Jessica Wallenfels is a director/choreographer and educator. She creates new work that is music and movement-driven as artistic director of Many Hats Collaboration, and also works as a freelance director/choreographer and educator. She teaches movement, devising and acting.
Original works with Many Hats Collaboration include "The Snowstorm," “Find Me Beside You,” “Truth and Beauty,” “Rest Room,” “Mutt,” “Stages,” and “Break, Then Open.” 'Snowstorm' was included in Coho Productions 2014-2015 season and won the Drammy Award for Outstanding Production.
Her work has been seen at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Artists Repertory Theatre, Portland Playhouse, Oregon Children’s Theater and other venues. Selected Pacific Northwest credits includes “Cymbeline,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Robin Hood,” “Love’s Labors Lost,” “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” and “Romeo and Juliet” (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). “Dancing at Lughnasa” (Seattle Repertory Theatre); "Sometimes a Great Notion" (Portland Center Stage); “Everybody” (November 2018), “Gracie and the Atom” (Artists Repertory Theatre); “Scarlet,” “You For Me For You" and "Light in the Piazza" (Portland Playhouse); “Ella Enchanted,” “Pete the Cat” (Oregon Children’s Theater). New York: “Canard, Canard, Goose” with The Civilians (Joe’s Pub), “Speed Hedda” (La Ma Ma e.t.c.), original works at HERE Arts Center, ps 122, WAX, University Settlement, Culture Project. Los Angeles credits include the Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Old Globe Theater, and The Mark Taper Forum. Other places: Tanglewood Music Center.
Educational productions include direction of devised works at Western Oregon University and Pacific University. She directed/choreographed “Adding Machine, A Musical” at Willamette University and directed of “The Servant of Two Masters” at Portland State University. Wallenfels provided choreography for "Spring Awakening" at Lewis & Clark College and “The Conference of the Birds” at Willamette University. At Portland Community College, Sylvania, she has directed “The Laramie Project,” “Arabian Nights" and “Dead Man’s Cell Phone. She taught for California State School of the Arts 2011-2018 and has taught for Staged! Conservatory since its beginning in 2013. Wallenfels is currently an adjunct faculty member at University of Portland in the College of Arts and Sciences, teaches devising and movement to the Portland Playhouse apprentices, co-teaches in Oregon Children’s Theater’s Intergenerational Theater program through Kaiser Permanente, and works Dance for Parkinson’s Oregon as an instructor. She will direct her second show at PSU in the fall of 2019.
Wallenfels holds a BFA in Acting from California Institute of the Arts, attended Dell’Arte International and holds an MFA in Directing from the University of Portland. She is a four-time Drammy Award winner for Outstanding Choreography and a PAMTA Award winner for Outstanding Direction and Choreography; Many Hats Collaboration and Coho Productions share the Drammy for Outstanding Production, 2014-2015.