explore & enjoy.

#1 Marching to my own beat in the first grade at the York Country Day School in Pennsylvania.

#2 Friends, mentors & goddesses Olympia Dukakis & Blythe Danner. 
photo: Geoffrey Wade

 #3 My NYU gradution with Betsy Aidem, Kerry Boyle & others.
photo: my Mom. 

#4 Poster from Tennessee Williams, A Celebration, a two-part, six hour collage of Williams work which I help to create at WTF.

 #5 Playbill from my first Broadway show, Ah Wilderness! at The Roundabout.

 #6 The glory days of the Cabaret at WTF. I'm in the black dress next to Austin Pendleton; Gary Levine is behind me to my right. Ed Herrmann, David Hyde Pierce & Steve Lawson are kneeling in front; Christopher Reeve is far right.
photo: Christopher Read

 #7 Accepting the The Antaeus Company's LA Drama Critic's Cirle Award for Best Season (2010) with critic & friend Terry Morgan.
photo: tbd 

in "about JH" ~ Matisse's sketch, "Madeline - Etude" (how I see myself ... in my Workroom.)


jeanie hackett       
is an actor, director, author & teacher.

She has performed on Broadway, regional & Los Angeles  
stages & appears frequently on film & television. She has directed  
award-winning productions & has served as Artistic Director for two  
prestigious Los Angeles theater companies. She is the author of two  
popular books for actors & has taught or coached hundreds  
of actors, from beginners to celebrated artists. 




about The Workroom

       Make voyages! Attempt them! There's nothing else...
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS, from his play Camino Real

Welcome to The Workroom! I've always longed for the ideal creative space...an actual place where I could go to work on a role, think, write, dream...

...walls to scribble on, paste, paint, collage. Costume pieces. Persian rugs on polished cement à la Peter Brook. Good paper, sharp pencils. Dylan & Chopin. A high ceiling (--a pair of large, feathered wings!) A trampoline. A view of the sea.

My virtual Workroom aspires to the same. It's for the purist in all of us -- a space to live in our full potential as artists. Here I'm creating / curating / writing about the high-altitude stuff. What makes for great work? How do we stay true to our vision & connected to our values? How does what we do make a difference in the world? I come down to earth occasionally for things like audition skills & career management, but always in relation to our primal creative aspirations. 

I'm also writing about theater art & management ideas & best practices. Curating links that help cultivate the muse. Offering classes & coaching for actors & consulting for small theaters. I want to use this space to learn, listen & awaken new possibilities for growth in myself & in you. I want to challenge me & you to relentlessly strive to improve what we do & how we do it.

I wear a lot of hats, which = diverse perspectives. My strength = making connections: between a play & an audience, a text & a vision, between who you are in the work & who you can become. My goal = to create insightful, relevant content that emboldens you to claim all your promise as an artist. 

THE WORKROOM, my home page, is where my "inspiration stream" lives. (...hate the "blog" word). I write a new post every week or so. Subscribe to get occasional emails from me re: inspiration / community / classes / film & theater outings / new posts & more. Make a comment, start a conversation, respond. For me, the artist's response, whatever the topic, is the touchstone. Sharing that response starts collaboration & community.

I want to take risks here. Upset the status quo. Challenge myself to stay on the tough stuff & the true stuff. No topic is off-limits & rest assured I intend to write about all of it. I'll share what I know from working with hundreds of artists in all different ways & what I know from my gut. I'll go to frequently go to the well of my own successes / failures / experiences. Every stone turned.

This is my voyage.

subscribe to THE WORKROOM!


about JH

I have worked in some aspect of the acting profession my entire career. & before. As a kid I produced plays in my backyard (of course starred in them, too). I did about 18 musicals with my hometown community theater, Genisius, before I left for college.

I'm an NYU grad & I also trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London & Circle in the Square. I spent three summers learning & working with some of the greatest actors in American theater at the Williamstown Theater Festival, where I received my AEA card in 1982.

In my first role as a professional actress, I was cast by Tennessee Williams to play Jane Sparks in his Vieux Carre for the opening of the Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Center in Key West, Florida. I auditioned in December of 1982; Williams died in February of 1983, just a week before we started rehearsals in Key West. I'm so grateful that I got to know him.

I've been honored to work on Broadway in plays by Williams & O'Neill, on wonderful regional stages across the country & fine theaters in Los Angeles. I've played leading roles in new plays & great works by Shakespeare, Chekhov & Shaw, with incredibly talented actors & directors. I've also appeared with some frequency in film & television. Visit my ACTING page for my full bio. 

I've served as Artistic Director of two prestigious Los Angeles ensemble companies: The Classical Theatre Lab & The Antaeus Company. The extraordinary work that emerges from such ensembles always seems to me to be worth the challenges inherent in collective governing. For my arts leadership bio, visit my THEATER ART & MGT page.

I'm also an acting teacher / an acting coach / the author of two books on acting. THE ACTOR'S CHEKHOV & TOWARD MASTERY are both based on the work of my mentor: the revolutionary Artistic Director of The Williamstown Theater Festival, Nikos Psacharopoulos. (See BOOKS & WRITING.) I'm proud that The Actor's Chekhov, which I wrote over 15 years ago, is still used by colleges & universities & professional productions across the country.

As a teacher & coach I've had the privilege of working with famous actors, working professionals, & talented beginners, all equally meaningful encounters. I have taught/coached classical theater/contemporary scene study/audition technique to more than a thousand people. More info in CLASSES & COACHING.

I've recently begun to direct more theater (& even a film). Recently: Love, Noel at the new Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts / Kindertransport for LA Theater Works &, at The Williamstown Theater Festival, a workshop of Jeffrey Hatcher's Cousin Bette of which I directed the the acclaimed production at Antaeus. For more about what I've directed in the past & what's coming up, visit my DIRECTING page.

I'm originally from Wyomissing Pennsylvania; I lived & worked in New York City for 13 years & I've been living & working in LA going on 19 years. My husband, Young Ji, is currently the Artistic Coordinator for The Geffen Playhouse + a director & AEA stage manager. We live in Toluca Woods in North Hollywood, with our cat, Elliot. I dedicate this site to my Mom.



Jeanie Hackett Directs the Vast Canvas of Cousin Bette 
LA Stage Times

Company Town:
How a Big City Became America's Small Theater Mecca
LA Weekly

Embrace Fear ~ interview with JH
The Phenomenon of Stage Fright

The Craft  ~ interview with JH
Overcoming The Actor's Innate Desire to be Liked

Interview with Jeanie Hackett
The Actor's Factory

Text and Longing: interview with JH
Performing Chekhov Requires Its Own Set of Special Considerations

Sunday in the Park with Shakespeare ~ interview with JH

Antaeus Interview: Jeanie Hackett

I'm Not That Guy ~ interview with JH
The Craft of Making a Character 

What Acting Teacher Inspired You? ~ interview with JH

Acting Ensemble Brings a Wide Range of Poetry to Life
LA Times

Speak A Little Differently ~ interview with JH
Actors Using Accents.

Actor's E-Chat with Jeanie Hackett ~ (video, 1 hour)

Leadership Change at Antaeus
Broadway World

The Actor's Chekhov & Toward Mastery
American Theater Magazine / Library Journal