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 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 the Hartt School, Western Connecticut State University, Fairfield University, Central Connecticut State University, CT State Naugatuck, CT State Housatonic, and James Madison University. She was honored to receive CCSU's 2019-2020 Excellence In Teaching Award.
Jan is currently a Teaching Artist at Hartford Stage where she leads Scene Study and Playwriting classes. She is on the faculty at the prestigious Hartt School at University of Hartford, Connecticut State College and Western Connecticut State University. She is an Affiliated Artist at Capital Classics Theatre Company, where she will direct Taming of the Shrew in their first expanded summer season in 2024. Jan also helped to launch Capital Classics' Contemporary Classics Program with a project focused on systemic racism and social justice. She has served as Associate Artistic Director of Connecticut Lyric Opera where she directs productions and assists with company management. Productions with CLO have included: Puccini's Tosca and La Boheme and Verdi's Aida and Don Carlo. She has served as a core faculty member for the Greve Opera Academy and Music Festival in Tuscany, Italy where she directs and teaches Master Classes. Productions in Greve have included: Cosi fan Tutte, The Marriage of Figaro, Tosca, Gianni Schicchi and Sour Angelica.
In the absence of live theatre during the pandemic Jan focused on writing. She has been developing a screenplay project through UCLA and the Sundance Institute's Collab Community. Her short works for the stage can be found on New Play Exchange. Her full-length play is available by request.
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), Tammy Ryan, Norman Taylor (Lecoq technique), Polly Teale (Shared Experience), Roland Tec, Richard Toma (Emerson), and Andrew Wade (RSC).
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