Jan Probst is an actor, writer, and filmmaker. Striving to put women’s issues center stage, she jumped headfirst onto the stage in 1976, as a writer-performer and founding member of The Whole Works Women’s Theater Collective. A decade later, she combined art forms with the performance troupe Streetwise Women’s Martial Arts Theater. Her plays have been on stage at numerous venues in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as the Midwest and Alaska, and have recently reached a broader audience via publication and online production. Nearest to her heart, was her mother playing the lead in a reading of her play The First Page, at a retirement center in Indiana. Jan has been an Artist in Residence at Z Space Studios, Playwright of the Month at Off-Market Theater, guest artist for the ATHE Annual Conference, and while earning her MFA in Playwriting from San Francisco State University, she was a national finalist for the American College Theater Festival. In 2021, after a pandemic cancellation, her play Bird on a Tree Branch premiered online via zoom production by Phoenix Arts Association, received commendation from the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle and is now published by Next Stage Press. As a longtime member of Barewitness Films, an award-winning film company, Jan has helped create several short films, shot script-less from improv. In addition to Honor Roll, Jan is a member of the International Centre for Women Playwrights, Theatre Bay Area, Theatre Communications Group, Playwrights Center, and the Dramatists Guild.
WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA
MORE ABOUT ME
My most gratifying moment in theater was at the Valdez Theatre Conference in 2019. My play Road Trip closed the show for the Ten-Minute Play Slam, and the audience laughed long and hard. I was on stage reading stage directions and was in such shock at the end of the play, I nearly forgot to join the other playwrights for our final bow. I strive to broaden my playing field as I tell stories in these challenging times. I had to be convinced something good could happen when my world stage premiere became a zoom production instead. And good things did happen! While I look forward to fully returning to the stage, I am exploring radio plays and podcasts as storytelling mediums. And I will continue to write older women characters. They have a lot to say.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
Given my comments above, I might want to focus on comedy! And we certainly could use some laughs. I am exploring a historical character, and continuing my love affair with ten-minute plays. Who doesn't have a short attention span?
plays, radio plays, social commentary, historical play, women of color, older women, disability, comedy
Honor Roll ! Members Profiles Project