Alex Eddy (Photo by Rick Moyer)

Alex Eddy discovered his passions in music and theater as a child. And now, after participating in nearly a hundred shows, he continues to use his multiple talents to add to the cultural life of his fellow Grays Harborites. The 35-year-old Hoquiam resident says his life’s quest is, “eventual worldwide influence over the culture and entertainment industry.”

“I have always had this idea that Grays Harbor can and will be something amazing. I think the arts are an industry that is just waiting to be tapped into. People cross the country to see plays in Ashland, Oregon. Why not Aberdeen?

Musical Beginnings, ‘Growing Up’ and ‘Good Thing Going’

“I have been interested in music for as long as I can remember,” says Eddy. “Some of my earliest memories are of my dad playing the piano and me holding an acoustic guitar like an upright bass, just strumming along, while we both would sing ‘La Bamba’. ” In 2nd grade Eddy began studying with local piano teacher Judy Reynvaan. “She opened the whole world to me. She didn’t only teach me the piano, she taught me about music itself.” In 5th grade, he started playing trombone in the school band. Then he picked up bass guitar in 8th grade, playing in the Hoquiam High School jazz band his freshman year. He began teaching himself guitar around the same time, and as a sophomore, he and some friends created a punk band called Smilin’ Jon.

Eddy says that’s when he started writing songs. “I didn’t really know how, but I knew we didn’t want to just play covers anymore. I don’t want to brag, but if you ask me, we were a really good band. We were all best friends, so band practice was just hanging out for us. We could lock in on a groove and switch tempos almost without thinking about it. Musically, it’s the most fun I’ve ever had.” After attending Grays Harbor College, where he studied music theory with Bob Richardson, as well as ear training and piano with Phyllis Pieffer, he attended Western Washington University to study composition. After a term, he transferred to The Evergreen State College in Olympia, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in musical composition.

“Some of my favorite memories are of Smilin’ Jon playing shows at Alfie’s (Restaurant). We had a community of our own and could try new things for each other freely. Other than that, most of my music career has been spent playing in pits for musicals. At this point, I’m not even really sure how many I’ve played in. Probably close to a hundred.”

He lists his biggest musical influences as The Beatles (particularly John Lennon), and the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson. When it comes to musical theater, writers Stephen Sondheim creator of “Into the Woods,” is number one followed by Randy Newman of “Toy Story.” Theatrical Beginnings, ‘The Best Thing That Ever Has Happened’

He first entered the magical realm of musical theater at Washington Elementary School, and can still recall some of the songs from that first show—a little musical version of “Robin Hood.”

Alex Eddy directing the pit for “Back in the World.”  (Photo by Rick Moyer) “Once I’d caught that bug, I tried out for the 7th Street Kids and was in the cast of four productions.”

After taking a break from the theater to pursue other interests, he returned his freshman year, playing in his first pit for HHS’s “Cinderella.” As a senior, and having taken some acting classes from Patty Sundstrom, he moved from the pit back once again to the stage. After high school, he performed in GHC musicals. There he met professor Brad Duffy who found Eddy indispensable.

“I can’t imagine doing a musical without Alex,” says Duffy who’s worked with Eddy over the years. “Such a talented man. His ability to adjust to the singer is remarkable.”

Alex Eddy directing the pit for “Back in the World.” (Photo by Rick Moyer)

In 2006, he became the rehearsal pianist and conductor for the 7th Street Kids’ “Anne of Green Gables.” The next year he was hired as music director, which he continued to do up until 2020. Around 2009, he also became the rehearsal pianist at the Bishop Center. He also spent a few years as the rehearsal pianist and occasional pit conductor for Capital High School in Olympia. However, it was during the 2010s that things began to shift and gel for Eddy.

Eddy and his niece, Avah Morris, in the pit before a performance of “The Little Mermaid” for 7th Street Kids. (Photo by Rick Moyer) He says it was around that time that Sundstrom, his former high school drama teacher, asked him to become the assistant director, conductor and lighting designer for HHS.  He accepted.

“I had never done lighting before, but I wanted to learn. I was able to get it put together, but it was very much an experience in learning what not to do.” Then Aberdeen High School’s drama director Tamara Helland asked him to do the lights for that school’s production of “Aida.” It was an “everything-that-can-go wrong-will-go-wrong sort of thing” with the lighting figured out just in time for the final dress rehearsal!

