Jessica is an Assistant Professor of Theater at the University of Miami, where she teaches acting and theater creation. She was the Artistic Director and co-founder of Strange Sun Theater, a company in New York City dedicated to creating magical new theater that ignites in audiences and artists, the power of possibility. In addition, she was the Consulting Artistic Director of the Sheen Center, when it opened in downtown Manhattan, curating a full season for 2 theaters. Before that she served as the Artistic Director of Wingspan Arts, an arts education company in New York City. Jessica works primarily as a freelance theater director specializing in new play and musical development, her favorite credits include; Pride and Prejudice (A new musical), What Kind of Woman (American Theater Northwest),Loving Repeating (NYC Premiere), Life of the Party (NYU-Premiere Production of Larry O’Keefe & Nell Benjamin’s new musical), at NYU Steinhardt Gypsy, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, with Strange Sun Closer Than You Think (World Premiere), The Drowning Girls (NYC Premiere). Jessica began writing plays a few years ago. her plays include: "Wickedest Woman"; The story of Ann Lohman, midwife and abortionist in the 1800’s in NYC. Finalist, Scrap Mettle Arts Playwrights Festival, Production January 2019 NYC, published by Next Stage Press. "Garden of Memories" the story of siblings dealing with the loss of their mother and the acceptance of their past. Runner Up W. Keith Hedrick Award at HRC Showcase Theater and Semi-Finalist, Trustus New Playwrights Festival 2016. "Zoe", a modern retelling of Aeschylus' Oresteia, if Aeschylus cared about women at all. Jessica has a BFA in Acting from Boston University and an MFA from Goddard College, she splits her time between NYC and Miami, with her teenage child, a crazy chihuahua and a cat names Wadsworth.
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MORE ABOUT ME
Why do I keep doing theatre? That’s the question I ask myself every time I check my Facebook and see someone I went to high school with retiring from Goldman Sachs and I think, man—I am smarter than that guy—where did I go wrong? And then I show up in rehearsal. And the creation starts, and I cannot stop smiling. I make theater because there is nothing more incredible than being in a room of smart people trying to figure out the best way to tell a story—for a group of people who will eventually be sitting right in front of you. And they will walk away, and head down the block, and talk about that story—and if you did it right something in them has changed. Something in the audience and the actors will never be the same because of that specific story. Then I go back to FB and realize... I am so much damn happier than people who are retiring tomorrow. Because I don’t want to retire tomorrow. I get to tell stories and change lives for a living. That’s why I do it.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
As a playwright, I am currently working on a one-woman play about abortion. It is a way for me to make the story I told in WICKEDEST WOMAN more accessible. One person shows are easy to program. As a director, I am working on a few new plays and musicals.
Historical, feminist, site-specific, biography, family, adaptations
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