Thoughtful dreamers creating memorable attractions.
somewhere in the world,
we’re creating a smile,
engaging a mind,
or touching a heart.
Jack Rouse Associates (JRA) was incorporated in 1987 by long-time friends and industry colleagues Jack Rouse and Amy Merrell.
JRA President Keith James was a student of Jack’s at the University of Cincinnati over 50 years ago and rejoined him as a partner at JRA in 1992. Alongside Keith is a team of over 40 writers, planners, designers, media producers and project managers headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. Our key personnel and management average 24 years with JRA exclusively and over 33 years of experience in the experiential design field. That means you’ll be working with a team with a proven track record of transforming dreams into destinations.
In 2021, JRA was acquired by RWS Entertainment Group, a global, Emmy Award-winning entertainment company with headquarters in New York City, London and Cincinnati. Together with its subsidiaries, RWS designs, fabricates, installs and operates custom entertainment, live events and branded experiences delivering over 400 live productions and providing more than 4,500 career opportunities each year. With projects on six of the world’s seven continents and all the oceans in between, RWS provides services for theme parks, attractions, cruise ships, zoos, aquariums, museums, theater venues, casinos, hotels and resorts, botanical gardens, visitor centers, port of call destinations, retail and real estate, municipalities, airports, corporate and branded experiences. JRA’s current CEO, Ryan Stana, is the founder of RWS Entertainment Group (RWS) and has been a close friend of the James Family for over 20 years, having been a student of Keith’s wife, Patti James, at the University of Cincinnati.
Founded in 2003, RWS operates the largest live production facility in New York City, which includes 56,000 square feet of office space, a rehearsal studio complex and performer housing. RWS properties include a Theatrical and Ticketed Experiences division; Binder Casting serving the stage, film and commercial markets; the innovative RWS Fun Crew: Staffing Reimagined; RWS Décor Products; RWS Leased Experiences, and now JRA.
RWS Entertainment Group has supplied groundbreaking productions for an impressive roster of clients that includes Warner Bros., Lionsgate, The Coca-Cola Company, Apple, Disney, O, the Oprah Magazine, Vera Wang, Disney Cruise Lines, Azamara, MSC Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Hard Rock Resorts, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Europa-Park Resort, Paultons Park, Ferrari World, The Galleria Al Maryah Island, Six Flags, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, Science Centre Singapore, Space Center Houston, The Denver Zoo, The FRIENDS™ Experience by Superfly X, Toyota and many more.
We are a company with limitless imagination, yet we understand that successful design begins with a realistic grasp of limits. To that end, we help you dream vividly but responsibly.
We strive to always have the visitor’s interests at heart, creating attractions and experiences to meet their unique emotional, cultural, physical, and intellectual needs. The result are projects that feel personal to each guest and inspire repeat visitation.
Our projects combine imaginative design and storytelling with solid operational planning to consistently achieve clients’ experiential goals. As a result of our innovative design approach, our projects and people have been recognized with 11 awards from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) and 9 awards from the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA).
At JRA, we embrace a variety of design styles. From whimsical to abstract, from traditional to contemporary, each project has its own unique aesthetic, reflecting the client’s distinct vision and our ability to translate that vision into a built environment.
From exciting theme parks to engaging museums, innovative attractions to breakthrough brand experiences, our studio plans, designs and realizes projects of all scales and styles. Our work in one market informs and invigorates our work in another. That means we know how to infuse entertainment into educational and cultural organizations, and inspiration and learning into entertainment destinations.
We champion collaborative innovation, an integrative way of thinking and problem solving. The best solutions cannot be developed in a vacuum; they result from a dynamic relationship among client, content, applied specialists and designer. Our company philosophy emphasizes a true team approach; where there are no star players, only star solutions.
As you look through our portfolio, we hope you notice the proportion of built projects. While we dream as big as the next studio, our strength is helping you understand what’s actually attainable. Our combination of experience, skill and passion for excellence ensures that your unique vision can be turned into a successful reality.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION
JRA – Part of RWS Entertainment Group is a company of bold makers and mold breakers who are committed to a workplace culture that values and promotes diversity, inclusion, equal employment opportunities and a work environment free of harassment and hostility.
We embrace and encourage differences in age, color, disability, cultural expression, family or marital status, gender expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status and other characteristics that make our employees unique.
We believe the diversity of our People is the most valuable asset we have. The collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities and talent that our employees invest in their work represents a significant part of not only our culture, but our reputation and company’s achievement as well.
We are committed to developing and implementing programs and initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in all areas of employment as well as through our creative process and projects.
As part of our commitment, RWS Entertainment Group is focusing our efforts on these pillars:
RWS Entertainment Group and subsidiary Binder Casting, work to create and implement antiracism & equity policies and provide a unique opportunity for both organizations to concurrently achieve equity for BIPOC persons and other underrepresented groups within the performer recruitment process.
RWS Ignites, the educational initiative of RWS Entertainment Group, will focus on expanding arts education and resources to the community at large. By partnering with schools and nonprofits that seek to address educational issues and end generational poverty, RWS will design educational curriculums to introduce, educate and train youth about the multi-faceted opportunities available in the entertainment industry (performing, music, casting, technicians, wardrobe, arts administration). All curriculums will be designed and taught by RWS staff. RWS is committed to its educational pillar for the long term with a holistic plan of ultimately building middle school and high school awareness and interest, to advancing them with RWS internships and, ultimately, careers.
All RWS issued contracts will include an ethics clause in which clients will agree to abide by the values of RWS and our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts, thereby aiding our efforts to combat racism in the entertainment industry. Tailored to the needs of each client, RWS will begin offering onsite education, trainings or resources to clients who do not currently have any antiracist or DEI training framework in place.
We are modifying our recruitment model by implementing changes to further remove bias practices, neutralize the candidate screening and interview process and drafting job descriptions that attract a more diverse candidate pool. Through our RWS Ignites program and corporate international expansion, RWS aims to not only have a global recruitment presence, but make impactful changes by creating opportunities for the next generation of entertainment leaders.
RWS Entertainment Group recognizes we must continue to challenge ourselves to ensure these values are upheld and we are committed to evaluating existing programs and adapting or introducing new initiatives as our diversity and inclusion goals evolve.