Jessica is currently the Assistant Professor of Theater and Speech at Sullivan County Community College. She is also a freelance actor, director, dramaturg, and designer. Her most directing work was seen in the youth theater company's PLAY Conservatory shows TARZAN, SHREK: THE MUSICAL and GO GO BEACH and the Public Academy for the Performing Arts' PIPPIN, THE BIG BAD MUSICAL, INTO THE WOODS, JR., THE EVER AFTER: THE MUSICAL, WONDERLAND!, MUSICAL MONEY, YOUNG LOVE: a middle school musical revue, and GODSPELL, JR.. Her most recent acting work was as THE Nurse in ROMEO AND JULIET and PEASBLOSSOM in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, playing in repertory at Civic Plaza in Albuquerque, NM, produced by The Vortex Theater. She was seen as Savannah in MAMA WON'T FLY at the N4th Theater, Phebe/Le Beau in AS YOU LIKE IT and Peggy Grant in THE FRONT PAGE at the Vortex Theatre, as Ann Deever in ALL MY SONS at the Adobe Theatre, in the reading of THE HAIRY APE inspired adaptation DUST TO DUST by Jesus Mayorga at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and Teatro Paragas and BEAUTIFUL BODIES at the Desert Rose Playhouse. Jessica will next be seen as an actress in the Shakespeare Festival at Civic Plaza produced by the Vortex Theatre as the Nurse in ROMEO AND JULIET and a Fairy in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM. Her next directing project includeS DISNEY'S TARZAN THE MUSICAL for PLAY Conservatory in August 2014 at UNM's Rodey Theater.
Past positions include a jaunt as an adjunct instructor of theater and speech at Walla Walla Community College for their Main Campus in Walla Walla and their North Campus in the Washington State Penitentiary. She also worked part-time with the after-school program at Lincoln Alternative High School focusing on theater and speech.
Jessica was the Managing Director of VSA North Fourth Art Center from 2005-2008 where her theater company, In Strange Company, was in residence. In Strange Company developed and produced productions of the American premiere of Korean playwright/director Tae-Sok Oh's AFRICA, a multi-media/puppetry production of Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST, Suzan-Lori Parks' 365 DAYS/365 PLAYS (week June 26), a 40s radio-hour version of THE ORESTEIA, and a live-feed video version of Naomi Iizuka's ALOHA, SAY THE PRETTY GIRLS. While at VSA North Fourth Theater, Jessica helped produce the theater's Global Dance Fest (featuring contemporary dance from all of the world) and their Out-of-the-Ordinary Festival (focusing on contemporary work by or about artists with disabilities).
Jessica Barkl has been in theater for more than 20 years starting as a young actress in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and then studying theater with an emphasis in the Performing Arts at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington. She then participated in the PATP program at Seattle Repertory Theatre (where she worked as an assistant to Sharon Ott, Stephen Wadsworth, and Ping Chong), followed by earning her MFA in Theater from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. Jessica also worked as a Casting Intern and then was later hired as a Literary Assistant at New York Theatre Workshop. Jessica is an Equity Candidate and has worked as a director and actress in Idaho, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, New York and Connecticut.
Jessica also works in other aspects in theater including: puppetry, choreography, fight choreography, dramaturgy, lighting/sound design, hair/makeup design, casting, and producing.