Jessica Lazar is a freelance director represented by Jessica Stewart at Independent Talent, and part of multi-award-winning theatre company Atticist.
She works on new writing, revivals, and adaptations, and is particularly drawn to stories that explore the tension between social facade and human passion. Her style is physically dynamic and creative collaboration sits at the heart of her practice.
Jessica was an EVOLVE Artist in Residence at Oxford Playhouse in 2019/20 and a Mercury Creative at Mercury Theatre, Colchester, in 2021/22. In 2016, she completed a doctorate supervised by Oxford Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama Tiffany Stern. Since then her productions have won the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, inaugural SIT-Up Award for ‘social impact theatre’, Lustrum Award, SoHo Playhouse Medal of Excellence, and been nominated for fourteen Off West End Awards including Best Director and Best Production, as well as the Holden Street Theatre Award and Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award.
Theatre credits include Rafaella Marcus's Sap (Roundabout @ Summerhall 2022, Vaults 2020) and The Gift (Oxford Playhouse 2021), Lisa D'Amour's Anna Bella Eema (Arcola 2019), Iman Qureshi’s this is a love story and Sam Potter's The Unicorn (North Wall Arts Centre 2019), David Greig’s Outlying Islands (King’s Head Theatre 2019), Christina Murdock’s Dangerous Giant Animals (Edinburgh Fringe / United Solo Fest New York / Park Theatre 2018), Steven Berkoff’s East (King’s Head Theatre, 2018), and Katherine Rundell’s Life According to Saki (Edinburgh Fringe 2016 / New York Theatre Workshop Fourth Street Theatre 2017). Details of these productions and further credits are available here.
Audio credits include Tajinder Singh Hayer's Ghost Stories From An Old Country (2021, Papatango/ETT), Margaret Perry's A Passion Play and Rafalla Marcus's The You Play Vols. 1 - 2 (2020, Written on the Waves series). Recordings and more information can be found here.
A full CV including projects in development, dramaturgy, workshops, teaching, and assistant directing is available on request.
‘Combining first-rate puppetry, masked theatre, and slick ensemble choreography, Jessica Lazar’s eclectic direction is alive with energy.’
The Telegraph, Tristram Fane Saunders: Life According to Saki, 2016
‘Berkoff’s play remains a remarkable work…Jessica Lazar’s inventive production is no less remarkable. Her five-strong cast wriggle and writhe, spit and snarl their way across the intimate, sparse space like grotesque marionettes, all to a cheery Cockney piano accompaniment.’
The Stage, Fergus Morgan: East, 2018
‘Jessica Lazar’s production brings real inventiveness to something that might be overly static...The spoken simply melts into song, a woman turns into a wolf, a child is made out of mud, the real and the fantastical sit side by side in a weirdly enticing slice of Southern Gothic.’
Stagedoor, Lyn Gardner: Anna Bella Eema, 2019
‘I was impressed by Jessica Lazar’s production and the discipline of its performers.’
The Guardian, Michael Billington: Anna Bella Eema, 2019
‘The continued imagination of theatre makers has been one of the few inspiring things to come out of this thoroughly uninspiring year...[Katherine] Parkinson is a terrific guide...deftly woven together by director Jessica Lazar’.
The Stage, Fergus Morgan: The You Play Vol 1: small acts, 2020
‘Teenage romance, queer desire, spiritual conflict and the crucifixion might seem like impossibly large themes to squeeze into 30 minutes but Margaret Perry's fine, tender A PASSION PLAY pulls it off spectacularly.’
The Stage, Ka Bradley: A Passion Play, 2020