Meet Your Student Advisor- Jessica O’Brien

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Office Hours: Varies (please email to schedule a phone call appointment)

Jessica O’Brien is tickled pink to be working with BAA! Jessica has a M.A. in Theatre with a Concentration in Acting from Villanova University, and a B.A. in Musical Theatre/Theatre Performance from Marymount Manhattan College. She was the 2012 winner of’s Best Actress in a Musical Award (Philadelphia) for her portrayal of Julie Jordan in Carousel. Jessica created the role of Scarecrow in the Philadelphia premiere of the play, Woman and Scarecrow, with special training from Patrick Mason of the Abbey Theatre. She also performed as a soloist/dancer in the Oscar Hammerstein Lifetime Achievement Awards honoring Tony Walton, which featured Ben Vereen and Chita Rivera. She had the opportunity to portray Elizabeth in a staged reading of An American Tragedy directed by Barbara Siman and Charles Strouse. Other favorite roles include Mother in Ragtime, Meredith in Bat Boy the Musical, Louise in Gypsy, Sally Bowles in Cabaret, and Ann Deever in All My Sons. For the past year and a half, Jessica has directed and choreographed for Surflight Theatre’s Children’s Theatre Company, as well as their educational touring company, Surflight-to-Go. Her production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was nominated for’s Best Children’s Production (New Jersey). In 2013, Jessica was nominated for the International Music and Entertainment Association Awards for Best Musical and Best Director of a Musical for her production of The Last Five Years.

Getting to Know Your Student Advisor

What was the first Broadway show you ever saw?
The original production of Les Miserables.

Which Broadway performer would you love to have lunch with and why?
Patti LuPone. I grew up listening to the record of Evita, and even though I could only hear her performance, I could sense every emotion she was feeling. She has inspired me my entire performance career!

What is your favorite Broadway show and why?
Eek. This is hard. My top five are Carousel, Evita, West Side Story, Ragtime and The Last Five Years. All for very different reasons.

What is your favorite role you’ve played?
Probably Scarecrow in the play, Woman and Scarecrow. I have never been pushed to my limit so many times during a rehearsal and performance process. Just when I thought I couldn’t give anymore, the play demanded it.

If you could live in the world of any Broadway show, which would you choose and why?
Crazy for You. Who doesn’t love singing and dancing to excellent music?

What do you love about working with young performers? 
They have so much passion and drive! It reminds me why I fell in love with this business in the first place!