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Jess Chayes is an award-winning director and producer of new work. She  spent three seasons as BOLD Associate Artistic Director of Northern Stage as an inaugural member of the BOLD Theater Women's Leadership Circle. She is a founding co-artistic director of New York-based ensemble The Assembly, with whom she has co-created and directed ten original productions.


Recent directing credits include: Jane Anger (Shakespeare Theatre of DC, Jen Campos Productions), Off Peak (Hudson Stage Company, 59E59), The Antelope Party (Dutch Kills), Jordan (Northern Stage), All is Bright  (Shelby Company), Venus Rising (Northern Stage), Intelligence (NYTW Next Door),  Kenny's Tavern (Summer Shorts), The Flick  (Warehouse Theatre, Greenville, SC), SEAGULLMACHINE with The Assembly (co-directed with Nicolas Benacerraf), Holidays In/Coyote (The Tank, The Exponential Festival), Lipstick Lobotomy (Juilliard), Latter Days and The Providence of Neighboring Bodies (Dutch Kills), Half Moon Bay (Lesser America), Primal Play (New Georges), and HOME/SICK (The Assembly).


She has developed new work with The Playwrights Center, NYTW, The Vineyard Theatre, The New Group, The Civilians, P73, and Labyrinth among others. Jess is a founding member of the New Georges Jam artists lab and a NYTW Usual Suspect. Recent Affiliations: New Georges Audrey Resident, The Civilians R&D Group, The Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Associate Director on Peter and the Starcatcher (Brooks Atkinson Theater and New World Stages) and Misery (Broadhurst Theater). Jess was awarded the 2017 Lucille Lortel Award by the League of Professional Theater Women and the 2019 Collaboration Award from the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition. 

As a producer, Jess has worked with Woolly Mammoth, The Civilians and The Public Theater and produced Julia Jarcho’s Obie-winning play Grimly Handsome.  She also co-curated New Georges' 2014 Jam on Toast Festival at Dixon Place. As an educator, she has taught devising workshops (many with The Assembly) at the University of Scranton, Dartmouth College, Wesleyan University, Williams College, Atlantic Acting School and Stella Adler Studio, among others. Jess graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Theater and English with Honors, and was awarded the Rachel Henderson Theater Prize.

Upcoming work includes: In Corpo, The Assembly's first world premiere musical. 


For Jess' resume, click here

Photo by Kata Sasvari

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