Age & Hometown: 23; Antioch, California
Current Role: An off-Broadway debut as Jason, a popular Catholic school jock who gets caught in a love triangle with the boy he loves and the girl he wishes he could love in the pop-rock musical Bare.
Easy A: Growing up in the suburbs of San Francisco, “sports kid” Jason Hite split his time between the baseball field and the basketball court. “I didn’t care too much for school and wasn’t a good student,” he admits, so he tried to pick classes that would raise his GPA. During Hite's sophomore year of high school, he signed up for Drama. “I didn’t think we’d have any homework and we’d probably be sitting on the floor most of the time,” he jokes. But while taking the course, the young actor learned to craft characters and think analytically for the first time. “I’d never been pushed like that before, and it was something I really responded to,” he says. “I dropped sports and never looked back.”
A Giant Education: Armed with a newfound love of acting, Hite opted to skip college and pursue theater, including a local production of Spring Awakening. Making the leap to New York, he was immediately cast as Bobby in Giant at the Dallas Theater Center. "I couldn't have asked for a better production to show me the lay of the land," he says. “I was the youngest kid in the cast, and there I was, working with all these seasoned professionals.” Returning to New York, Hite landed the lead role in Bare, where the tight-knit, "raucous" cast of 16 crams into one dressing room at New World Stages and bonds over drinks at midtown surf bar Reunion. "It's a crazy, crazy ride," Hite says. "But it's a blessing to have friends who are so supportive."
The Role of a Lifetime: While it's fun and games behind the scenes, telling Bare’s touching tale of love and acceptance is serious business for Hite and his castmates. His character, who is confused about his sexuality, is viciously outed by a classmate. "Kids relate to it immediately," Hite says. Teens have even approached him in tears after the show, saying, "This is my story." Although Hite has a girlfriend in real life, it’s not hard for him to fall for his co-star Taylor Trensch every night. “I take the love I have for my girl and just copy and paste it onto Taylor,” he says. “It’s honest love. It doesn’t matter who the person is, it doesn’t matter what they are. Sometimes, love is just undeniable.”