Ray Shell is an internationally-based musical theatre actor, writer, singer, producer and director who created the role of Rusty in Starlight Express. He has appeared in numerous West End shows and is currently artistic director of TAIP (Total Artist in Production) Lab in Wilson, North Carolina.
Starlight Express History
London - 1985-86 - Rusty
London - 1997-98 - Poppa
Bochum - 2009-10 - Poppa (left after a few weeks due to difficulties with German language)
Ray Shell (Rusty) was born on the 22nd September 1951 in Saratoga County, North Carolina. He studied acting, voice and playwriting at Emerson College, Boston, Massacheusetts from 1969 - 1974 and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. In the USA he has appeared in National Companies of Broadway shows such as Hair, The Me Nobody Knows, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and The Dirtiest Show In Town. Ray came to London first in 1978 in the West End production of Little Willie Junior's Resurrection, a gospel musical, playing the title role. In 1979 he appeared as Snake in Menahem Golan's film The Apple, which was filmed in Berlin, singing a number entitled "Slip And Slide". Ray again returned to London and became involved in the music industry, writing and recording for several companies including United Artists, EMI and RAK Records and performing with his own band Ray Shell And the Street Angels. Recently, Ray set up his own workshop production of a play entitled Flatshare, which is performed and produced entirely by the students of Ray Shell's TAIP programme.
German report - June 2009