Jess McLeod

Jess McLeod (Director) is a director specializing in stylistically diverse new plays and musicals about American otherness.  Regional/tour credits include the world premiere of Paola Lazaro’s There’s Always the Hudson (Woolly Mammoth); Hamilton Chicago (Resident Director); Kate Hamill’s Pride and Prejudice (Long Wharf), and Idris Goodwin’s Hype Man (Actors Theatre of Louisville).  Chicago credits include Mara Nelson-Greenberg’s Do You Feel Anger?, Abe Koogler’s Fulfillment Center (A Red Orchid, Company Member), Hansol Jung’s Wolf Play (Jeff nom.), Stacy Osei-Kuffour’s Hang Man (The Gift); There’s Always the Hudson (Goodman New Stages); Short Shakes! Midsummer (CST); Marry Me A Little (Porchlight); How We Got On (Haven); Shawn Pfautsch’s Season on the Line (The House); Kevin Coval’s L-vis Live! (Victory Gardens); Sharyn Rothstein’s Landladies (Northlight); Lauren Yee’s in a word (Strawdog); Venus (Steppenwolf Next Up!), and the world premiere of Earth To Kenzie (Lyric Unlimited).  New York credits include work by Joyce Carol Oates, Rachel Axler, Harrison David Rivers, and The Unauthorized Musicology of Ben Folds at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, where she served as Director of Programming from 2005-08.  2018 Samuel G. Roberson Artistic Fellow (Victory Gardens); 2017 Michael Maggio Fellow (Goodman). An ardent believer in community engagement, McLeod has also created five short operas with community groups through the Lyric Opera’s Chicago Voices program and an original musical with incarcerated teens with Storycatchers Theatre.  M.F.A., Northwestern University.

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