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 theater 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 is a playwright currently working on a solo performance piece entitled Ann and Me: or The Big Bad Abortion Play, which is in development throughout the country- recently at Syracuse Stage's Cold Reads Festival, and American Theater Northwest. Other 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.
Jessica works as a freelance theater director specializing in new play and musical development, her favorite credits include; 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).
In addition to her work as a director and playwright, Jessica is an accomplished acting coach, focusing primarily on audition coaching and musical theater work. She also works with people in all professions to incorporate theater techniques into their daily lives, as a means of self-expression and empowerment.
Jessica has a BFA in Acting from Boston University and an MFA from Goddard College. Her practical focus has been on theater creation, primarily directing. Her research focuses on both feminist theater and progressive pedagogical approaches to teaching acting and directing; on both the university and high school levels.