Jessica Phelps West
Jessica Phelps West is a professional theatrical artist, with specialties in Directing, Acting, and Education. Ms. West began her career in Atlanta after receiving her B.A. in Speech and Theatre Arts from Western Carolina University and M.F.A. in Acting from the University of Georgia. She became an artistic leader for the city, forging strong reputations, first as an actor with a long list of memorable roles that includes The Angel in Alliance Theatre's Angels in America, four separate turns as Queen Elizabeth I in four separate titles, the conniving Regina in The Little Foxes, Maureen in The Beauty Queen of Leenane, a striking Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, and a solo command performance of Hungarian Medea for the President of Hungary. Later she distinguished herself as one of Atlanta's premier theatrical directors. For many years she served as Assistant Artistic Director for the renowned Theatre in the Square, located just north of Atlanta. Ms. West's acting and directing work has received critical acclaim, including several nominations and wins for the Suzi Bass Award, Atlanta's top theatrical accolade. In addition to being a regular guest artist in all of Atlanta's professional houses, Ms. West has also worked as a guest artist in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Texas, and is a member of both Actors' Equity Association and the Society of Directors and Choreographers unions. Most recently, Ms. West has been directing for Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre. She now resides in Tallahassee, Florida and is an Associate Professor at Florida State University where she heads the MFA directing program in the School of Theatre. She continues to act and direct professionally in addition to her work in Educational Theatre.
The Little Foxes
"....director Jessica Phelps West is to be credited for eliciting such complex performances from her actors and tempering the production's more explosive moments with some really fine, quiet ones that often reveal more about the characters and the dynamics of their relationships than the play's bigger scenes."
Marietta Daily Journal, review of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, 1997
"Phelps West blazingly inhabits Henrik Ibsen’s treacherously bored pistol-loving housewife. One foot firmly planted in the old timey, larger-than-life school of thespianism, Phelps West also evokes the most up-to-minute persona…
Phelps West is mesmerizing."
The Atlanta Journal Constitution, review of Hedda Gabler, 1998