Rhodessa Jones

Updated
5 Feb 2021

rhodessa-jones-pew-fellow-2020-01-web.jpg

Rhodessa Jones, 2020 Pew Fellow. Photo by Emily Fitzgerald.

rhodessa-jones-pew-fellow-2020-03-web.jpg

The Medea Project, Birthright, directed by Pew Fellow Rhodessa Jones, 2015, performed at the Brava Theater Center, San Fransico, CA. Photo by David Wilson.

rhodessa-jones-pew-fellow-2020-04-web.jpg

The Medea Project, Birthright, directed by Pew Fellow Rhodessa Jones, 2015, performed at the Brava Theater Center, San Fransico, CA. Photo by David Wilson.

“Whatever the genre, my intention has been truth-telling, whether I’m on a stage or in a classroom, whether I’m in a prison yard or in a dance studio.”

Rhodessa Jones is a San Francisco-based theater performer, director, teacher, and writer whose five-decade body of work tells the stories of women. “Women face a threat that insists they relinquish their personhood, silence their voices, repress their fight for choice in health care and economics, and mute their calls for social justice, environmental health, and peace in our communities,” Jones says. Since 1979, she has been the co-artistic director of San Francisco performing arts organization Cultural Odyssey. In 1989, she founded The Medea Project, for which she serves as artistic director, developing performance pieces with incarcerated women and women who are HIV-positive. Her solo work includes the Bessie Award-winning Big Butt Girls, Hard Headed Women, which has toured globally. She has received numerous accolades and awards, including a United States Artists Fellowship, an honorary doctorate from California College of the Arts, a Theatre Bay Area Legacy Award, and a Montgomery Fellowship at Dartmouth College.

Jones developed an affinity for Philadelphia performing at Painted Bride Art Center several times in her career. During her residency in Philadelphia, Jones will hold workshops and in-progress readings as she develops a new solo performance and a book on theater creation.