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Latest News, Shows and Press
World Premiere of A Snowfall In Berlin by Don Nigro
Directed by Shaun Peknic
Starring: Brandi Bravo, Don Carter*, Stephanie Heitman,
Tatyana Kot, Jessica Vera*, Eric Percival.
A young actress is found drowned in a tub.
The lonely police detective sent to investigate finds himself being
drawn deeper and deeper into a maddening world of nesting-doll
riddles created by Natasha, a beautiful and troubled
Russian exile who is making an experimental film
about a girl who drowns in a tub.
at LATEA 107 Suffolk St, New York, NY 10002
Amphibian Stage Productions' The True History of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastranaopens in October in Fort Worth!
I count myself incredibly lucky to be a part of Amphibian Stage Productions' inaugural season in their brand new space and to play Julia! As described from their website, this play is, "Performed entirely in the dark, Julia Pastrana is the powerful tale of a woman made famous as “The Ugliest Woman in the World.” Audiences are transported through sound, smell, and touch into Julia’s world of travelling circuses and sideshow phenomena. Dragged across oceans by her husband, the circus ringleader, Julia searches wherever she goes for the love and beauty she believes life has in store for her. Julia Pastrana, based on a true story, shows us the real face of beauty, without ever letting us see a thing."
Fort Worth, TX: Reviews for The True History of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana, the Ugliest Woman in the World:
“The game plan provided by Fielding and Lanza is superbly executed by a versatile cast of players who portray multiple characters in this one-hour, one-act drama. Jessica Vera is wonderfully endearing as the title character…” – Punch Shaw, DFW.com, Dallas Star Telegram
“One of the most chilling parts of the show was when Julia Pastrana was first introduced, played by Jessica Vera. Her voice was soft and lovely…Julia had a voice that sounded like honey to the ears; a seemingly unfit trait for The Ugliest Woman in the World.” –
Tony Douglas, The Column
“We can imagine what Julia looks like, but with Vera's fragile voice, the contrast between what we're told and what we feel is striking.”- Mark Lowry, Theater Jones
A quick glimpse into my work this past Spring:
- Performed the play, Ladies in Waiting at Theater for a New City. It's a very funny, very revealing short play by Mike Lesser, directed by Alex Keegan. I played the role of Juliet, waking to find Ophelia and Lady Macbeth
- Participated in Horse Trade Theater's readings of Alice's Adventures in the New World by Sarah Sigal (as Alice) and Mocha by Eleanor Burgess (as Carol). The readings were directed by Kat Yen from Spookfish.
-Participated in readings for ESPA/Primary Stage's Playwriting Festival for Edwin Sanchez, Kate Moira Ryan and Julian Sheppard's classes. Here's just a sample of the plays and playwrights who graced me with their work: Nancy Simon, Zach Kleinsmith, Ora Julie, Rebecca Poulson, Tinka Jonakova,
- Directed a staged reading of, The Stakeout by Alexa Mavromatis at Abingdon Theater Company, perfromed by McKenna Cox and Danielle Bourgeois
- Performed in a staged reading of Blood is Thicker by Melissa Skirboll at Abingdon Theater Company
Primary Stages ESPA*DRILLS! - 59 East 59th, Thursday, August 23rd at 3pmCan't say it any better than the Primary Stages' website: ESPA*Drills is an annual new play development program providing professionally staged readings to ESPA playwrights. Each June, four plays are selected from dozens of submissions for workshopping at Primary Stages. They are then professionally cast, marketed, and presented before an audience of industry peers on an Off-Broadway stage later that summer. ESPA*Drills provides an exclusive opportunity for students to receive professional attention through the resources and support of Primary Stages. The press release can be found here. Two Readings at Primary Stages!
In anticipation of Primary Stages season of Foote, they're hosting five weeks of readings of Horton and Daisy Foote's work. I'm lucky enough to be reading in two of Foote's works:
Friday, July 13th, 3:00pm
The Land of the Astronauts - Reading Lorena Massey
Friday, August 10th, 3:00pm
Talking Pictures - Reading Myra Tolliver
“Two of the actors, especially, make all the difference in this rendition. Jessica Vera makes Julia sweetly childlike, with a surprising strength underneath the innocence.” Lawson Taitte, Dallas Morning News
What a way to start the Fall!
-Upcoming: Reading in Clutch Production's empowHER Reading Series. More detail can be found here.
-I booked a co-star role in the upcoming season of The Path!
-Read Illinois Gothic by Lily Rusek at Urban Stages. Stunning performances from Carole Monferdini, Martin LaPlatney, Bara Swain and Jamie Geiger.
Such a crazy end to Spring and kick off into Summer:
-Reading of Ventilator Blues by Robert Kerr at Jersey City Theater Center, directed by Maria Aladren with Addie Walsh, Gabriel Spector, Kimani Isaac and Vivian Aladren. Two women are detained in a dystopian future. Their relationship, their survival is both funny and heartbreaking.
-Reading of Bones of the Sea by James Armstrong at Workshop Theater Studio with Carol Monferdini, Steven Haworth, Gordon Stanley, and Kevin Quinn. I've finally found someone from history I look like! James wrote a beautiful play about the life of Mary Anning, an early paleontologist responsible for many fossils in British Museums.
-Reading of 2Y20M by Catherine Castellani at Dixon Place with McKenna Cox, Erin Layton, Lori Gardner, Jason Nuzzo, Dean Imperial, Tessa Borbridge, David Meyers, Bernard Tarver, Stephen Dexter and Jenny Zerke.
-Booked a print ad this summer!
-Heading up in July to Barn Arts Collective in Bass Harbor, Maine for a theater residency for the play,
We Cry Havoc, a devised play about the recent decision to allow women in combat positions, directed by Julia Sears. For more information, check out this video and this one as well.
I was interviewed by a lovely lady for my experience playing Julia Pastrana. It's since received over 40,000 hits on her website and has since been picked up by the Huffington Post. It's a really smart piece about beauty, and you can read it here.
Bullet Catchers, co-created by Maggie Moore and Julia Sears is having its New York premiere July 20th. Developed over the last year and a half with suport from Stonington Opera Arts House, Barn Arts, and co-produced with Clutch Productions, Empty Chair Theatre and Josiah Grimm, the play is a thought experiment into the first mixed gender infantry unit deployed into active combat in the U.S. military. Featuring Adrienne Brammer, Rebecca Hirota, Sandra W. Lee, Jay Meyers, Victoria Nassif, Emma Walton and Damion Williams.
Visit BulletCatchersThePlay for more information about the development and plans for outreach.
The Gruesomely Merry Adventures of Nell Dash!
Thrilled to have read the title character from its early development to this now very limited run! It's an alternate universe set in England, in which the Dashwood Sisters from Sense & Sensibility are living under assumed names, too many Charles Dickens' characters are running around causing trouble and a favorite barber of Fleet Street makes an appearance or two.