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 about 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 by email or via RSS


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 (and 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 a stage manager & director. 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


The Antaeus Company


KING LEAR (AD & producer)
with Dakin Matthews & Harry Groener doubling in the title role
LA Times / LA Weekly / KPCC Review / LA Times Feature: Antaeus Doubles Up on King Lear
Ovation Nominations = Lead Actor / LA Drama Critics Circle AWARDS = Direction, Lead & Featured Performance, Sound Design / Backstage-Garland AWARD = Best Production / Bitter Lemons AWARD = #1 Revival of the Year

COUSIN BETTE  (AD & director)
World Premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher's Adaptation of Balzac's Novel
LA Times / Variety / LA Weekly Feature: Love Me Tender, Love me Harsh / LA Weekly / Backstage / Curtain Up / StageHappenings.com / Broadway World / LA Theatre Review / Stage Scene LA 
Ovation AWARD = Costume Design ~ O Nominations = Production, Playwright, Lead Actor, Sets, Lights, Sound Design / LA Drama Critics Circle AWARDS = Production, Adaptation / Backstage Garland AWARDS = Direction, Adaptation, Lead Performance, Lighting Design / Bitter Lemons #14 Top Los Angeles Premiere of the Year

PEACE IN OUR TIME (AD, project creator, producer)
a new adaptation of Noel Coward's play, using his wartime music 
LA Times / Backstage / LA WeeklyExaminer.com / LA Times Feature: Coward Play to get U.S. Premiere at Antaeus / LA Stage Times Feature: The Young Idea Project
Ovation AWARD: Best Production of a Play in an Intimate Theater ~ O Nominations = Lead Actor, Scenic, Lighting, Sound Design / LA Weekly AWARD: Production of the Year ~ LAW Nominations = Costume, Set Design / LA Drama Critic's Circle AWARD: Best Revival 

PERA PALAS (AD, producer & actor)
Sinan Unel's Instanbul epic: 3 generations, 10 actors play 30 characters
Variety / LA Times / Backstage / LA Weekly Feature: Servicing Their Country 
Ovation AWARD = Set Design ~ O Nominations = Production, Direction, Ensemble, Costumes / Backstage Garland AWARDS = Direction, Ensemble, Sets, Costumes, Lighting / LA Drama Critic's Circle AWARDS = Production, Direction, Ensemble / LA Weekly AWARD = Sets ~ LAW Nominations = Production, Ensemble, Costumes / Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLADD) AWARD = Outstanding LA Production

site specific staging of Brecht's masterpiece 
Variety / LA Times / Backstage / LA Times Feature: Selfless Acts of Courage / Backstage Feature: Stage Spot 
Ovation Award Nominations = Prodution, Ensemble / LA Drama Critics Circle AWARD = Best Revival / LA Weekly AWARD = Lead Performance 

CHEKHOV x 4 (AD, artistic coordinator & producer)
Four one-acts by Anton Chekhov 
LA Times / LA Weekly Feature: Russian' Around / Backstage Feature: Classical Giants 
Ovation Noms/Awards = n/a / LA Drama Critics Circle AWARD = Ensemble ~ LADCC Nominations = Production, Adapation / LA Weekly Nomination = Lead Performance

AMERICAN TALES (AD & producer)
world premiere musical based on Twain & Melville short stories 
LA Times / Backstage / LA Weekly / Stage Scene LA / Variety / LA City Beat / LA Stage Alliance Feature: Antaeus Begins it's 15th Dream Season 
LA Weekly Nomination: Ensemble

TONIGHT AT 8:30 (AD, artistic coordinator, actor, producer)
Noel Coward's 8 One Acts, presented in two parts.  
LA Times / Backstage 1 / Backstage 2 / Curtain Up 1 / Curtain Up 2 / LA Weekly / Variety 1 / Variety 2 / NY Times Feature: Brushing up Their Coward / The Noel Coward Society, Feature: Interview with Jeanie Hackett 
LA Drama Critics Circle Nomination = Best Revival / LA Weekly Award Nomination = Best Revival

THE MALCONTENT (AD & producer)
Shakespeare's contemporary John Marsden's viciously funny masterpiece.
L.A.Times / Backstage / LA Weekly / Arts Beat LA 
Ovation AWARD = Costume Design / LA Weekly AWARD = Costume Design ~ LAW Nominations = Adaptation, Supporting Performance, Sound Design

THE AUTUMN GARDEN (AD, actor, producer)
Lillian Hellman's gang of Southern misfits
LA Times / LA WeeklyBackstage / LAistHuffington Post Feature: LA's Secret Pleasures / LA Stage Times Feature: Four Actors Play Two Roles  
Ovation Award Nominations = Featured Actor, Sets, Costumes / Backstage Garland AWARD = Sets 

CLASSICSFEST  (AD, project creator, actor, director, producer)
Summer Festivals of company initiated workshops & readings

2011 = The Lucky Chance / A Delicate Balance / Othello / The Legend of Oedipus / Ceasar & Cleopatra / After the Dance / The Matchmaker / Long Day's Journey Into Night / 2010 = Arcadia / The Helen Fragments (director) / Les Femmes Savant / Peace in our Time (project creator) / The Capulets & the Montegues / Juno & the Paycock / The Malcontent / Mr. Puntilla & His Man Matti / Failth Healer (actor) Les Blancs / Merry Wives of Windsor // 2008 = Troilus & Cressida / The Autumn Garden / The Glass Menagerie / Zastrozzi / Light Up The Sky / Rhinoceros / The Voysey Inheritance / Cousin Bette (Director) / August: Osage County (actor) / The Rover (director) / Medea / The Women / Richard III // 2006 = The Summer People (director, actor) / Act A Lady / The Doctors Chekhov (actor) / The Menechemus Twins / Prince Poupon Needs A Wife / Stirrings Still / Aggememnon (actor) / A Month in the Country (actor) / A Penny for a Song / The Merchant of Venice (director) / Sweet Mercy / Coriolanus / The Father / No Man's Land / Phaedra (actor, presented in 4 performances at The Getty Villa) / Who's Afraid of Virgina Wolff? / Rear Collumn // 2004 = The Dickens Project (recorded for NPR) / American Tales / Nora (director) / Collaborators (actor) Twelfth Night / American Buffalo / Don Juan / Poems in my Pocket (project creator) / 2003 = Talking Tennessee / Love's Fire (director) Prince of LA / Love's Labour's Lost (director) / Orpheus Descending (director)
Backstage Feature: Antaeus ClassicsFest Features Impressive Slate / Examiner.com Feature: Affordable & Interesting Theater / LAist.com Feature: 14 Classic Plays in 6 Weeks / StageHappenings.com review