Jessica Stanley is an actor and writer from Melbourne. In 2018 she and partner James Cerche co-founded new theatre collective Spinning Plates Co., and Jess is also the Chair of North of Eight, a Melbourne-based theatre collective that formed in 2016.
After topping the state of Victoria with a perfect score in drama upon the completion of high school, Jessica went on to receive a Victorian Premier’s Award, the Jennifer Francis Drama Prize, and a scholarship to study at Monash University. She completed her Bachelor of Performing Arts at Monash, where she performed in various productions, including August: Osage County and The Pillowman. Jessica was awarded the Outstanding Year Level Achiever and a Dean’s Recognition Award following her work in August: Osage County, and in her final year worked with director Leticia Caceres on the world premiere of Where in the World is Frank Sparrow?
In 2015, Jessica concurrently took part in the full time program at Howard Fine Acting Studio and completed her Bachelor of Psychology at Swinburne University. She continues to write new plays and study at the Howard Fine Acting Studio, where she also occassionally teaches acting for teens and sits on the Board of Trust. Jessica is fueled by a passionate drive to continue learning and training at every opportunity, and has trained with many notable teachers such as Howard Fine, David Coury, Marilyn McIntyre, Jean-Louis Rodrigues, Carol Rosenfeld, Margie Haber, Kim Farrant, Stephen Costan, and the late Peter Oyston.
Some of Jessica’s on screen credits include roles on ABC’s The Doctor Blake Mysteries and Glitch. In 2016, Jessica performed the one-woman show, Ménage, at Melbourne Fringe Festival, which was nominated for Best Performance Award. In August 2017, she performed for the first time with her own company, North of Eight, in Navy Pier, at the Courthouse Hotel, North Melbourne.
In 2018, Jessica was the only Australian playwright invited to attend the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Alaska for her new play Sisters, Inferno. She will be attending the conference in June, then returning to Melbourne to get ready for an exciting new play that she will be performing solo for Melbourne Fringe Festival.
Jessica has been a proud member of Equity since 2013.