"A good play puts the audience through a certain ordeal. I don't like sympathetic characters. Theatre should be a taxing experience: the greatest achievement of a writer is to produce a character who creates anxiety." --Howard Barker
Jennifer Markowitz has recently moved to Raleigh, NC to work for Burning Coal Theatre Company as Director of Education. She has spent most of her 25 years as a director sampling place and how that informs theatre performance. She is the original director of Will Kern's Hellcab, which ran for over nine years at Chicago’s Famous Door Theatre. She also directed award-winning productions of this play in Edinburgh, Los Angeles, Dublin and throughout Israel. Her Chicago production of Never Come Morning at Prop Thtr won nine Joseph Jefferson Awards, including Best Director and Best Production. Also in Chicago, at Mary Arrchie Theatre Company, she directed the critically acclaimed productions of Kenneth Brown’s The Brig (2013) and Hellish Half-Light: Shorter Plays of Samuel Beckett (2014).
At the William Inge Center of the Arts, she co-directed (with Artistic Director Karen Carpenter) Donald Margulies: American Dreamer, A tribute to Donald Margulies for the 34th William Inge Festival and both curated and directed Scenes at the Inge House -- A site-specific production of scenes from William Inge plays, performed in different rooms throughout William’s Inge’s childhood home.
In England, where she received her Master’s Degree in Theatre Research/Practice at the University of Warwick, she formed a site-based theatre company called Trema (a German term referring to both stage-fright and the moment prior to a psychotic break). With Trema, she directed site-responsive productions of Our Town: Act III (Thornton Wilder), Spring Awakening (Frank Wedekind), Crave (Sarah Kane), A Dream Play(August Strindberg) and Far Away (Caryl Churchill). Also in England, she directed Stray, a production of three short plays on separate sites within same location: Victoria Station (Harold Pinter), The Wayfarer (Valerii Bryusov), and Fewer Emergencies (Martin Crimp).
Jennifer has taught Acting, Directing, Theatre Studies, Site-Based theatre and Postdramatic Theatre in the UK at the universities of Warwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Portsmouth and Plymouth. She has also taught Practice as Research methodologies and Site-Based Performance to MA Students in Reykjavik, Iceland. In the US, she headed the Theatre Department at the William Inge Center of the Arts. She has also taught acting and guest directed at The Theatre School of DePaul University, Columbia College Chicago and University of Notre Dame.