Spring 2013| Posse Chicago Quarterly


Carleton Scholar Accepted to Prestigious National Theater Institute

Jessica Morrison performs as Cassandra in Oresteia at Carleton College.

Jessica Morrison (center, under the light) performs her spoken-word poem at the National Theater Institute’s performance of They Were Under.

Carleton College senior Jessica Morrison was one of only 31 students selected nationwide for the fall 2012 semester at the prestigious National Theater Institute (NTI), housed at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut.

During this intensive 14-week program, Jessica studied acting, directing, playwriting, design, movement and voice with nationally and internationally renowned artists and directors, including Tony Award winner Wendy C. Goldberg.

In addition to NTI’s coursework and workshops, Jessica and her peers trained with an award-winning theater company in London for two weeks, saw several West End performances and toured Shakespeare’s birthplace.

“This was my first trip out of the country and the experience was amazing,” says Jessica.

The semester culminated with a student-produced capstone performance entitled They Were Under, which drew inspiration from first-person news accounts of Hurricane Sandy along with works such as Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  Jessica wrote and performed a spoken-word poem based on the tragedy experienced by Glenda Moore, a mother from Staten Island, New York, whose two sons were swept away during the hurricane.

Jessica’s passion for theater developed at Carleton during her freshman year when she took The Speaking Voice, a course taught by Professor David Wiles. With Professor Wiles’ encouragement, Jessica has auditioned for and won roles in numerous plays performed at Carleton including Wit, Oresteia and The Colored Museum.

Jessica is currently preparing for one of her biggest challenges—acting, directing and producing the play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf. Jessica’s play will run for three performances beginning on April 26 at the Weitz Center for Creativity at Carleton College.

As she finishes her final semester at Carleton, Jessica is ready to pursue her career aspirations in theater and is passionate about bringing theater to wider audiences.

“I want to bring theater back to the community,” says Jessica.

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