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Steamboat Magazine

The Jacobs Brothers Bring Whimsy to Steamboat

08/02/2023 11:04AM ● By Suzy Magill
(Photography courtesy of Vivienne Claire Luthin)

Steamboat Springs, CO - Jeremy and Ryan Jacobs have been putting on shows together since their childhood in Kansas City, Missouri but this summer, the two are creating a production on a scale they haven’t done together before.

The brothers grew up in a family full of music in Kansas City. They both attended college for music – Jeremy graduated from Webster University with a Bachelor of Music before moving to New York City in 2021 to immerse himself in musical theater, and Ryan will be a senior this fall at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he will finish his degree in musical theater writing. 

“We both grew up performing in Kansas City, and now we’ve both made our way to our own corner of the musical theater industry, which has been awesome,” Ryan says. 

It was last year that Vivienne Luthin, the artistic director at Piknik Theatre, invited Jeremy to Steamboat Springs to direct “A Year of Frog and Toad.” While in town, he also wrote music for Piknik’s production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and music directed the educational program, which was a group of middle school students who performed “High School Musical Junior.” 


“Last summer was a blast. We did three huge shows. It was super fun, and at the end of the summer, we had such a great reception. People kept telling us they couldn’t wait for next year,” Jeremy says. “So immediately we started talking - what’s 2023 going to look like? What if instead of doing a show people have done before we commissioned a new work? And it worked out that I have a brother who was interested in writing his first full show.”

And so another Jacobs brother came to town. Ryan’s debut musical is a show called “Patches” about four young scouts on a weekend camp trip, attempting to earn the patches that will graduate them from Buddy Scouts to Bear Scouts. Through each of the kids’ patches, they explore insecurities, fears and their family backgrounds. They learn about confidence and overcoming fears, and Ryan still manages to keep the show light with lots of heart, hot dogs and a sock puppet. 

The brothers also have a hand in Piknik Theatre’s second summer show, a production of “Peter Pan,” which showcases professional actors in the leading roles and community members from ages 5 to 85. Jeremy is the show’s music director and wrote the original score for the production. And Ryan, who will act as John Darling, says the play is full circle for him.

“Ten years ago, I did my first ever community musical, and it was Peter Pan,” Ryan says. “It feels like I’m going back to my roots. I’m coming back to where I came from.”

“This feels like real life,” muses Ryan. “We have professional actors and housing, and we have a space and dates to go up. It’s really happening. This is the stuff we’ve been waiting for for a decade.” 

See “Patches” at the Yampa River Botanic Park Aug. 1, 3, 7, and 9 at 6 p.m. or at the Bud Werner Library Green on Saturday, Aug. 5 at 6 p.m. See “Peter Pan” at the Yampa River Botanic Park on July 31, Aug. 2, 8, and 10 at 6 p.m. or at the Bud Werner Library Green on Sunday, Aug. 6 at 6 p.m.