JESSICA HOLT is a director and artistic producer with 15 years of experience directing new and contemporary work at nationally renowned theaters, championing new work and nurturing the development of emerging, diverse and exciting new voices in the American theater.
Recent directing projects include Fun Home at Virginia Stage Company, the world premiere of The Resting Place by Ashlin Halfnight at Magic Theatre, and Speech and Debate by Stephen Karam at Barrington Stage Company (Boston Globe's Critics Pick). She has also directed Venus in Fur by David Ives at Virginia Stage Company, Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino at the Alliance Theater, Significant Other by Joshua Harmon at Actor’s Express, and the West Coast premiere of Bright Half Life by Tanya Barfield at Magic Theatre, among others.
Jessica is 2016-2017 National Directing Fellow with the O'Neill/National New Plays Network, and was in residence at Rivendell Theatre in Chicago and Magic Theatre in San Francisco as part of her fellowship. She was the 2015-2016 Yale Directing Fellow at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, under the mentorship of Artistic Director Susan Booth. While there she developed new work by Bekah Brunstetter, Will Arbery, Mark Kendall, and Edith Freni.
She has developed, produced and directed work at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Rivendell Theatre, Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Alliance Theatre, the American Academy of Dramatic Art in NYC, Theater Emory, Playwrights Center SF, Cutting Ball Theater, Berkeley Playhouse, Magic Theatre, New Conservatory Theater Center, and Piano Fight.
She is a proud graduate of the Yale School of Drama, where she received her MFA in Directing. Projects there include: The Seagull by Anton Chekhov, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and the new hip-hop musical The Children by Phillip Howze. She served as the Co-Artistic Director of the 2014 Yale Summer Cabaret, producing and directing a season of adventurous and daring work by contemporary American playwrights.
She has directed Suburban Horror Story, a live, multimedia immersive project in Atlanta with advertising agency BBDO and their pro bono client Street Grace to tell a powerfully impactful story that shined a light on the horrific realities of domestic minor sex trafficking. To learn more: suburbanhorrorstory.org
Originally from San Francisco, Jessica was an artistic associate at Magic Theatre, where she directed "Act 5" of Taylor Mac’s five-hour epic The Lily’s Revenge, among others. She was also the Artistic Director of the Bay One Acts Festival for three years where she brought over 80 local artists together in an annual one-month festival celebrating local playwrights and building community within and across the independent theater scene.
Currently she is in cahoots with a wonderful mess of playwrights and composers on exciting new projects including but not limited to: Edith Freni's The Mystic, a time-travel comic drama about the 12th century mystic Hildegard von Bingen, Megan Cohen's Truest, a feminist absurdist fantasia of Sam Shepard's True West mashed with Thelma & Louise, and the new musical Danny and the Rocket by Marella Martin (Book/Lyrics) and Casey O'Neil (Music).
Jessica also coaches actors for auditions, plays and film work, including on-set coaching. Most recently, she served as the performance coach for The Nude Model, directed by Charlotte Bydwell which has recently been named Official Selection for the Blow-Up International Arthouse Film Festival and a finalist for their Charlie Chaplin Award
ACT's Young Conservatory, April 2019