Craig Jessen
Writer & Director

Playwright

GHOSTLY

Yvette was a Shakespearean actress and darling of regional theater. Walter retired early to write The Great American Novel. Now they're both quite dead, and their ghosts have taken up residence with their adult children. But in their effort to keep their legacy alive, they may just end up·being the death of their kids. (3F, 2M)

Winner of the Chameleon Theatre Circle New Play Contest 2020

 

HAMLETSEN

The Tragical Comical Historical Pastoral True Story of Claudia, Shield Maiden of Denmark, and Her Nephew Lars, the Ill-Fated Prince, as Told With a Charmingly Acceptable Amount of Anachronistic Whimsy but an Utterly Indefensible Glut of Blasphemy, Obscenity, and Vulgarity. (5F, 5M)

 

MIDNIGHT REQUISION

When their estranged mother arrives unannounced at the funeral of their father, three sisters put aside the opportunity to mend old wounds and instead plot fresh revenge. (4F, 2M)

World premiere: Skypilot Theater, Los Angeles, 2018

 

THE END OF SEX

Working in the shadow of a co-worker who stole her research, a pharmaceutical scientist is thrust into the spotlight when she creates a cream that can relocate sexual sensation. (5F, 5M)

World premiere: Theatre Vertigo, Portland, OR, 2014

"A sexy play with a big heart." - The Oregonian

"This smart new play stretches credulity just far enough without letting it snap. Plus, it’s funny, with enough emotional underpinning to give the jokes some sting." - Oregon Artswatch

"The script manages to address just about every intriguing or troubling circumstance you’d imagine might arise from such a drug without sacrificing his lively plot or fleshed-out characters." - Portland Monthly

"Dark humor throughout and a damn good story to boot." - Dennis Sparks Reviews

 

INTO THE BAT CAVE

Bruce, father by day and vigilante by night, faces his most challenging foe yet: Child Protective Services. (2F, 3M)

World premiere: The Lyric Theatre, Los Angeles, 2013

 

ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

Frustrated by the constraints of her Victorian home, Alice ventures into a parallel world of whimsy and imagination. But when she meets a queen all too like her overbearing older sister, things take a dark turn. (4F, 3M)

Commissioned by Southern Oregon University, 2012

Available on Amazon

 

BABEL BELLY

A fifteen year old preacher’s son, filled with doubt and a crippling fear of death, sets out to find proof of the Almighty by building a message he hopes God cannot ignore. (3F, 3M)

Winner of the Tim Robbins Playwriting Award, 2010

 

YURI'S SONGBIRD

When a struggling New York comic moves in with the woman of his dreams, he thinks he has it made. But when she decides to become a singer, her singing drives him nuts. Soon his nuttiness drives her away, and he must conquer his neuroses to bring her music back into his life. (1F, 2M)

Winner of the Dini Ostrov Award in Playwriting, 2009

 

PYLON

Three high school friends have a new hobby: stealing traffic cones and putting them on their friends' lawns. But when Dee finds out, they barter her silence by bringing her along. As the three boys vie for her affections, they discover that stealing a woman's heart is far more difficult than stealing a cone. (2F, 4M)

World premiere: Portland Ensemble Theatre Company, Portland, OR, 2008

"Clever, heartfelt storytelling." – The Portland Tribune

"An engaging young cast and playwright/director Craig Jessen's keen eye for the emotional truths in small moments lend this modest tale of teen pranks and relationships a larger resonance." – The Oregonian

"A thoughtful, well-scripted, and solidly performed piece of new work." – The Portland Mercury

Available on Amazon

 

ROGER AND THE CAVE MONSTER

Roger works in a grocery store. His brother writes movie reviews in their apartment. They go to a cave. They meet a cave monster. They take her home. It doesn't go well. (2F, 2M)

World premiere: Portland Ensemble Theatre Company, Portland, OR, 2007

 

AFTERGLOW

On Christmas Eve, a young man with cold feet about his upcoming marriage flirts with infidelity, while his father’s obsessions threaten to burn his own marriage to the ground. (4F, 3M)

 

FLOWERS UNTIL SUNRISE

After disappearing for two years, Alex’s brother Ray re-appears, having spent eight months agitating for the rights of flower workers in Colombia. As he attempts to win back his former lover and reclaim his old life, the only thing standing between him and redemption is a pesky little thing called the truth. (2F, 2M)

World premiere: Intravenous Theater, New York, 2007

 

LADDER TO THE ATTIC

Joseph thinks his aunt Margaret was a saint. Her son Richard has a different view. When Margaret commits suicide and leaves no will, the two cousins fight for ownership of her house. As the battle escalates, long buried hatreds become unearthed, and the real war becomes ownership of the past.

World premiere: Southern Oregon University, 2005

 

Director

Los Angeles, California

Into the Bat Cave, by Craig Jessen, The Lyric Theatre, 2013

Clooney, Cowell, Pitt and Me by Sandro Monetti, The Lyric Theatre, 2012

Feedback by Jane Miller, The Lyric Theatre, 2012

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare, The Attic Theatre, 2012

Alice Through the Looking Glass, adapted by Craig Jessen, The Attic Theatre, 2011

Champagne & Stories, an ensemble devised work, The Attic Theatre, 2011

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, The SCV Space and Attic Theatre, 2011

Lessons and Carols by Demetra Kareman, The Attic Theatre, 2009

A Season of Salt and Insanity, by Andrea Tagle, UCLA Theatre Fest, 2009

 

Portland, Oregon

Pylon by Craig Jessen, Portland Ensemble Theatre Company, 2008

 

New York, New York

Unaccompanied Minors by Marcia Rudin, 2007

Echoes by N. Richard Nash, 440 Studios, 2006

 

Ashland, Oregon

Ladder To The Attic by Craig Jessen, Southern Oregon University, 2005

Two Rooms by Lee Blessing, Southern Oregon University, 2004

Measuring Matthew by Patrick Gabridge, Ashland New Play Festival, 2004

Sidekicks by Mark Saunders, Ashland New Play Festival, 2004

Answers by Tom Topor, Southern Oregon University, 2002

 

Portland, Oregon

The Night Thoreau Spent In Jail, by Lawrence and Lee, Wilson High School, 2001

The Ugly Duckling, by A.A. Milne, Wilson High School One Act Festival, 2001

Chasm by Craig Jessen, Infinite Dreams Ensemble, 2000

The Devil & Billy Markham by Shel Silverstein, Wilson High School One Act Festival, 1999

Unstable Octet by Craig Jessen, Infinite Dreams Ensemble, 1999

Impromptu by Tad Mosel, Wilson High School One Act Festival, 1998

Subway by Craig Jessen (1999), St. Luke Lutheran Church, 1998

Dance Of Death/Song Of Life by Craig Jessen, St. Luke Lutheran Church, 1998