Jessica is currently the Associate Professor of Theater and Speech/Theater Program Director at SUNY Sullivan. She is also a freelance actor, director, dramaturg, and designer. Her most recent directing work was seen at Forestburgh Playhouse with their TYA production of ALICE IN WONDERLAND: A NEW MUSICAL, and assistant directing their production of FULLY COMMITTED. Other recent direction includes work at SUNY Sullivan with the musicals SPRING AWAKENING, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, FUN HOME and WORKING (2012 version), and the classics WILD THING/LA SERRANA DE LA VERA by Luis Vélez de Guevara, translated by Harley Erdman; the world- premiere of the English-language translation of THE COUNT PARTINUPLÉS/ el conde Partinuplés by Ana Caro Mallen, translated by Harley Erdman; THE ROVER by Aphra Behn, HOUSE OF DESIRES by Sor Juana Inéz de la Cruz, translated by Catherine Boyle; and Nilo Cruz's translation of Pedro Calderón de la Barca's LA VIDA ES SUEÑO/LIFE IS A DREAM. Other recent productions include the world premiere of a web-series play she wrote with her husband, Nick López, SHAKESPEARE IN ISOLATION, and the world premiere of the first play about neurofibromatosis called THANK YOU / I'M SORRY by Brianna Worden and Janna Walter, the world-premiere of the jam-band musical, MARSHALL COUNTY LINE, book/music/lyrics by Dr. Gabriel Rikard, the musical ASSASSINS, book by John Weidman, music/lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; TOPDOG/UNDERDOG by Suzan-Lori Parks; RAGTIME, book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, Robert O'Hara's INSURRECTION: HOLDING HISTORY, a workshop production of Tae Sok-Oh's AFRICA; Stephen Adly Guirgis' OUR LADY OF 121ST ST, Doug Wright, Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green's HANDS ON A HARDBODY, and José Rivera's MARISOL. Other productions not at SUNY Sullivan include productions for the youth theater company, PLAY Conservatory with TARZAN (2014), SHREK: THE MUSICAL (2013) and GO GO BEACH (2012), and the Public Academy for the Performing Arts PIPPIN (2014), THE BIG BAD MUSICAL (2014), INTO THE WOODS, JR. (2013), THE EVER AFTER: THE MUSICAL (2013), YOUNG LOVE: a middle school musical revue (2013), GODSPELL, JR. (2013) WONDERLAND! (2012), and MUSICAL MONEY (2012). Her most recent acting work was as Savage in SAVAGE IN LIMBO at Samba Café and Marketplace, an ensemble member for a residency at NACL Theatre for Emily Windler's new clown play, THE CAVE PLAY; as a guest professional in SUNY Sullivan's production of NEXT TO NORMAL as Diana; Ginger in SUNY Sullivan's production of ROSEMARY WITH GINGER by Edward Allen Baker, directed by emerging directors; Dolly "DD" Dandelion in the 2nd iteration of DREAM ON THE FARM, a decalogue of plays about climate change; Corryn in GIDEON'S KNOT, directed by Paul Austin for SUNY Sullivan's guest artist series; Ilona in NACL Theatre's COURAGE (at Apple Pond Farm in 2016 and 2017, and Governor's Island, NYC, in 2017); a foley artist in Donald Margulies' SHIPWRECKED! at Shadowlands Theatre; Bobbi-Jo Krood in THE WEATHER PROJECT with NACL Theatre; 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.
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 over the world) and their Out-of-the-Ordinary Festival (focusing on contemporary work by or about artists with disabilities).
Jessica López-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 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 of theater, including: puppetry, choreography, fight choreography, dramaturgy, lighting/sound design, hair/makeup design, casting, and producing.