Jesse Graham Galas (she, her, hers) identifies as an actor, director, and professor of the performing arts. With 6 years combined experience as a Professor of the Performing Arts, 4 years experience as a Director and Assistant Director of both plays and musicals, and 25 years professional experience on the stage, she brings both crafted techniques and real world experience to the table. She earned her MFA in Acting from Ohio University and her Teaching Certificate in Michael Chekhov Physical Acting Technique from Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium in 2018, along with a truthfulness and grounded physicality which she espouses in all of her roles as an advocate of the Arts. She continues to grow personally and professionally by engaging and presenting workshops in Acting, Voice, Movement, Stage Combat and Musical Theatre, and creates a brave and inclusive space on stage and in the classroom based on the tenets of Theatre Intimacy Educators.
After living and working in NYC for 5 years, she took on the challenge of teaching the next generation at Troy University in Troy, AL for 4 years, and most recently played "Madame Baurel" in the National Tour of An American in Paris
with Big League Productions until the tour was unfortunately was cut short due to COVID-19. However, she has since joined the team at Coker University as an Assistant Professor of Theatre teaching Acting I - IV, Movement, Voice & Diction, Directing, Script Analysis, The Theatre Professional, and Film Criticism as well as directing All in the Timing
, Songs for a New World
, The Women of Lockerbie
, and currently, Little Women
for the Mainstage.
As an actor, she follows two quotes, "Acting is living truthfully in imaginary circumstances"~ Sanford Meisner and "There is no Art without Joy"~ Michael Chekhov. While most of her early work was primarily in musicals, after moving to NYC in 2010 she branched into Shakespeare and film. She has played mandolin for over 10 years, and enjoys the challenge of bringing each unique character to life.
As a director, she encourages collaborative storytelling between cast and designers in both classical and contemporary styles. From blackbox page-to-stage small projects to mainstage musicals, she believes theatre as an art form is essential to humanity and every story gives both the audience and the artist an opportunity to grow.
As a professor, she strives to create a brave environment where her students feel free to risk while discovering and acting on their impulses. She has taught many courses (Acting, Movement, The Business of Acting, etc.) at several universities (Troy University, Marietta College, Kennesaw State University). She has presented several workshops at SETC and received a faculty development grant for 2 consecutive years for her work in Michael Chekhov. She has been both a season director and assistant director of plays and musicals, as well as having served as the Stage Combat and Intimacy Director for many shows.