A native of rural Lancaster, PA, stage and screen player Jonathan Groff cut against the grain of his sports-inclined family by gravitating to theatrical performance from an early age, with innumerable onstage appearances at the Fulton Opera House during his youth. As preparation for university applications, Groff impulsively caught a bus to New York City and began theatrical tryouts, where he promptly landed the role of Rolf in one of the revivals of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The Sound of Music; theatrical success soon took over and superseded Groff's collegiate plans. Subsequent stage projects included prominent roles in Fame at the Beverly, Massachusetts North Shore Music Theater, and a key role in the 2007 Broadway disaster In My Life, directed by Joe Brooks.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Mother is Methodist and a physical-education teacher; father is a Mennonite and a harness-racing driver and trainer. His paternal grandfather was a Mennonite preacher.
- Was accepted to Carnegie Mellon University but instead played Rolf in a touring company of The Sound of Music.
- Played Melchior Gabor in the original off-Broadway production of Spring Awakening, and then again on Broadway.
- Is openly gay; while playing a heterosexual character on Glee, found himself in the middle of a controversy when a 2010 Newsweek article stated that gay actors are often not convincing playing straight roles.
- Taught a Children's Musical Theater Master Class in acting and song interpretation.
- Has performed in a one-man cabaret act.