Jesse Graham Galas is an actor, director, and professor of the performing arts. With over 25 years professional experience on the stage, she has performed in musicals and plays across the United States, Europe and Asia, as well as on film and in commercials. She earned her MFA in Acting from Ohio University, along with a truthfulness and grounded physicality which she espouses in all of her roles as an actor, director and professor. She also received her Teaching Certificate in Michael Chekhov Physical Acting Technique from Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium in 2018. 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 while simultaneously teaching an online Intro to Film course for Troy University, until the tour was unfortunately was cut short due to COVID-19. However, she is thrilled to announce that she has joined the team at Coker University as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Acting teaching Acting I, Acting IV, Movement, The Theatre Professional, and Film Criticism as well as directing "All in the Timing' by David Ives in the Fall and the musical "Little Women" in the Spring.
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 safe 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.