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Jessica McKenna

Director Facilitator Educator Dramaturg Community Artist


I am a theatre-maker, facilitator and educator who is passionate about the transformative potential that theatre has on both an individual and institutional level. I work collaboratively, and I’m interested in exploring theatre’s intersections with advocacy and activism.

I have worked with many communities across London, including young people (6-18), mental health service users, migrants, and individuals who have special educational needs. I currently facilitate educational workshops for Tender Education & Arts, and have recently been commissioned by C&T to create digital applied theatre work which celebrates LGBTQ+ identities. I have also worked with participation departments at the Almeida Theatre, the Arcola Theatre and the Donmar Warehouse. I am currently writing my MA dissertation at Central School of Speech and Drama on the ways in which applied theatre practices might support recovery communities.



Assistant Director, The Key Workers Cycle, Almeida Theatre, March 2022

Commissioned Artist, C&T/Prospero Digital 'Identities' Project, Jan-March 2022

Freelance facilitator for multiple theatres/orgs including: Tender; Arcola; and London Arts and Health.


Director, The Bacchae, Tower Theatre, July 2021

Director, The Pleasure of Your Bedlam, Arcola Theatre, February 2020

Director, The Prophetic Visions of Bethany Lewis, Brighton Fringe, July 2019

Co-Artistic Director, Drift Shop, 2016-2017


MA Applied Theatre, CSSD, 2020-22




2-5 years

Art forms / Disciplines

  • Comedy
  • Crafts
  • Literature
  • Multi-disciplinary / cross art form
  • New technologies / digital
  • Theatre / Live perfomance
  • Visual arts

What I do

  • Creative Access
  • Devising
  • Directing
  • Dramaturgy
  • Facilitating
  • Outdoor performance
  • Physical Theatre / Mime
  • Producing
  • Puppetry
  • Site Responsive/Immersive
  • Street Theatre
  • Teaching / Coaching
  • Theatre making
  • Verbatim theatre
  • Working with disabled artists
  • Working with disabled non-professional adults / children
  • Working with learning disabled adults / children
  • Working with learning disabled artists
  • Working with young people
  • Working with young people with special educational needs
  • Working within a Community / with community participants
  • Workshopping & Development
  • Writing