Born and raised in Pearl City, Hawaii, Jan is a proud alumna of Punahou School, Emerson College (BS Theatre Education), and the University of Virginia (MFA Directing). After graduating from Emerson, Jan founded a collaborative company committed to creating alternative theatre in the Boston area, where she produced and directed the lyrical plays of Barrie Cole.
Following several years of directing and acting in Boston, Jan moved to New York City where she became Managing Director of Arden Party, an Off-Off-Broadway theatre company (Karin Coonrod, Artistic Director). Company members and affiliated artists included Joanna Adler, Paula Cole, Tony Geballe, Jan Leslie Harding, Gretchen Krich, Patrick Morris, Emily Morse, Steven Rattazzi, Thomas Jay Ryan, T. Ryder Smith and James Urbaniak. During her tenure as Managing Director Jan brought the company to fiscal solvency, secured the largest base of funding in the company’s history, and produced the critically acclaimed Victor or Children Take Over at the Ohio Theatre, lauded as "Smashing!" by Ben Brantley of The New York Times (review).
After the success of Victor, Jan focused her energy on directing. She developed new work with Rattlestick Playwright's Theatre where she was Artistic Associate; Ensemble Studio Theatre where she was a Theatre Lab Member; The Women's Project where she was a member of the Director's Forum; New Georges where she was an Affiliated Artist & Roaring Girl; NYCFringe; Manhattan Theatre Source; Screaming Venus; Lightning Strikes Theatre; and The Basic Theatre Company. She was affiliated with downtown venues including the Ohio Theatre (Wooster St), HERE Arts Center, Dixon Place, the Present Company Theotorium, and Todo con Nada (Ludlow St).
Jan has taught and directed at several institutions including Western Connecticut State University, Fairfield University, Housatonic Community College, CCSU and James Madison University. In November of 2020 she was honored to receive CCSU's Excellence In Teaching Award for 2019-2020.
Jan is Associate Artistic Director of Connecticut Lyric Opera where she assists with company management and directs productions. Titles have included: Puccini's Tosca and Verdi's Aida and Don Carlo. She is also an Affiliated Artist at Capital Classics Theatre Company, where she is helping to launch their Contemporary Classics Program with Victory by Athol Fugard. Jan is proud to be a core faculty member at the Greve Opera Academy and Music Festival in Tuscany, Italy where she teaches Master Classes and directs productions. Titles have included: Cosi fan Tutte, The Marriage of Figaro, Tosca, Gianni Schicchi and Sour Angelica.
Recent directing projects include: a reading of The Horn of Salvation, a new play written by her former student, Lisa McCree, produced by the Frank Silvera Writer's Workshop at the Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn NY; a workshop of You're Fired! (review) a new Rock Opera by John Waller at the Donald T. Oat Theatre (Norwich, CT), and Love and Imagination short plays by David Ives & Monologues by Barrie Cole (Fairfield University). Current and upcoming projects include: Victory by Athol Fugard for Capital Classics Contemporary Conversations Series (full production TBD); La Bohéme by Puccini in July, August (Italy) and October; and Die Fledermaus in December, both for Connecticut Lyric Opera.
Jan has studied with: Baby Wants Candy, Harold Bloom (Yale), Emmanuelle Delpech (Pig Iron), Curt Dempster (EST), Anna Halprin, Ron Jenkins (Emerson), Dennis Krausnick (Shakespeare & Co.), Edward Morehouse (HB Studio), Barney O’Hanlon (SITI Company), Tina Packer (Shakespeare & Co.), Pilobolus, Sam Pinkleton (Pig Iron), Mike Rock (Improv Olympics), Norman Taylor (Lecoq technique), Polly Teale (Shared Experience), Richard Toma (Emerson), and Andrew Wade (RSC).
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