Eddy and his niece, Avah Morris, in the pit before a performance of “The Little Mermaid” for 7th Street Kids. (Photo by Rick Moyer)

It was then one of the most electrifying things in his life happened! The show got nominated for a 5th Avenue Award (basically the high school version of the Tony’s) for best lighting! 

“We thought that was awesome and went to the ceremony with no expectations. Then we actually won the award!” Eddy recalls. “I just remember being absolutely in shock.

Just a couple weeks earlier, I’d been staying up all night stressing over whether or not the lights would even get done.” Now he was on a stage holding an award for his work. Bob Richardson, Grays Harbor College music instructor, with Alex Eddy following opening night for “Back in the World.” (Photo by Rick Moyer)

Shortly after, he was mentored at Driftwood Playhouse by Brad Duffy to become a director. Since then, Eddy has directed several plays and musicals including “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress,” “Tick, Tick Boom” and “Cabaret.” Eddy was now fully infected by the theater bug.

“I love all types of theater,” says Eddy, “but I think music, particularly songs, do something that nothing else can. We are storytelling creatures and there’s something very special about music and lyrics combined that makes it an incredibly efficient way to tell our stories. It’s truly thrilling.”

New Beginnings, “Ever After” and “Gotta Keep ‘Em Humming” This past year he and local actress Julayne Fleury began their own Plank Island Theater. (A story about Julayne Fleury and Plank Island was featured in the Spring 2021 issue of Coastal Currents.) “Julayne and I want to pass on what we’ve learned over the years and help cultivate a new generation of theater kids.”

The company’s first offering was this February: “Writing Wrongs,” a free monologue writing workshop. The whole project was dedicated to Lynne Lerych, a GHC teacher, mentor, friend, and collaborator who recently died. They met with writers via Zoom once a week and helped them craft monologues. As it looked more and more like Covid restrictions would be easing up, Julayne brought up the idea of finding a venue and presenting the monologues as a live show. They secured the D & R Theatre in Aberdeen.

The next week the show was performed at the Broadway Olympia Productions black box space in the Capital Mall, the first-ever show to be presented in that space. “Both [runs] were incredibly rewarding in their own rights,” Eddy says. “And it was really amazing to be experiencing live theater again after all that time.”

Within his variety of talents, Eddy’s primary passion is writing music. “I love the surprise of it; not knowing exactly where an idea is going to lead. … Sometimes a melody will come along that’s fairly fully formed, but I think more often I let the lyrics guide the tune. For me, chords and melodies tend to show up together.”

Two past projects stick out to him. The first was a ballet he wrote based on the board game “Candy Land.” The other was the musical he wrote with Lerych called “Back in the World.” Eddy pencils a musical composition at his piano. (Photo by Rick Moyer) “I’m extremely proud of the musical I wrote with Lynne. I still remember when she asked me to write the music, and all these years later, I feel just as lucky.”

Eddy is working on a musical about Billy Gohl, an alleged serial killer from Aberdeen’s history. Something that he says he’s wanted to do since high school, he estimates it will be ready for production in 2023. In the meantime, Eddy’s next project is directing “The Wedding Singer,” which opens in November at the Driftwood Theatre in Aberdeen.

Bob Richardson, Grays Harbor College music instructor, with Alex Eddy following opening night for “Back in the World.” (Photo by Rick Moyer)
Eddy pencils a musical composition at his piano. (Photo by Rick Moyer)

“The truth is that there isn’t much I do that isn’t at least peripherally involved with music or theater. Those things are in my blood. There’s also this tune in my head that no one has heard yet. But you will,” says Eddy. “I want people to smile. If no one is laughing at my funeral, they’ve missed the point.”

Poster for the first production of Plank Island Theater Company, Fall 2021, Eddy’s new venture along with co-founder Julayne Fleury. (Photo by Rick Moyer)

“The Wedding Singer” at Driftwood Theatre, is a musical based on the Adam Sandler movie. It’s the story of Robbie Hart, a wedding singer who is stood up at the altar at his own wedding. His friend, Julia, helps him get through his depression, and before too long they both start wondering if maybe there’s a little more going on between them. The show is suggested for patrons 12 years and older. It is slated to run Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 26 and 27 and Dec. 3, 4, 10 and 11; and Sundays, Dec. 5 and 12. Tickets are $18.

For more information, go to

Poster for the first production of Plank Island Theater Company, Fall 2021, Eddy’s new venture along with co-founder Julayne Fleury. (Photo by Rick Moyer)