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Jessica West

Published August 31, 2017

Director of the M.F.A. Directing Program,
Associate Professor, Directing
School of Theatre

Curriculum Vitae (CV)


Ms. West began her career in Atlanta after receiving her B.A. in Speech and Theatre Arts from Western Carolina University and M.F.A. in Acting from the University of Georgia. She became an artistic leader in Atlanta, forging strong reputations, first as an actor with a long list of memorable roles that includes The Angel in Alliance Theatre’s Angels in America, four separate turns as Queen Elizabeth I in four separate titles, Regina in The Little Foxes, Maureen in The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, and a solo command performance of Hungarian Medea for the President of Hungary. Later she distinguished herself as one of Atlanta’s premier theatrical directors, winning awards and recognition for her productions of Wit, Dinner With Friends, Fiddler on the Roof, Master Class, The Sunset Limited and others. For many years, she served as Assistant Artistic Director for the renowned Theatre in the Square, located just north of Atlanta, directing numerous productions. Ms. West’s acting and directing work has received critical acclaim, including several nominations and wins for the Suzi Bass Award, Atlanta’s top theatrical accolade. In addition to being a regular guest artist in all of Atlanta’s professional houses, Ms. West has also worked as a guest artist in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Texas. She is a member of  Actors’ Equity Association and the Society of Directors and Choreographers unions.  Before coming to FSU, Ms. West taught at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia and Mars Hill University in North Carolina. Ms. West teaches a unique approach to directing, which focuses on harnessing and manipulating kinetic energy on the stage.  She continues to act and direct professionally in addition to her work in educational theatre.


M.F.A. Acting  University of Georgia, 1980

B.A. Speech and Theatre Arts Western Carolina University, 1977

Teaching Area

Graduate Directing Courses

Research Interests

The Power of Kinetic Energy as a Directing Tool

Faith Explored in Contemporary Dramatic Literature

Select Creative Awards

2011 Atlanta Theatre Fans Best Director: The Young Man From Atlanta

2010 May/June SDC Member Spotlight, SDC Newsletter
2010 Suzi Award for Outstanding Director: The Sunset Limited
2009 Suzi Award for Outstanding Director: Tradin’ Paint
2005 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Year’s Best, Director of a Musical: Fiddler on the Roof                                     
2005 Suzi Nominated, Best Director of a Musical: Fiddler on the Roof
2000 Atlanta Magazine, Best Director, Best Play: Wit
2000 Southern Voice, Best Director of the Year: Wit and Dinner With Friends
2000 Southern Voice, Top 5 plays: Master Class and Wit
2000 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Best 10 plays of the year: Wit, Dinner With Friends, Master Class
1999 Creative Loafing Critic’s Choice for Best Director: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
1991 Command Performance for the President of Hungary, Arpad Goncz, as solo performer in the American premiere of his play Hungarian Medea