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Jessica Thebus
Associate Professor; Director, MFA Directing Program

Jessica Thebus

Jessica Thebus is an associate artist with Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where she has directed Sex With Strangers, Intimate Apparel, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, When the Messenger Is Hot, and Sonia Flew. Among many others, she has also directed As You Like It at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Clean House and Stage Kiss at The Goodman Theatre, A Civil War Christmas at The Huntington Theatre, Harriet Jacobs at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and Jekyll and Hyde, Inherit the Wind, and Red Herring at Northlight Theatre. In 2009, Thebus co-directed a Lookingglass Theatre production of Our Town with fellow faculty member Anna D. Shapiro. Her favorite projects include the award-winning plays Pulp and Winesburg, Ohio at About Face Theatre, as well as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s world premiere of Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter, which then moved to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. An artistic associate at the Corn Exchange in Dublin, Ireland, Thebus holds a PhD in performance studies from Northwestern. She teaches seminars in Advanced Directing, American Realism and Naturalism, and Collaboration Techniques for Designers and Directors.


PhDPerformance Studies, Northwestern University
MAPerformance Studies, Northwestern University
BATheatre, Grinnell College

Honors and Awards

Joyce Piven Theatre Visionary Award, 2009

Chicago After Dark Award for Direction of The Clean House at The Goodman Theatre, 2006

Chicago After Dark Award for Direction of Winesburg, Ohio at About Face Theatre, 2004