1. A View from the Bridge – Riverside Theatre, Iowa City, IA – Spring 2017 (photo by Rob Merritt)
2. The Wolves – Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, IA – Fall 2019 (photo by Olivia Houchins McCollum)
3. Aurora – Theatre Cedar Rapids Underground New Play Festival, Cedar Rapids, IA – Summer 2019 (photo by Rob Merritt)
Hi, my name is Katy and I use she/her pronouns. I earned my BA in Theatre: Performance from the University of Northern Iowa in 2010 and my MFA in Acting from Florida Atlantic University in 2015. I currently live in the Eastern Iowa Corridor with my husband Bill, our son Jack, and our dog Sam. In addition to teaching theatre at the University of Northern Iowa and Coe College, I work all over the state as a professional director, dialect coach, youth instructor, and actor for stage, screen, and voice over projects.
I collaborate with people at all levels of experience to spark creativity, inspire confidence, cultivate empathy, build community, and engage in the greater conversations of life.
My primary field of study is theatre performance, with specializations in voice, speech, and movement for the actor. I have additional expertise in Shakespeare, dialect study, musical theatre, new play development, and theatre for social change.
I use my skills and experience as an actor, educator, and collaborator to serve people of all ages and backgrounds, particularly diverse learners and underrepresented groups.
This April, Riverside Theatre in Iowa City asked actors to perform monologues from Shakespeare’s canon to celebrate his 456th birthday and build anticipation for the return of Free Shakespeare on the Festival Stage in Lower City Park.
Check out all 30 monologues at riversidetheatre.org/30daysofshakespeare
Here is my contribution!
This July, the University of Northern Iowa recruited alumni, faculty, and current students to perform words by the Bard to gear up for our Fall 2020 production of Romeo and Juliet. Since Riverside’s production of The Winter’s Tale was postponed until next summer, I thought this online festival would be a nice opportunity to share one of the speeches I was originally going to perform on the festival stage this summer. It was fun to play with this speech in a more intimate setting, and I am sure when I perform it outdoors next year in the context of the whole show it will take on an entirely different energy.
Check it out!
This summer, I am spearheading a passion project called 2020 Insight: Iowans’ Attitudes About Politics, Voting, and Current Events. The goal is to develop a mixed media performance piece that can be presented for free in October 2020 to Iowans ages 18+, representing a wide variety of perspectives as thoroughly and accurately as possible in order to help people step out of their own echochambers for a while and listen to their fellow Iowans’ perspectives before making crucial voting decisions. We are not pushing a single political agenda and we seek only to inform others and cultivate empathy. We are not making any money on this project, as it is completely volunteer-based. The first stage of our research involves a questionnaire. If you consider yourself an Iowan and would like to contribute your words to our piece, we welcome you to click the link below! Please note: This questionnaire is VERY thorough. We recommend using a computer instead of a phone and setting aside at least 30 minutes. You can always start it now and come back to it later!
No matter how many times I get to work with this woman, it will never be enough.
I first met Jo when I was dialect coaching Intimate Apparel at Theatre Cedar Rapids, and I was immediately impressed by her amazing work. Few of my Iowa actor friends have the same passion for dialect work that I do, and I was elated to find a kindred spirit in Jo.
The second time I worked with her was in a reading of 12 Angry Men that we did with several other women and nonbinary folks who are powerhouses in the Corridor theatre community. A few months after that I had the pleasure of seeing her in Men on Boats at Riverside Theatre. In the fall of 2019 she came to Cornell as a guest panelist to talk with the student-actors I was directing in The Wolves about what it was like to be a working actor, particular an actor of color.
This just scratches the surface of her work in the Corridor. She has done several shows with Mirrorbox Theatre in Cedar Rapids. She was in The Cake at Riverside Theatre in Iowa City. She was originally cast in Vanity Fair at Theatre Cedar Rapids, but unfortunately the production was canceled due to COVID. Jo’s work as an actor is consistently strong, and the only thing better than watching her onstage is hanging out with her in person.
Jo is a Renaissance Woman. She is fiercely intelligent, straight-forward, and assertive. She is also extremely warm and kind, vivacious and funny. I could listen to Jo tell stories for hours. She has a magnetic presence and commands the attention of everyone in the room.
Did I mention Jo is a lawyer? And a dedicated cat mom? The list goes on. Jo Jordan is one of those people who is so good at what she does that when you find out that “Oh wait, AND you do this other thing and are really good at it, too? AND this other other thing, and are really good at it, too??? AND AND AND…” you can’t help but stand in awe of her.
Unfortunately for the Corridor, Jo is moving from the Midwest to the Southwest to take on many new adventures. We will miss you Jo.
Thank you for the dresser you refinished – it will be a fine memento of our friendship that needs to continue because I haven’t had enough of you yet…
(Yes, she refinished this old dresser and made it look AMAZING. Those are pages from Alice in Wonderland! I told you, she can do anything.)
July 2020: S. Benjamin Farrar
June 2020: Crystal Stewart
May 2020: Megan Gogerty
April 2020: Adam Knight
March 2020: Genevieve Trainor
February 2020: Chris Okiishi
January 2020: Cavan Hallman
December 2019: Angie Toomsen
November 2019: Janeve West
October 2019: Jim Bray
September 2019: Caroline Price
August 2019: Jenn Sheshko Wood
July 2019: Sarah Schreiner
June 2019: Kristy Hartsgrove Mooers
May 2019: Rob Merritt
April 2019: Jennifer Fawcett
March 2019: Patrick DuLaney
February 2019: Saffron Henke
January 2019: Amy Osatinski
December 2018: Cara Viner
November 2018: Deanna Downes
October 2018: Alisabeth Von Presley
I created a private Facebook group for individuals in the arts who do not identify as cis men to share ideas, raise questions, support each other, and get shit done.