Jessica is a performer, writer, facilitator, producer, and somatic movement educator. Her practice-based research concerns the development of creative individuality as defined by the Russian-born theater pedagogue, Michael Chekhov. Her related community art making practices seek to reveal poetry in the everyday and invite relational repair. She has been an invited speaker and performer on these, and related, topics at The University of Kent, California State University San Marcos, Washington State University, Williams College, and Florida International University among others. Her book, Some Stranger Somewhere, documents one of her socially engaged works; the New London County performance project, The Ships in the Night.
Jessica is the Artistic Director of MICHA, the Michael Chekhov Association. Through MICHA she teaches, facilitates, and mentors. She is the editor of Michael Chekhov's Lessons for Teachers the expanded edition. She ideated and produced the accompanying short film series The Michael Chekhov Community Performs the Archives. She is a featured actor in the 12-part video series, Master Classes in the Michael Chekhov Technique published by Routledge. She authored an accompanying study guide for Digital Theatre+.
A former company member of the Stanislavsky Theater Studio in Washington, DC, Jessica performed in numerous original productions including the Helen Hayes Award winning Faust. She acted in plays at the Folger Shakespeare Theater (Elizabeth the Queen) and Horizon's Theater (Count Basil). She particularly enjoys contributing to the creation of new work, most notably collaborating with Kristen Kosmas on The People's Republic of Valerie, Tectonic Theater Project on Casa Cushman, Steve Wangh on Undertow, and Ethelyn Friend on Wednesday, an opera. Jessica's award winning solo play, Miracle Tomato, premiered at PS122 in New York City and later toured the country raising awareness about locally sourced agriculture.
Prior to teaching at Connecticut College she was an Associate Professor in the Department of Theater and Dance at Whitman College where she taught Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Acting, Voice and Speech, Ensemble, Solo Performance, Devising and Socially Engaged Art Practice, Somatics, and Contemplative Dance Practice. While at Whitman College, she directed plays including Anne Carson's Antigonick, Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice, Ionesco's Frenzy for Two or More, Charles Mee's Wintertime, Aaron Bushkowsky's My Chernobyl, and Daniel Berrigan's The Trial of the Catonsville Nine. Together with the Department of Music, she devised 'Ukulele! a variety show, an original play with music. With support from the Global Studies Initiative she directed How To End Poverty In 90 Minutes (with 99 People You May or May Not Know), a year-long collaboration with Michael Rohd, the Sojourn Theater, and the Center for Performance and Civic Practice. With support from the Mellon Foundation she was awarded a grant to support diversifying the curriculum through community engagement and subsequently devised productions with student and Eastern Washington community members sourcing and creating oral histories from the area's immigrant community through the projects Hear Here Walla Walla and Because You Are Here. Subsequently, Jessica co-founded the Colectivo de Arte Social, a branch of the Walla Walla Immigrant Rights Coalition. The group remains active today.
Jessica is a designated facilitator for the State of Connecticut's Office of the Arts where she promotes cross-sector community conversations. Locally, she serves as an alternate on the Stonington Cultural Coalition, and on the boards of the La Grua Center for Arts and Culture, and the Dragon's Egg Studio. She earned her M.F.A. in Contemporary Performance from Naropa University and a B.A. in Communications at Hofstra University. She earned certificates in acting at the National Theater Institute and at the Moscow Art Theater. She is currently engaged in long-term study of Body Mind Centering with Sonder Movement Project.
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320