Fireside Chats

Chicago Dramatists is kicking off 2021 with a new set of exclusive Fireside Chats with guest Playwrights, Artistic Directors, and other Chicago professionals! These events will happen once per quarter, and are open only to current Network Members, Chicago Dramatists Benefactors, and Dramatists’ 100 members. All interviews will be recorded for The Sound & The Journey Podcast.

Our next Fireside Chat will happen Friday, April 30 at 7pm CST. Featured will be Jacob Janssen, Artistic Producer of The COOP in NYC!

Jacob will be joining Network Director Ean Miles Kessler for a discussion centering on his process when working with a writer on a new play, how he selects his projects, and the importance for successful playwrights of networking and building relationships within the theater. They’ll cover everything from producing your own work, to the skills and talents Jacob sees as most essential for writers to get their work picked up by a producer. The evening will conclude with select questions from the audience. Virtual doors “open” at 6:50pm CST, with a start time of 7pm CST.  We look forward to this wonderful evening!

How To Register

An email with the registration link will been sent to all current Network Members, Dramatists Benefactors, and Dramatists’ 100 members tonight at 6:30pm. Folks are requested to register for this event, as that registration page is where you will find the Zoom link. Any questions or concerns may be directed to Network Director Ean Miles Kessler at

Jacob Jenssen, Artistic Producer at The COOP

Jacob Janssen is a director and producer, and is the Artistic Producer of The COOP, an Off-Broadway Theater Company in NYC. Jacob has served in administrative positions at several theatres including Studio Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre and Mosaic Theater in Washington, DC as well as American Theatre Company in Chicago. Jacob’s work as a director has included projects with Baltimore Center Stage, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, The Goodman, About Face, and others. He is particularly interested in international collaboration. This interest lead to the development of projects with The Goethe Institute, Instituto de Cervantes, the Embassies of Austria, Brazil, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland. Jacob was the Artistic Director of The Plimoth Players, the Original Practice Shakespeare company resident at Plimoth Plantation, in Plymouth, MA. In 2018, Jacob was awarded a DCASE grant by the Mayor of Chicago for artistic development. He holds an MFA in Directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University and a BFA in Acting from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

SELECTED CREDITS – DIRECTING: Fuga Mundi (Baltimore Center Stage); Carrie: The Musical, 10,000 Grey (Studio Theatre); This Bitter Earth (About Face); A Bright New Boise, The Maids, Richard III, Trouble in Mind, Contractions (The Theatre School); Supplication, Strangers on a Train (Source Festival); Camp Rock (Adventure Theatre-MTC); The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Plimoth Players); ASSISTANT DIRECTING: A View From The Bridge (The Goodman); Prospero’s Storm (Chicago Playworks); Red Speedo (Studio Theatre);The Totalitarians (Woolly Mammoth); Little House Christmas (Adventure Theatre-MTC); Unnecessary Farce, Footloose (Cape Playhouse); PRODUCING: Belleville, Bad Jews, Choir Boy, Laugh, Jumpers For Goalposts, The Wolfe Twins, Murder Ballad, Terminus, The Apple Family Plays, Tribes, Cock (Studio Theatre), The London Merchant (Shakespeare Theatre)

An Important Note: These zoom sessions will be recorded, and the audio will be used and distributed as episodes of The Sound & The Journey Podcast. No image or audio of audience members will be included in any podcast episodes, but the sessions will be recorded in full.