Justin Smusz is a Chicago native whose love for theatre comes from his childhood obsession with Julie Andrews. After seeing his first musical, The Sound of Music at The Drury Lane Theatre, he knew he wanted to be a performer. In high school, he quit the varsity swim team to audition for 42nd Street. The many hours of time-stepping drills in his basement and encouragement from his friends led him to realize that this was the work he wanted to do for the rest of his life. So with the support of his family, he moved to Bloomington, Indiana to pursue his BFA in Musical Theatre at Indiana University.
Just before college, he had the opportunity to make his Broadway debut at the 2017 National High School Musical Theatre Awards, where he represented Benet Academy as Chad from All Shook Up. He also trained at the Goodman Theatre in their Musical Theatre Program for two years, exploring playwriting, music directing, performing, and practicing "the artist's duty...to reflect the times", as said by Nina Simone.
Now at Indiana University, Justin has been given many opportunities to grow as an artist even further. He recently began music directing for IU independent projects including The Rocky Horror Show and Next to Normal. His love for conducting and teaching has blossomed and most recently was selected to be on the Board of Directors for IU's student-run production company, The University Players.
Justin is currently in his Junior year of college and plans to move to New York after graduation. There, he hopes to do everything he loves: Exploring new places, going on spontaneous adventures, and performing.
Justin music directed American Idiot, produced by University Players. Justin serves on the University Players board of directors as the music director for the 2019-2020 season. Click here to visit the University Players website.
Justin is currently music directing an Indiana University independent project production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Performances run January 30 - February 2, 2020.