Perhaps my most important skill as a director is an ability to create the particular process that each project needs to reach its fullest potential. From classics to new plays to community-engaged exploration, I bring nimbleness and generosity to the creative process. I am sensitive to the needs of the material, and the people I am connecting with. I can wear many hats: director, producer, teacher, deviser, dramaturg, inventor of form.

I started out as a director of new plays downtown. If you wanted something moving, funny, beautiful, but you had no time and no money, I could do it for you. While my horizons have grown, the skills I developed early still scaffold everything I do. I am a deep and sensitive reader. I’m very good at working with playwrights to discover the story they want to tell. I create an environment which brings out my collaborators’ best work. I can make an audience laugh. I almost never lose my cool.

To these skills, I have added a host of others: I have shot with four cameras in a studio, and a single camera on location. I have directed Shakespeare with casts of 16, and 6, with professionals and non-professional immigrant actors. I have collaborated with composers and video designers. I have created a piece with students, going from ice-breaker name games to performance in three days. I have worked with movie stars and English language learners, for audiences from New York City to Kenya.

I am passionate about connecting with and extending hospitality to diverse audiences, especially people who do not ordinarily feel welcomed by traditional theater spaces and institutions. I want to hear and lift up their stories, and find ways that stories from the Western canon can resonate with their lives. I am learning new languages (literal and theatrical) to extend my reach into other countries and communities. It feels essential to me to explore new ways of working, and discover new approaches to making theater that can meet the world as I find it right now.

New Feet Productions

New Feet Productions is dedicated to developing new plays and new takes on classical works that ripple with theatrical language and invention; we are committed to telling stories that meet the world as we find it right now, and engaging diverse communities both on stage and in the audience. I founded New Feet in 2007 in order to support the development of INTO THE HAZARD (HENRY 5) at Walkerspace, with sets and lights designed by Tony-winning designer Christopher Akerlind. Since that time, New Feet has produced or co-produced world premieres of works including: MILK by Emily DeVoti (co-produced with New Georges – 2010), ALL DAY SUCKERS by Susan Dworkin at the New York International Fringe Festival (2010), This American Life journalist Jack Hitt’s solo performance MAKING UP THE TRUTH (International Festival of Arts and Ideas, Spoleto Festival, Joe’s Pub – 2011-12), Maya Macdonald’s LEAVE THE BALCONY OPEN (2012) and ARDEN/EVERYWHERE (in partnership with Baruch Performing Arts Center – 2017).

Jessica’s Resume:

Resume PDF

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