This week I'm highlighting a former student, Jess Honovich. Jess studied Educational Theatre at NYU, got her bachelors degree, then entered the work force for two years. I had Jess in a number of classes at NYU, and then last year she acted in my site-specific project at Red Bank Battlefield. Her Irish indentured servant was a highlight for audiences, and she was a pleasure to work with on that project.
While all of this was happening, Jess was quietly working away at her writing, creating short plays, working on full length plays, and taking writing workshops. Last year, she applied to MFA writhing programs, got herself multiple offers, and decided to head to Carnegie Mellon's program in Pittsburgh. I saw Jess in October for coffee, and she was doing great! Exhausted from navigating graduate school, but completely energized and excited about writing. Our coffee on a bench in Washington Square Park, chatting away about writing, was a highlight of my fall semester. I loved learning from her that afternoon. One of the best things about being a teacher is when a student, current or former, teaches me something. It's the best way for me to stay current. Otherwise, I risk becoming stale.
Much to my delight, Jess posted on Facebook that her first full-length play Suicide Dogs opened last night in Palm Springs, California. She had told me about this back in October, but I didn't make the connection that it was happening so soon. I'm thrilled for Jess, and I can't wait to see what comes next for her! I have a feeling it will be a string of very good things.
For her quiet perseverance, her humility, her sense of humor, her steady growth as an artist, and her generous attitude as a collaborator, Jess Honovich is the artist I admire for this week.