, Helen Hayes Nomination); George C. Wolfe's Jelly's Last Jamat at the Virginia Theatre; The Merchant of Venice starring Dustin Hoffman, directed by Sir Peter Hall at the Richard Rodgers; Julius Caesar, The Winter's Tale, As You Like It, Henry Vlll, Spell #7, and more at Public/Delacorte Theatres; Once Around the City at Second Stage; Phaedra in Delirium at Classic Stage; Checkmates and Red Speedo at the New Federal; Flyin' West at BAM/Majestic; The Tooth of Crime and Angel City at La Mama; and The Pain and the Itch at Playwright's Horizons. He has acted regionally at Long Wharf, McCarter, Hartford Stage, Seattle Rep, ACT (Seattle), Milwaukee Rep, Arena Stage, Alliance, Cincinnati Rep, Old Globe, Cleveland Playhouse and Intiman theaters, among others. Fernandez’s television and film credits include Luke Cage, Brawl in Cell Block 99, Blacklist: The Redemption, Shades of Blue, Gotham, Elementary, The Good Wife, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Damages, Cosby, NY Undercover, The Prosecutors, Funny Valentines, and The Egoists, among others.