Jessica is Associate Professor of Theatre Design at Weber State University in Ogden, UT. She holds a BA from Hampshire College and a MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a member of United Scenic Artists 829.
Jessica’s work as a designer has taken her to many venues in New York and around the country, with diverse projects in theatre, dance, and opera, with a focus on developing new work. New York designs include productions with La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, 59E59, A.R.T New York Theatres, HERE Arts Center, Flux Theatre Ensemble, New Opera NYC, Alivewire Theatrics, The Adjusted Realists, Red Fern Theatre, Castillo Theatre, Two Headed Calf, Midlantic Theatre, SoHo Rep, Heiress Productions, Cloud City, Dixon Place, The Exchange / Orchard Project, and Epic Theatre Ensemble Education Programs. She is the resident lighting designer with SB Dance in Salt Lake City, and a frequent sound & lighting designer at Salt Lake Acting Company. She has worked as an assistant or associate designer at Hartford Stage, Westport Country Playhouse, and Barrington Stage Company. Jessica has also served as a lecturer or guest designer at Hampshire College, Endicott College, Amherst College, Smith College and Yale University.
Jessica has presented her work domestically and internationally. She was an invited symposium speaker at the CrisisART festival in Arezzo, Italy, (2014 and 2016) to discuss theatre and social change from a designer’s point of view. She was a lighting symposium panelist at the Prague Quadrennial in the Czech Republic (2015) regarding best practices designing devised work. She was also a panelist at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education in Montreal, Canada, to talk about a full season of all new plays in a university setting (2015). She traveled to Taipei, Taiwan, to present her sound design work at the World Stage Design Conference (2017), and was a presenter in the lighting design poster session at the United States Institute for Theatre Technology conference (2018). Jessica was a speaker at TEDx Ogden : Illumination in June 2018.
Awards include the New York State Decentralization of the Arts Award (2008) for her theatre work in underserved rural communities, the Weber State Hemingway New Faculty Award (2014), the Weber State Outstanding Mentor Award for the College of Arts and Humanities (2016 & 2019), and the Design Arts Utah Juror’s Award Winner (2016), and the Weber State George & Beth Lowe Innovative Teaching Award (2018).
In the past five years, Jessica has written or co-written over $400,000 worth of successful grants from university and private sources for research, travel, and new technology for her design programs.
Jessica’s design students have also received university, regional and national recognition.
Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival
•Barbizon National Award for Excellence in Lighting Design, 1st Place. 9 Circles - Lighting Design by William Peterson. (2016) William won 1st place in Region 8, and then went on to win the National Competition in DC.
•KCACTF Region 8, Sound Design, 1st Place. Almost Maine- Sound Design by Lydia Pearce Oliverson (2015) Lydia went on to compete at the National Competition in DC where she received an Honorable Mention.
•KCACTF Region 8, Sound Design, 1st Place. W;T- Sound Design by Alex Thedell. (2014) Alex went on to compete at the National Competition in DC.
United States Institute for Theatre Technology
•USITT Elite Training Projection Design Scholarship. William Peterson was a Recipient Summer 2016, and Tiffany Campbell was a recipient Summer 2017.
•USITT Elite Training Sound Design Scholarship. Alex Thedell and Lydia Pearce Oliverson were both Recipients Summer 2015, and Micah Maxson a recipient Summer 2017.
•USITT Gateway Mentorship Diversity Initiative Program. Nominated and Mentored sound design student Lydia Pearce Oliverson on her successful application. Spring 2015. Lydia was one of 8 selected students in the country for a full USITT scholarship for attendance at the annual conference.
•USITT Elite Training Projection Design Scholarship. Alex Thedell was a Recipient Summer 2014.
Weber State University
•9 Circles- Lighting Design by William Peterson also won best Undergraduate Research in the College of Arts & Humanities Spring 2016.
•W;T- Sound Design by Alex Thedell also won best Undergraduate Research in the College of Arts & Humanities Spring 2015.