BA, Communications Hofstra University
MFA, Contemporary Performance Naropa University
Jessica Cerullo is an Associate Professor in Whitman’s Department of Theater and Dance. She directs in the Harper Joy Theater’s season, teaches acting, devising, somatics, voice and speech, and theory and performance. Jessica serves as the Artistic Director of MICHA, the Michael Chekhov Association, where she teaches and co-designs the teacher training program. In partnering with the UK based Devoted and Disgruntled, she regularly facilitates a Theater of the Future, Open Space event for MICHA to foster growth and connection among the international community of Chekhov artists, educators and activists. Under MICHA's imprint she is the editor of an expanded edition of Michael Chekhov’s Lessons for Teachers with translations into German and Russian. A practitioner of the Michael Chekhov technique, she is a featured actor in the 12-part series Master Classes in the Michael Chekhov Technique, published by Routledge Press. The video series, along with a study guide that she authored, is featured on the Digital Theatre Plus platform.
Jessica's work is often socially or civically engaged and is ultimately grounded in a variety of somatic and contemplative practices that seek to build capacities for empathy. Her current practical research focuses on the embodied voice and her socially engaged art seeks collaboration in a variety of forms. This research has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and has generated original performances and projects including recent work with the Walla Walla Immigrant Rights Coalition for Hear Heer, Walla Walla and Because You Are Here. Other partnerships with the US based Sojourn Theater and Center for Performance and Civic Practice, and members of Portland State University's Art and Social Practice cohort, have guided projects such as How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes and Speaker Speaking. The Critical Response Process supports all creative endeavors.
As an actor, Jessica performed regionally at On the Boards, Seattle and The Folger Shakespeare Theater, Washington DC and is a former company member of the Stanislavsky Theater Studio. She served as the Director of College Relations at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Theater Institute where she studied in both the United States and in Russia. Jessica earned her MFA in Contemporary Performance from Naropa University where her studio practice included the Viewpoints, Grotowski, Roy Hart, Body Mind Centering™, and devising techniques with Barbara Dilley, members of Meredith Monk's the House, Wendell Beavers, SITI Company, and Tectonic Theater Project.