NIDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we learn and tell stories, the Bidjigal, Gadigal, Dharawal and Dharug peoples, and we pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.

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Head of Acting on East Side FM

“What makes a great actor? Don’t act.” Um... what? In an in-depth interview with East Side FM, NIDA’s Head of Acting, Jeff Janisheski, reveals what this piece of advice he was given means and the craft of acting.

Listen to the full interview

About Jeff Janisheski

Jeff Janisheski has been active in theatre and the performing arts as an artist, educator and creative leader for more than 20 years. From 2008‑2012 he was an Artistic Director at the famed Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Connecticut, America’s preeminent company dedicated to the development of new plays and music theatre across a range of genres.  

Prior to joining The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Jeff spent four years at the Classic Stage Company (CSC) where he led the development of the a new education program, The Young Company, and initiated CSC’s On the Verge developmental program for emerging directors and theatre companies. Jeff also produced main stage shows featuring prominent actors and directors including Diane Wiest (The Seagull), Zoe Caldwell, John Turturro (A Spanish Play) and Walter Bobbie (New Jerusalem), and directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest, featuring Tony Award-winning actress Blair Brown, as part of the CSC’s Shakespeare program.  

Throughout his career, Jeff has taken a keen interest in international theatre, particularly Japanese culture and performance. He has trained in traditional Japanese dance and theatre forms, and established New York’s Dome Artist Outreach cultural program. In 2003 Jeff co-founded and co-directed the New York Butoh Festival, the first of its kind in the US, showcasing more than fifty international emerging and established artists from Japan, Germany, France, Colombia, Mexico, San Francisco and New York.  

Among Jeff’s many theatre directing credits are Transformations (Anne Sexton), Apocalypse and/or Metamorphosis (Charles Mee), Uncle Vanya (Anton Chekov), Lie of the Mind and Forensic and the Navigators (Sam Shepard), The Man in the Elevator (Heiner Muller). His writing credits include Electria (2004), 2 Josh (2003) and Dream Stone Dance (1997).  

He has received multiple awards and grants for his contributions to theatre performance and education, including a Japan Foundation grant (2000), a Columbia Graduate Arts Council Award (2004), two Schubert Foundation Fellowships (2004, 2005) and a Theatre Communications Group New Generations Fellowship (2006).

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