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Kevin Takahide Lee

Actor, The Re-enactors & Together Alone

Jessica is a director who is both sensitive to the performers needs as well as society's needs.  She provides the environment and guidance for artists to safely hone their craft while focused on having theatre reflect the needs of the time.

Matthew Rhodes

Actor, The Crucible & Consensual

Jessica Anne Nelson was my director on two projects, and both times centred performer ideas and offers. More familiar with directors who told me what to do, her inquisitive nature and passion for the work of others created productions that had a unique stamp of the performers on it. Drawing on her knowledge of an abundance of tools, she created rules and structures within the world of the play that led to dynamic and exciting rehearsals, especially regarding physical movement. She did all this with a warmth and grace that kept the rehearsal hall safe dealing with very difficult subject matter. She is a all around wonderful director and I am eager to work with her in the future.

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Sara Holt

Actor, The Re-enactors & Together Alone

Jessica is a generous and patient director. After working with her as an actor, on a number of events and projects I can honestly say she is one of my favourite directors that I have worked with. She is a true collaborator and always manages to pinpoint offered moments of discovery in rehearsal and solidify them into a repeatable and organic production. I always feel that she values the individual artists that she works with, and I feel very lucky to be creating with her whenever we get the chance. 
       As far as community engagement and ability to commit to the changes and developments  that are happening in our current society's landscape,  Jessica is informed and passionate. She knows how to find a path forward with kindness and compassion for everyone.  She brings forth issues without “knowing the right answer” and works with the team to discover and explore the deeper underlying reasons behind the issues that face our community today.
     Jessica is committed to doing the homework and research and she is respectful when seeking out members of the community to hear their thoughts and knowledge. Her expertise is highlighted in the quality of the work that is created and the positive, genuine feedback that comes from the audiences that engage in the shows. Specifically with the shows that I have done with Jessica, we reach those community members that are not specifically seeking out the theatre experience and they are often very moved by the depth of story and humanity that is being shared. 
      Jessica’s ability to dig deep and take the time needed to tackle sensitive or intimate moments make her stand out from the rest. Her knowledge in the art of intimacy direction not only makes her rehearsals feel safe and supportive but it helps all the actors reach a deeper level of performance.      I have learned so much from Jessica Nelson, about how to run a healthy and successful rehearsal process. And I highly recommend her in all of her areas of expertise. 

Tanya Iryna Pacholok

Actor, The Re-enactors & Together Alone

As an actor, I have had the privilege and pleasure of having Jessica Anne Nelson as a Director on a couple of occasions (City of Surrey’s Re-enactors, Together Alone - National Art Council #CanadaPerforms).  I immediately felt at ease, inspired and drawn to her professional, organized, conscientious, yet incredibly welcoming and nurturing style of directing! She has a visionary, collaborative and open-minded approach to directing that is complimented by her bubbly and warm personality, which adds to the absolute joy that is working with her! 

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Gemma Harris

Stage Manager & Production Assistant, The Re-enactors
Props & Set Builder, Consensual

I have worked with Jessica for over 3 years now at the City of Surrey as her stage manager and production assistant for the Surrey Re-Enactors program. Her work as a director for such a unique style of theatre is truly outstanding. Jessica strives to tell these historical stories with truth but directs them in such a way that they are fun and memorable. I love and respect that Jessica is such an advocate for diversity in the theatre. She has the power to make a difference in the Vancouver theatre community and I believe she will!

Libby Willoughby

Actor, Daughters-Mothers-Grandmothers

I have worked with Jessica several times as an actor and artistic collaborator. It is always a delight to work with Jess - she puts so much care and intentional effort in to making every working environment feel like a safe and productive place to explore. All ideas are welcome, people are encouraged to explore within their limits on any given day, and Jess brings her authentic self to the table, which I find encourages everyone else to do the same. She leads by example, and does so to great effect. 


Yoshié Bancroft

Actor, Ithaka

Jessica brings such care and intention to her work as a director.  As a poc artist, this is important to me—to be given the comfort to be heard and space to feel supported, and appropriately challenged, in my creative choices.  I really enjoyed working with Jess.

Sachi Nisbet

Actor, girls! girls! girls!

I worked with Jessica Anne Nelson in a show she directed called girls! girls! girls! and found her to be a very thoughtful and approachable director. She was confident and assured in what she wanted from her actors but also excited to work with us to make new discoveries about the characters and the story. It’s also important to mention that there were a few sensitive scenes in the show and she handled them with great care and made sure we all felt safe in rehearsals and in performance. I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Jessica, as I learned a lot from her and enjoyed the process as well.

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