Profile Type: Artist
Jennifer Onopa

Jennifer Onopa is a theater maker and educator who is passionate about creating collaborative, socially conscious theater and performance. Her interests in innovative models of devising, community engagement, applied theater practice, and education guide much of her work. She recently completed her MFA in Theater Directing at UMass Amherst, where she directed The Lily's Revenge by Taylor Mac, The Happiest Song Plays Last by Quiara Alegría Hudes, and We Are Proud to Present… by Jackie Sibblies Drury, which toured to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa. She has directed and produced numerous devised works, plays, adaptations, and works of puppetry in New York City and Chicago, in site-specific locations, storefront theaters, cafes, schools, and off-Broadway spaces. She recently assisted Ping Chong and Talvin Wilks in two iterations of Collidescope: Adventures in Pre-and Post-Racial America (UMass Amherst and Wake Forest University) a multi-media theater work documenting U.S. race history. Jen was an artistic associate with Redmoon Theater in Chicago, with whom she performed regularly and assisted with the direction of several large-scale public art works involving installation, puppetry, and spectacle. She is an SDC associate member and a member of the SDC Observership Class of 2018-19.
An educator for over 20 years, Jen currently teaches theater at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts School in Massachusetts. She is a proud former New York City public high school teacher, where she taught literacy and theater for a decade and mentored several cohorts of NYC Teaching Fellows. She has been a teaching artist and youth theater director for Redmoon Theater, Gallery 37 Projects, Chicago Arts Partners in Education, and the Creative Arts Team (CAT) in NYC.  


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I Have Worked With

  • January 2016 to February 2017

    With NYC-based director Ping Chong, I co-directed Collidescope 3.0: Adventures in Pre-and Post-Racial America (co-created by Talvin Wilks and Ping Chong) at Wake Forest University in 2017. I assisted both Ping Chong and Talvin Wilks on the direction of Collidescope 2.0 at UMass Amherst in 2016. 

  • January 2017

    I have collaborated with MA-based costume designer Christina Beam on two mainstage productions at UMass Amherst, The Happiest Song Plays Last by Quiara Alegria Hudes in 2017, and The Lily's Revenge by Taylor Mac in 2018, in addition to collaborations on several smaller-scale workshop projects. 

  • January 2016

    I have collaborated with NYC-based dramaturg, director, and playwright Gaven Trinidad on multiple projects at UMass Amherst, including  Collidescope 2.0 (Chong and Wilks) in 2016, I Am Ulysses (devised) in 2016,The Happiest Song Plays Last (Hudes) in 2017, and The Lily's Revenge (Mac) in 2018.

  • Artist

Contact Information

First Name: 
Job Title/Position: 
Theater Director and Deviser
Physical Address: 
Holyoke, MA 01040
Last Name: 


Profile Type: 
Primary Discipline: 
Theater - Devised / Artist-Led
Additional Disciplines: 
Theater - General
Year Founded: 
Populations Served: 
General Public
School Groups
Veteran/Active Duty Military Personnel
Languages Available: 
Institution/Business Type: 
Artist (Individual)
Activities and Services: 
Arts Instruction / Lessons
Community Arts
Creation of a Work of Art (Including Commissions)
Curriculum Development
Performance / Concert / Reading
Residency - In School
Workshops / Demonstrations / Master Class
Events Per Year: 
Seasons Active: 
Geographic Reach: 
Town / City
Multi-County Region

Affiliations and Accomplishments

Professional Associations: 
Stage Directors and Choreographers Union associate member
MFA Theater Directing - UMass Amherst
MA Secondary English Education and Applied Theater - NYU
BA Theater and English - Penn State University

I am a Touring Artist

Fee Range Minimum: 
Fee Range Maximum: 
State of Residence: 
Minimum Number of Performers: 
Maximum Number of Performers: 

I am a Teaching Artist

Teaching Settings: 
Afterschool Program
Arts and Cultural Center / Venue
Community Site / Center
School / University
Subject Areas: 
Arts Integration - English Language / Literacy
Ages Served: 
Middle School-age
High School-age
Certifications / Training: 
Theater Teacher (all ages) - Initial License (MA)
English Teacher (grades 7-12) - Permanent License (NY)
Theater Teacher (all ages) - Permanent License (NY)
National Board Certification in Adolescent Literacy
Fee Range Minimum: 
Fee Range Maximum: