Jessica Durdock Moreno

Jessica Durdock Moreno

In no particular order, Jessica Durdock Moreno is a writer, producer, actress, director, and teacher. The first time she officially wore all those hats at the same time was at the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival, where her play “To Richard!” premiered, won the Encore Producers Award, and was nominated for the Inkwell Theater Playwright’s Promise Award.

As a writer, Jessica's second play “...
In no particular order, Jessica Durdock Moreno is a writer, producer, actress, director, and teacher. The first time she officially wore all those hats at the same time was at the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival, where her play “To Richard!” premiered, won the Encore Producers Award, and was nominated for the Inkwell Theater Playwright’s Promise Award.

As a writer, Jessica's second play “Georgie D.” was developed in the Chain Theatre Playwriting Lab, where it received a full workshop production in New York in the summer of 2021. She was a finalist for the Theater Masters Take Ten 2020 Festival, and a semifinalist for the Athena Project’s 2020 Plays in Progress Series. She has developed plays with the Workshop Theater, who presented a reading of her play “New Canaan” starring Debra Jo Rupp in the fall of 2021. Her work has been presented by TEDx Asbury Park, the Full Circle Theatre Collaborative’s New Works Festival, the Boston Theater Marathon, the NYU Tisch Bespoke Play Zoom Festival, and the NYU Tisch Critical Response Process Workshop. She has published plays with Smith and Kraus, and also some scripts literary magazine. She began her writing training at Los Angeles City College, where she won the 2019 Cinema and Television Department’s Best Screenplay Award for her television pilot “Filly.” She received her MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University Tisch School of the Arts in 2021 where she was the recipient of the John Golden Playwriting Prize, awarded by the MFA faculty. She is currently in residence with the Echo Theater Company’s Los Angeles Young Playwrights program.

As a producer, Jessica has developed original plays and managed productions off-Broadway in New York, in Los Angeles, and multiple turns at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Her award-winning productions have been featured in or reviewed by The New York Times, Variety, W Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Post, Newsweek, Time-Out NY, The Village Voice, USA Today, Backstage Magazine, The Scotsman, The Edinburgh Evening News, The Stage UK, The LA-ist, and numerous other national and international publications. In 2019, she founded her own Autistic and Neurodivergent centered practice, production, and performance company, Pale Horse Craft, whose first project was Jessica's award-winning play "To Richard!"

As an actress, Jessica has performed lead roles off-Broadway in New York, in Los Angeles, the National Black Theater Festival, and multiple turns at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. She has also appeared in several award-winning independent films, and as a bunch of different nurses on a bunch of different daytime dramas. She won the Most Unleashed Performance Award at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, the Outstanding Theatre Performance Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and was nominated for a Stage Scene LA Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Lead Actress in a Comedy.

Jessica graduated magna cum laude with departmental honors from Columbia University, where she received a B.A. in Socio-Cultural Anthropology (focus on North American Settler Colonialism). She studied Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and classical ballet and Swedish in Stockholm. She grew up in New Milford, Connecticut, where she danced professionally as a teen with BLUDance Theatre and as a guest artist with Pilobolus.

Plays

  • "To Richard!"
    PRODUCTION - Hollywood Fringe Festival, 2019
    WON - Encore Producers Award
    NOMINATED - Inkwell Theater Playwright’s Promise Award

    “Wonderful...A piece of theatre crafted to highlight the abilities of two actors is always going to win out, in my book….It was a lovely time spent in the theatre.”- THE THEATRE TIMES.

    Carol, an older, atheist, white lady, and Andrew, a...
    PRODUCTION - Hollywood Fringe Festival, 2019
    WON - Encore Producers Award
    NOMINATED - Inkwell Theater Playwright’s Promise Award

    “Wonderful...A piece of theatre crafted to highlight the abilities of two actors is always going to win out, in my book….It was a lovely time spent in the theatre.”- THE THEATRE TIMES.

    Carol, an older, atheist, white lady, and Andrew, a younger, Catholic, Latino man, fatefully cross paths deep in the woods of Connecticut one crisp autumn afternoon. Carol carries a monogrammed L.L. Bean canvas tote bag. And Andrew…wait, shouldn’t his name be Andrés? After sufficiently freaking each other out, this comedy of errors quickly devolves into a soul-baring, truth-revealing tête-à-tête that both magnifies and transcends Carol’s and Andrew’s differences, proving that sometimes polar opposites have more in common than meets the eye.
  • "Georgie D."
    PRODUCTION - Chain Theatre, 2021
    SEMI-FINALIST - Athena Project’s 2020 Plays in Progress Series
    READING - Chain Theatre Playwriting Lab, 2021
    PARTICIPANT - Workshop Theater Fall Playwriting Intensive, 2020

    "The family saga in this play was relatable and heartfelt all the way through. The audience was taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, ranging from anger to...
    PRODUCTION - Chain Theatre, 2021
    SEMI-FINALIST - Athena Project’s 2020 Plays in Progress Series
    READING - Chain Theatre Playwriting Lab, 2021
    PARTICIPANT - Workshop Theater Fall Playwriting Intensive, 2020

    "The family saga in this play was relatable and heartfelt all the way through. The audience was taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, ranging from anger to disgust, to forgiveness and acceptance. It also showed us the true meaning of togetherness and the power of saying, "I love you."" - BROADWAY WORLD

    “Georgie D.” is a loving tribute to the fictional Dudka family; working class folks from Pennsylvania coal country whose familial bond has been crumbling like a lump of anthracite since June 6th, 1944. Now 2011, Margaret Dudka, forty and forever going nowhere fast, reunites with her damaged-goods brother Thomas at their estranged father’s deathbed to “pull the plug,” sell the house, and settle the old man’s affairs as quickly as possible. Their efforts are complicated, however, when the chaos that has been slowly and silently tearing their family apart for generations is stirred up by their mutual longing to remember the love that might have been there all along. Georgie D. is not just Margaret and Thomas’s dad; he is the possibility on the other side of what we choose to remember and what we choose to forget in the name of family, loyalty, duty, forgiveness, and love.
  • "New Canaan"
    READING - Workshop Theater Lab, featuring Debra Jo Rupp, 2021
    READING - Workshop Theater In-House Reading, 2021
    PARTICIPANT - Workshop Theater Winter Playwriting Intensive, 2021

    Bette, 70, a classy lady from Connecticut, will do whatever it takes to throw herself the fabulous birthday dinner party she’s earned and deserves--because no one else will. But when her daughter Mary, 40...
    READING - Workshop Theater Lab, featuring Debra Jo Rupp, 2021
    READING - Workshop Theater In-House Reading, 2021
    PARTICIPANT - Workshop Theater Winter Playwriting Intensive, 2021

    Bette, 70, a classy lady from Connecticut, will do whatever it takes to throw herself the fabulous birthday dinner party she’s earned and deserves--because no one else will. But when her daughter Mary, 40 and still living at home, attempts to sabotage Bette's efforts, the two women must decide between saving or destroying each other while battling out their lifelong mother-daughter crisis. Will they discover the root of and resolution to their epic love-hate relationship--or they will just do it all over again tomorrow?
  • "Funeral"
    PARTICIPANT - Full Circle Theatre Collaborative’s New Works Festival, 2021
    PARTICIPANT - Boston Theater Marathon, 2021
    PARTICIPANT - NYU Tisch Critical Response Process Workshop, 2020
    PARTICIPANT - NYU Tisch Bespoke Play Zoom Festival, 2020

    PUBLISHED - Issue 4: “Outbreak,” some scripts literary magazine, 2021
    PUBLISHED - Boston Theatre Marathon XXIII Anthology, Smith...
    PARTICIPANT - Full Circle Theatre Collaborative’s New Works Festival, 2021
    PARTICIPANT - Boston Theater Marathon, 2021
    PARTICIPANT - NYU Tisch Critical Response Process Workshop, 2020
    PARTICIPANT - NYU Tisch Bespoke Play Zoom Festival, 2020

    PUBLISHED - Issue 4: “Outbreak,” some scripts literary magazine, 2021
    PUBLISHED - Boston Theatre Marathon XXIII Anthology, Smith and Kraus Publishers, 2021

    Under the increasing physical and mental weight of pandemic isolation, Brian tries to muster enthusiasm for his best friend Tyler's Zoom wedding. But as technology fails the whole family on this momentous day, the lightness of celebration quickly transforms into heavy grieving as the wedding begins to feel more like a funeral.
  • "Shooting Stars"
    FINALIST - Theater Masters Take Ten 2020 Festival
    PARTICIPANT - Full Circle Theatre Collaborative’s New Works Festival, 2021
    PARTICIPANT - NYU Tisch Bespoke Play Zoom Festival, 2020

    When fifteen-year-old Nicki loses her older brother in a tragic accident, she struggles to come to terms with her own existence in the face of his death. As she tries to reconcile where people go when...
    FINALIST - Theater Masters Take Ten 2020 Festival
    PARTICIPANT - Full Circle Theatre Collaborative’s New Works Festival, 2021
    PARTICIPANT - NYU Tisch Bespoke Play Zoom Festival, 2020

    When fifteen-year-old Nicki loses her older brother in a tragic accident, she struggles to come to terms with her own existence in the face of his death. As she tries to reconcile where people go when they die, Nicki discovers an unusual and organic connection with her brother’s best friend, Samuel, which provides a spark of hope and the impetus for growth when Samuel truly sees and hears her.
  • "You Still There?"
    PARTICIPANT - TEDx Asbury Park "1 Act, 1 Idea" Play Reading Series, 2021

    When two ancient, lifelong best friends ride out the twilight of their lives side-by-side in nursing home beds, they discover that, more than their husbands, more than their dreams coming true, and more than prayers and forgiveness, they simply need each other to get themselves through the greatest challenge, the...
    PARTICIPANT - TEDx Asbury Park "1 Act, 1 Idea" Play Reading Series, 2021

    When two ancient, lifelong best friends ride out the twilight of their lives side-by-side in nursing home beds, they discover that, more than their husbands, more than their dreams coming true, and more than prayers and forgiveness, they simply need each other to get themselves through the greatest challenge, the greatest mystery, and the greatest moment of their lives. But don’t feel bad for these brassy broads! Their potty mouths and sassy sarcasm keep their spirits high as the bond of their friendship strengthens and grows right up to the end!
  • "Ars Moriendi"
    In development. Full-length, dramedy.
  • "Memory Foam"
    TABI: What's that?
    CORAL: Alma Mater.
    TABI: Who's that?
    CORAL: That's Columbia.
    TABI: Is that a person or a place?
    CORAL: Both, I guess. And that's the statue.
    TABI: Why is everyone sticking their hands in her skirt?
    CORAL: There's an owl hidden in there. Part of the sculpture. Legend has it that the first person from each freshman...
    TABI: What's that?
    CORAL: Alma Mater.
    TABI: Who's that?
    CORAL: That's Columbia.
    TABI: Is that a person or a place?
    CORAL: Both, I guess. And that's the statue.
    TABI: Why is everyone sticking their hands in her skirt?
    CORAL: There's an owl hidden in there. Part of the sculpture. Legend has it that the first person from each freshman class to find the owl first graduates Valedictorian. And if you touch the owl, you'll marry a Barnard girl and be endowed with, like, infinite wisdom.
    TABI: Look at them shoving their hands in there.
    CORAL: Welcome to Columbia.

    In development. Full-length, dark comedy.

    "Memory Foam"

    Miriam-Webster: A dense polyurethane foam that becomes more pliable when in contact with heat.

    Sleep Foundation: Designed to slowly mold to the body in response to pressure...also designed to be resilient, and to return to their original shape once body weight and pressure is removed.

    OED: A specially treated polyurethane or similar foam which is pressure- or temperature-sensitive and can mould itself semi-permanently to the shape of something placed on it.