Jessica Wallenfels is a director/choreographer and educator. She works as a freelance director/choreographer, and creates new work that is music and movement-driven as artistic director of Many Hats Collaboration. As an educator, she teaches movement, devising, applied theater and acting.
Recent work includes co-direction of “Everybody” at Artists Repertory Theatre and “Scarlet,” a new musical, at Portland Playhouse. She has also directed “Ella Enchanted” and “Pete the Cat” for Oregon Children’s Theatre. Wallenfels debuted the new work “The Undertaking” through her company, Many Hats Collaboration, in early 2019. Upcoming projects include direction/choreography for “Into the Woods” at Broadway Rose Theatre Company and “The Wolves” at Portland Playhouse in fall 2019.
Wallenfels was a choreographer for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for four seasons and six shows. Regional choreography 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); "Gracie and the Atom" (Artists Repertory Theatre); "You For Me For You" and "Light in the Piazza" (Portland Playhouse). 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: "Ainadamar" at Tanglewood Music Center. Wallenfels provided choreography for three shows in Cornerstone Theatre's BH Cycle including A Beautiful Country by Chay Yew, Magic Trix, adapted by Rickerby Kinds and Broken Hearts: A BH Mystery by Lisa Loomer.
Original works with Many Hats Collaboration include "The Snowstorm," “Find Me Beside You,” “Truth and Beauty,” “Rest Room,” “Mutt,” “Stages,” and “Break, Then Open.”
Educational productions include direction of “The Laramie Project” at Portland Community College, “The Servant of Two Masters” at Portland State University, “Adding Machine, A Musical” at Willamette University, and choreography for "Spring Awakening" at Lewis & Clark College and “The Conference of the Birds” at Willamette University. Wallenfels has directed devised pieces at Western Oregon University and Pacific University. She taught acting and movement at California State School of the Arts 2011-2018. 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 an MFA from University of Portland, a BFA in Acting from California Institute of the Arts and attended Dell’Arte International. She is a four-time Drammy Award winner for Outstanding Choreography and a PAMTA Award winner for Outstanding Choreography; Many Hats Collaboration and Coho Productions share the Drammy for Outstanding Production, 2014-2015.