Ever wonder if there’s a teen idol in entertainment more interested in the arts than celebrity? American audiences have found a true craftsman and art devotee in Toronto native Jake Epstein, currently starring as Melchior Gabor on the first U.S. national tour of Spring Awakening

Though he’s now channeling the spirit of a rebel in turn-of-the-20th-century Germany, Epstein is best known for his role as Craig Manning in the award-winning teen drama series "Degrassi," set in a contemporary high school. Just as edgy as the musical Spring Awakening, the Canadian television series has taken root in the U.S. and is now airing on TeenNick.

Epstein has also appeared in the film Charlie Bartlett, starring alongside Robert Downey Jr., Hope Davis and Anton Yelchin.

A graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal, Epstein seeks out Broadway musicals, theater and classical music concerts when in New York, but he also unwinds in art museums and other peaceful city oases. He shares some of his favorite New York City getaways with NYC ARTS. 

Jake Epstein was a member of the committee for the Alliance for the Arts’ Friends of the Arts Party, which took place on Friday, November 13, 6:30-8:30 at Christie’s. The auction house opened the galleries for an exclusive preview of the much-heralded Latin American Art sale, cocktails, music and a silent auction of work by KiptonART artists. Proceeds from the party support the Alliance’s arts advocacy work on behalf of nonprofit cultural groups in New York.